The pressure is on. You’re watching the days of the month slip by, seemingly on fast-forward, and you’re not getting any closer to your quota.
We all know how high-pressure sales can be. When you’re staring at a quota and wondering how on earth you’re going to make it, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
However, there are some proven strategies that will help you not only hit your sales quota, but also go beyond it.
1. Become a more persistent (and patient) salesperson.
Did you know that 80% of sales require at least five follow-ups?
Unfortunately, almost half of salespeople give up after just one follow-up.
Don’t be one of them.
If you want to hit your sales quota, it’s clear that you need to be persistent as a salesperson. This doesn’t mean you need to be pushy; we all know that buyers don’t enjoy being pushed into a sale.
However, you’ll need to make sure you hit the right number of follow-ups in order to close the deal.
Today, sales are more reliant on trust and value. So, build a relationship with your prospects through multiple touches that focus on the value that you (and your product) can provide for them.
A study by the RAIN Group found that 58% of meetings aren’t actually valuable to buyers.
However, 96% of respondents said that a seller’s focus on value is extremely influential in a purchase decision. That means sellers are missing a huge opportunity by not taking full advantage of their meetings and using this time to provide value to potential buyers:
By building value from the start, you’ll be working towards a relationship with this prospect. Each new touch point that focuses on value for the prospect will get you one step closer to a sale, and closer to your quota.
Seal the deal.
Learn how to close sales efficiently, from overcoming objections to persuading prospects to take action, with this free handbook.
2. Make a granular, step-by-step plan and stick to it.
You know what your quota is going to be for the next month, quarter, or possibly even the next year.
So, what are you doing today to hit that quota?
If you want to consistently reach quota, you need to plan ahead. So, break down your quota into specific steps that you need to take every day or week.
For example, let’s say your quota for the month is $5,000. How many sales do you need to make this month in order to hit that quota?
If you need to make eight sales to hit your quota for the month, that means you need to make on average two sales per week.
How many prospects do you need to contact in order to get a sale? How many calls or emails does it take to seal the deal? Keep breaking down these numbers until you can see exactly what you need to do every day in order to hit your quota.
After that comes the hard part: stick to your plan!
Keep track of each task that you accomplish, and work little by little towards your goal.
3. Keep all relevant information stored in your CRM. The more meticulous, the better.
You already know you’ll need multiple follow-ups in order to nail more sales. So, how do you keep track of the conversations you’ve had with prospects, important information they mentioned, or the time you’ve scheduled for the next meeting?
All of this information should be stored within your CRM. Make sure your CRM also allows you to store relevant documents, and information that was shared with the prospect. For example, here's how it looks in Copper:
Taking notes is one of the best ways to get ahead of the crowd. When you take detailed sales notes on every point of contact, you’ll save valuable time and show your prospect that you remember—and really care about—what they said.
Another reason to store this data in your CRM is to help others on the sales team who may be in contact with this prospect.
That way, the whole team is on the same page with the same information, and working together to help seal the deal.
4. Master the art of qualifying.
New leads are coming in all the time. If you’re not a master at qualifying them, you could waste precious time with cold leads that aren’t ready to buy.
Here are three quick tips that will help you qualify faster and more accurately:
Ask the right questions.
According to a study by Gong.io, asking between 11 to 14 questions per call leads to a higher success rate:
The key is making sure those questions are targeted.
So, ask questions that are designed to draw out the inner thoughts and intentions of your prospects, such as:
- Many of our customers experience [problem]. Is this something you’re facing?
- What kind of solutions have you used in the past?
- Are you seeing the results you expected from this solution?
- What kind of budget do you have for this solution?
- What’s your timetable for getting this up and running?
Asking these kinds of questions will help you work better in the next step.
Match leads to the customer profile.
What key factors are included in your customer profile?
For example, if your product is for enterprise-sized companies, you need to find out the size of your prospect’s company right away. If they only have 10 employees, they don’t fit your customer profile.
The same is true with budget. If the prospect has a budget of $5,000 but your product costs $50,000, this sale isn’t going to happen.
Instead, focus on the leads that do fit your customer profile.
Find them on social media.
Getting information about a lead can be done even before you pick up the phone.
Search for this lead online using LinkedIn or other industry websites. Check out the profiles of their C-level execs. See what they’re talking about, or if they mention a business problem that your product solves.
Looking for information on social media can help you qualify leads without even having to call.
5. Set a tone of genuine urgency.
You want to close deals now, but your prospects don’t seem to be in any hurry. The sales cycle is dragging on, and you really need to close this deal in order to hit your quota for the month.
It’s time to create urgency.
Obviously, urgency won’t work unless it’s genuine. Here are two ways to create a sense of urgency in your prospects:
Use the prospect’s timetable.
