How to Dig Yourself Out of a Sales Hole
Sales can be a roller-coaster ride at times. One month up, one month down. There are many factors that can cause this to happen and often it’s out of your hands. The good news is what you do about it IS in your hands! In this article we’ll share with you 8 proven ways that we’ve learned over the years that will help you get out of a hole and back on track to smash your sales targets.
One of the main causes of inconsistent sales results we’ve seen across all industries is as follows:
- Salespeople start the year with a huge amount of activity.
- This leads to great results which causes people to think, ‘our results are fantastic maybe we can take it easy for a while.’
- Initially results are still good but what happens is a few weeks later sales begin to dip. Sales are still being made but not as frequently.
- If nothing is done quickly, results continue to drop.
- By the time people often act, they’ve often hit ‘panic mode’! Suddenly you’re scrambling and a huge amount of activity happens. Unfortunately, activity doesn’t always result in instant sales. The gap between making an initial cold call or presentation and when the sale is made can be a long time. So, results continue to drop further.
- You then work flat out to fill your sales pipeline and eventually sales begin to pick up again.
- You’re now on the upswing of the roller-coaster ride as life is becoming good again and targets are being reached… until you ‘take it easy for a while’ again!
Because of the huge effort to bring in sales it’s exhausting and cannot be sustain over the long term. The key to breaking this cycle is know exactly what the situation is at all times. How many sales are we making? How many good prospects do we have in our sales pipeline? Where are our customers in their buying cycle? What we’re aiming for is consistency and predictable results across the year (because the best way to dig yourself out of a sales hole is not to get in it in the first place!)
Step 1: Acceptance
It’s no good feeling angry or upset about it. You need to ditch the ego and emotion. Focus dispassionately on the situation and start planning what you’re going to do about it. The first thing you must do is know your target. Make sure you know exactly what results you need to achieve. Write that number down and make sure you can see it every day. Have it on your computer or on a notice board on the wall. Focus on this number at all times.
Step 2: Count Down not up
Don’t focus on what you’ve done, concentrate solely on what you need. Focus on counting down to the target not up. Every sale you make counts down to the total you need to reach. If you need to make $350,000 and you sell $10,000, your new number is $340,000. Always round up your number. Don’t make your target $349,357. Your brain can’t focus on that. Keep it simple.
Step 3: Increase your activity
Now you need to plan greater LEAD activity. When you’re in a sales hole, your back’s against the wall. Write down every possible way you can generate sales, every possible opportunity you can take advantage of. Do this until you’ve noted down every possible opening, every possible lead. Assume a lower than usual conversion rate also. This helps you ensure there’s more in your pipeline than you need.
Step 4: Take a small step
What you’ve got to do is build momentum. Every sale helps no matter how small. This situation calls for strict discipline at all times. Calling old clients, lost clients and looking at past jobs takes time and discipline but it can lead to opportunities. Taking action is the only way you’ll win.
Step 5: Celebrate your wins
Celebrate each sale you make. It will improve your mindset, your tone on the phone and your body language in meetings. Let each sale fuel your momentum to achieving the next one. Be thankful for each and every win.
Step 6: Ask for help
Get the full support from your whole team including those at home. You a support network to keep you motivated and be accountable to.
Step 7: Chase everything
Become a sales generating machine. Follow up every proposal, call and email. In the future you can be more focused, but at this moment you have to concentrate on keeping the sales tap open.
Step 8: Give more
Giving added value to your clients can lead to referrals in the future. Consider giving some of your bonus for hitting your target so someone less fortunate than yourself. If you commit to this at the start it will help spur you on to make the maximum effort to hit your revenue target.
Poor sales results can often be caused by something that is out of your control. You can’t change macro-economic conditions but you can control how you react to them and what you’re going to do about it. Use these tips to start getting out of the hole and build a blueprint that you can use to help lessen the impact should a similar situation arise in the future. Let us know how you get on or if you get stuck!
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