Are you crushing your sales goals?
No matter how well you’re doing on sales goals right now, there’s always a chance to perform even better. To get there, though, you have to evaluate your situation, make changes, and stick to them long enough to see if your results improve.
That can be a tall order, in life and business!
If you want to deliver big on sales goals, you don’t always need a comprehensive plan. Instead, focus on improving one area at a time – one that’s impactful, yet simple enough to get started on.
Good processes build good habits, and good habits turn into groundbreaking results over time.
Where to start? Blow your sales goals out of the water with these sales best practices.
First, Figure Out What Your Sales Goals Are
It might seem obvious, but not every sales team is clear on the biggest point: Their sales goals.
Your sales goals should be at the center of everything you do. They dictate your prospects, how you approach them, and exactly what you have to offer. This is true even in the B2B world, where goals might seem to be a little less flexible.
B2B sales goals often vary based on the current stage of the company and the life cycle of its major offerings. You might find yourself asked to produce a higher volume of sales or to focus in on a particular type of enterprise so as to build the company brand.
Individual sales pros have quotas, but overall goals often come from the top. If it’s been a while since the last “all hands” sales meeting, there’s nothing wrong with checking in. Not only will you get the latest sales intelligence, but you’ll also seem much more proactive.
Pick Out Your Weak Point and Hammer It
When it comes to sales, everybody has strengths and weaknesses.
In the short term, lots of sales experts focus on their strengths and neglect, work around, or even try to avoid their weaknesses. This can work for a while, and it might even lead to some big wins early on – when it’s okay to “hyper-focus.”
In the long run, however, it leads to weaknesses that can hold you back.
On the other hand, if you recognize and attack your weak points with gusto, you can become a more well-rounded and effective producer.
There are two major areas that trip up successful salespeople:
Lack of follow-up may be the single biggest problem in modern sales.
True, the dawn of inbound marketing means the prospect has a lot more power than ever before to screen, postpone, or reject contact. Today’s B2B decision-makers swim in a sea of dozens of vendors for all but the most complex and specific problems.B2B buyers don’t want to talk to sales pros who only see them as a sale.
But: When you follow up in the right ways, you are adding value .. and that’s the core of the inbound mindset. You are proving that you’re really willing to take the time and make the effort, too.
Getting the sale can take many follow-ups. B2C customers often make a buy in 2-3, but in many B2B sectors, the sweet spot is somewhere north of five. If that sounds exhausting, it’s time to apply some creative thinking to how you do it.
Follow-up can take many forms, so pick the one that you can stick with. Emails are considered less intrusive, but be sure to make the connection with something from your last contact with the lead to jog their memory – for example, questions or concerns they raised.
A discovery call is all about one thing: Earning the trust of your potential customer. Without the ability to do that, all your other sales goals will be much harder to reach. Luckily, a single simple idea can make it easier, and it’s one you’ve been training to use since before your sales career.
That’s active listening, which demands intense focus on what’s being said – and, ideally, recall of what you heard. Prospects love it, because they know you’re truly listening to them ... not just waiting for your turn to talk.
The other half of the equation is simple: Open-ended questions.
On a call, “yes or no” questions should only come at the end of the conversation. Until then, move things forward by asking about the problem, what’s been tried, and what an ideal solution would look like to your prospect. That helps build rapport.
Do One Thing Differently – and Monitor Your Results
It takes about a month of consistent effort to develop a new habit. Whatever you’ve decided to focus on, remind yourself every morning. After the reminder, go out there and do it! Make the extra call, perform the follow-up, deploy the new qualifying questions.
And then check your results.
With B2B sales cycles being what they are, it might take a quarter or even two to recognize you’ve moved the needle. Some metrics will be easier to easier to manage than others: Daily contacts, for example. Stay focused on the journey of changing what doing your best looks like for you.
Get a Mentor or Two ...
Not all sales teams are big or developed enough to have an internal sales training process that moves everybody forward. If there’s nobody around to challenge your assumptions and give you feedback, though, that doesn’t mean you’re on your own when it comes to sales development.
There are hundreds of classic sales books out there that can help you achieve the next level.
Plus, you can leverage social media like never before to find a like-minded sales tribe. Facebook and LinkedIn are both replete with groups for sharing sales best practices. MeetUp is another great place where you can focus on face-to-face opportunities.
Of course, maintaining confidentiality may mean you can’t talk about certain things directly. Still, an outside perspective could be all you need for that “ah-ha!” moment. Just as importantly, you get to expand your network and plant the seeds for fruitful collaboration in the future.
... and At Least One Student
Here’s the thing: If you’re only talking to prospects and peers, you’re missing out.
Sales is a competitive sport, and it often takes a lot of work to get others to share their “secrets.” In that environment, it’s easy to forget just how powerful it can be to teach and train others.
When you teach someone else, you make new neural connections that will help you remember, recall, and – most importantly – act on what you teach more easily. In moments when a call or demo takes an unexpected turn, that can really make the difference.
Bring Out Lessons Learned
Ideally, everyone on a sales team should win – and celebrate – as a group.
If that doesn’t seem to be happening now, it might only take a single spark of inspiration to get the movement started. Track your progress and start sharing what works for you with your colleagues.
That can start a wave that gets everyone moving in the right direction faster, especially if your enterprise in the middle of adopting the inbound marketing and sales philosophy.