When does this prospect need to have your product up and running? Asking the right questions on a call can help you set a deadline that’s specific to your prospect’s timetable.
For example, let’s say your prospect needs the solution in place by May 1st in order to be ready for an event. If setup takes 30 days, the prospect needs this deal to be closed by March 31st.
Using your prospect’s own timetable gives genuine urgency to a sale, helping you to close deals faster.
Create scarcity with discounts.
We all know that a discount can be all that’s needed to close a deal with a prospect that’s on the fence. But you can also use these discounts to close deals faster.
For example, you could say something like: “I’m limited in the number of discounts I can give out. If we move forward with this by [date], I can guarantee a lower price for you.”
It goes without saying that you should never lie about your power to discount, as this will shatter the authenticity of the urgency (or really tick off your prospect). However, when applicable and necessary, using your limited discount power can help you close deals faster.
6. Plan specific moments during the day for non-sales tasks.
It’s funny how much of your time can be sucked away by tasks that have nothing to do with selling.
Whether it’s responding to emails, inputting data, prepping for meetings, or other non-sales tasks, these items on your to-do list could be wasting valuable time or distracting you from the focus of your work.
Instead of letting yourself get interrupted by these less-important tasks, set specific blocks of time during the day to get them done.
That way, you won’t be interrupted while working on sales-related tasks.
Studies show that when we’re interrupted at work, we’re less productive. In one survey, 71% of people reported frequent interruptions at work. That led 56% of these people to leave work wondering if they had accomplished anything during the day.
Pro-tip: Reducing interruptions will help you to stay focused and be more productive while selling.
Better yet, remove non-sales tasks altogether with a CRM that automates more repetitive jobs like data entry.
7. Revisit old prospects.
We all know how it feels when a prospect who seemed to be on the edge of a purchase decision suddenly goes cold.
But don’t throw in the towel just yet.
When you’re looking to seal some deals and hit your quota for the month, try looking through your notes to find prospects that stopped responding.
When you have a few old prospects to revisit, be creative about how you contact them. See if the company has recently shared news such as new funding or a merger. Find out if the person you were in contact with has received a promotion, or if they’ve posted any personal updates on their LinkedIn account.
Reconnecting with prospects who went dark is a good way to fill your pipeline with people who might now be interested in your product.
8. Warm up new leads on social media.
According to one study, 78% of companies that use social selling hit the revenue goals in the previous year, compared to only 38% of those who don’t use social selling.
The point is clear: using social media in the selling process works.
If you’re following the steps above, you’ve already done research on your lead using social media. The next step is to connect with decision-makers.
In 2017, 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level execs reported using social media to make purchase decisions:
That means you need to be on social media and visible to these decision-makers.
One of the best ways to do this is to connect on LinkedIn. Be sure to send a friendly message along with your invitation, and engage the prospect in conversation.
That way, at your next point of contact, the prospect will already recognize your name and your company.
9. Accept and act on feedback.
When was the last time you received feedback from a colleague or from your sales manager?
If they mentioned something you need to correct, how did you take it?
Let’s be honest: nobody likes to get negative feedback. When your manager corrects some shortcomings in your pitch or gives you advice about the way you handled a certain prospect, those words can sting.
However, it’s important to remember that we can all improve in some aspect of sales. Part of your manager’s job is to coach you towards being a better salesperson, and a colleague who gives you friendly advice is really being a good friend.
So, don’t take feedback personally. Look at the situation objectively and see how you can work the advice you received into your daily work process.
This will help you improve your skills and work smarter towards reaching your quota.
10. Set yourself up for success at the end of the month or quarter.
Once you hit quota, what’s the first thing you do?
After you finish doing a happy dance around the office, don’t forget that the day isn’t over yet.
If you still have time in the month after you’ve already hit your sales quotas, this is the perfect time to set yourself up for success in the next month.
While prospecting tends to be a task we do at the beginning of the month, why not get a jumpstart by prospecting at the end of the month?
This will give you some good leads to start off the new month, and will help you set the stage for success month after month.
Even if you don’t feel like doing this now, future you is going to thank you.
It’s time to reach your sales quota this month, and every month.
If you’re feeling the pressure to make your quota, the steps outlined above can give you the headstart you need.
First, make sure you have a plan that breaks your quota into actionable steps and allocates specific time for non-sales tasks. By improving sales skills such as qualifying, being persistent, creating urgency, and social selling, you’ll move prospects closer to a deal.
Finally, work on putting feedback into action and set yourself up for success month after month by continuing to work even after you hit your deadline.
With these proven strategies, you’ll reach your quota this month, next month, and every month!