Tag: quota

10 Things Sales Managers Should Know About Performance

10 Things Sales Managers Should Know About Performance

The following are key statistics every smart sales manager should know. The source of the following data is TAS Group which is now Altify, part of Upland Software.

  1. 2/3 of all salespeople miss quota
  2. 1/2 of all salespeople close at less than 40% of their quota
  3. The best reps are 250% better at qualifying leads
  4. 40% of salespeople can’t understand customer pain
  5. Only 46% of reps feel their pipeline is accurate
  6. Almost 1/2 of all sales teams don’t have a playbook
  7. Only 52% of salespeople can access key players at their prospects and customers
  8. When Sales/Marketing works well together, it adds 25% quota achievement and 15% win rate
  9. As I talk about in my book Eliminate Your Competiton if you make your response to your competitors part of your strategy, you are 39% more likely to be a high performing salesperson.
  10. Sales contribution to company strategy means a 15% revenue increase
Header Photo by PublicDomainPictures (Pixabay)

Give Yourself A Trophy For Big Wins

Give Yourself A Trophy For Big Wins

I was recently interviewed by Colin Stewart on his podcast “Predictable Revenue.” It was an enjoyable experience for me as Colin is a great interviewer with a lot of experience in B2B Sales.

In that podcast, Colin asked me about intermediate rewards during the course of the business year. I gave some examples of how I used to reward myself when I was a direct salesperson. In this post, I would like to expand on that topic more than I did with Colin.

Winning the deal is important. You will receive more financial security in the form of loyalty from your employer as well as increased commissions. However, you need to put an internal incentive into your mind to help you through the tough times of the next sale.

We all know that there are times in the selling process that are just plain frustrating for the sales team. The prospect may be asking questions that are very basic. Or the prospect may be making it difficult to create a positive relationship. Whatever the frustration, it is helpful to have a little extra incentive to motivate you through the tough times.

Think of a sprinter in a track and field event. The sprinter wants to win so that her team will get more points and win the event, but that is not the sprinter’s only motivation. The sprinter is also motivated to beat her personal best time. The sprinter is also motivated to beat her arch-rival in the lane beside her. The sprinter is motivated to hear the cheers of the crowd and the accolades of her teammates, friends, and family. 

This personal motivation is used by the sprinter to fight through challenging practices. She visualizes winning the race when she is trying to do that last painful lift in the weight room. She visualizes the first place award when she practices her first three steps over and over for hours. She doesn’t visualize the team winning; she visualizes her personal win. It is the personal win that inspires the extra effort and sacrifice.

The sprinter’s job is to score more points for the team. That is why she is on the team. While she wants the team to do well, she also wants to do well and needs her own motivation. You are like the sprinter, and it is your job to sell your product. Selling the product keeps your company afloat and helps to employ all of the people in the company. Just selling the product and having your company do well may not be enough to fight through those challenging sales calls.

You should develop your personal win award. You may think that your manager should do this for you, but you cannot depend on others for your success. You need to create a personal win that will motivate you to push through those tough sales calls.

I suggest that the personal win is something that you greatly enjoy, but you can live without it on a daily basis. Set aside one activity that you will only do when you have won a deal of 5% or 10% of your annual quota. Once you have identified that win, never do it without closing a deal. It is your trophy activity.

Celebrate Any Win Over 5% Of Your Annual Quota

It is not possible for me to select your trophy activity. I can give you suggestions based on what others have selected. None of the following list may be personally motivating for you, but hopefully, it will give you some ideas.

  • Massage (or if you get massages frequently, a stone massage)
  • Dinner at a specific restaurant that you only go to when you win a big deal
  • A trip to the casino
  • Tickets to the local sporting event (or maybe better tickets than normal if you regularly attend)
  • A specific bottle of wine (or other favorite beverage – in the podcast, I discussed tequila)
  • A round of golf at a specific course (make sure it is not your regular course – you want this to be a special treat)
  • A new handbag or pair of shoes
  • Tickets to a show

It is worth repeating the one rule regarding deal trophies. Whatever activity you select as your trophy, make it an activity or purchase that you never do unless you win a deal. So if you chose to purchase a pair of shoes, a handbag, or attend a show, perhaps it is a certain style of shoes or handbag, or it is shows that are only at a specific venue.

After a couple of wins and the resulting reward, you will be able to visualize yourself doing this activity again when the sales process is challenging. You will be able to fight through the tough times because you know that there is a trophy at the end.

Photo by mohamed_hassan (Pixabay)
Everyone Sells But Few Can Truly Sell

Everyone Sells But Few Can Truly Sell

We have all heard the line:

Everyone sells.

We have heard it over and over. It is typically combined with some cute anecdote about a child convinces his or her mother for an ice cream cone or a new toy or to stay up and watch a show.

Yes, we all have to convince another person to make a decision in our favor (the essence of sales) but that doesn’t mean that we do it well. Also, the story of the child never includes the number of times that Mom doesn’t buy the ice cream cone or the new toy.

I frequently talk about the failure rate of salespeople. I do not know of a single profession that fails as often as sales.

  • Pilots don’t fail as often (most planes take off and land just fine).
  • Accountants don’t fail as often.
  • Bakers don’t fail as often (most cakes and cookies taste great).
  • Taxicab drivers do not fail as often (most make sure their passenger arrives safely).

In fact, aside from some really tough stats for professional sports (where the truly best-of-the-best play), I cannot think of any other profession where failure is so endemic.

The sales profession is challenging. You need to work hard at it to succeed. You need to learn from the best. You need to improve your skills continuously. If you think you can sell since you are a hit at parties and have a lot of friends, you may soon find that you are a failure as a salesperson. Blunt truth: because the sales profession is so hard, you have to focus on doing everything in sales very well, or you will be considered a failure.

This recent poll by Salesforce.com re-affirms this issue. Most salespeople in that year did not expect to make their quota. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t make some sales. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t cover their specific costs.

It does probably mean that they didn’t make as much money as they hoped to make. In almost every salesperson’s mind, that means they failed.

This is why I wrote my book, Eliminate Your Competition. It is the only book that I know of that is written by a salesperson (me) for other salespeople rather than a sales trainer that stopped selling years (decades?) ago. Granted, I have moved to a sales management role today, but I am still making sales calls every week. I am still driving revenue for my company using the same tools that I talk about in my book.

If you want to get better at sales, I suggest you read my book. You may purchase my book Eliminate Your Competition from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

Success Should be Your Primary Business Goal

Success Should be Your Primary Business Goal

Every massively successful salesperson that I have ever met has one over-arching trait that is common among all of them. A successful person is goal oriented.

I recently had lunch with a salesperson that I respect a great deal. It was a lunch with several salespeople planning their joint marketing events for the balance of the year. A junior salesperson was asking one of the more senior salespeople for some advice on a deal. During the conversation, I overheard a piece of advice that all salespeople should adhere to:

“Always begin the year with the goal of making quota for that year. In fact, always begin the year assuming you are going to do significantly over your quota for the year.”

Being goal-oriented starts by assuming that you will be successful. Your company and its managers will surely give you challenging quota. It may even shock you that they want you to achieve that quota based on your account base and the company’s position in the marketplace. You may be able to negotiate this quota, but eventually, it will be written down, and it will be your final number.

Once your quota for the year is set, stop complaining about it. That part of the process is over. Now you must succeed.

The first part of any successful process is to set your goal that you will blow away your quota. You must convince yourself that YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL! You must set your sights on a number that is higher than your goal. You must plan your activities to achieve that goal.

Once you have established that goal, you need to write it down. Just like all goals, if you don’t write your goals, then you run the risk of not being successful.

As a salesperson, this particular goal is probably your most important professional goal. Revenue fixes all problems so if you make this goal then you will likely come very close to achieving all of your other goals. With this importance in mind, write it in big letters and put it in a prominent place. If you have a desk in an office, I suggest you place it on the wall directly above your monitor or laptop. This way whenever you are creating a proposal, it is right there reminding you. If your office is virtual or in your home, place it on your bathroom mirror or put it on the door to your closet.

Wherever you choose to place your goal reminder, make the goal direct and straightforward. Make sure it is where you will see it every single business day.

While you may arrive at your goal by multiplying your quota by an additional percentage, don’t write down the percentage. Write down the revenue amount that you need to achieve that goal. Don’t write down 125% on that paper above your monitor, write down $5,200,000.

By looking at what I just wrote in the above paragraph, it should be obvious another rule – write the revenue number out. Don’t write $5.2M – write $5,200,000.

Revenue fixes all problems with salespeople. Assume that you will be massively successful. Assume you will make quota. Never believe at the beginning of the year that you will lose.

Photo by sasint (Pixabay)