Have you found yourself in the position of being in the final week of the month and still nowhere even close to your sales targets? If you have, you’re not alone. The CSO Insights 2015 Sales Compensation and Performance Management Study found that 45.4 percent of salespeopledon’t hit their sales targets.
Don’t write off this month yet. There are plenty of ways to hit sales targets on time even when you’re up against the clock. Here’s our top tips on how to hit sales targets when time is tight.
Be Brutally Honest About Your Pipeline
Now is not the time to go chasing those hard to convert leads. Be brutally honest about what you say is sitting in your pipeline - which of your opportunities is really likely to convert this month? Which leads are qualified? What barriers exist to potential sales that need more time than you’ve got left to commit this month?
Once you’ve identified the most likely prospects, it’s time to focus on these and these alone. The rest can wait for next month.
Go for the Low Hanging Fruit
If after an honest look at your pipeline you find you have very few leads that will really convert, don’t give up! It’s time to go out there and look for new prospects. But you haven’t got time for the long-game right now so go for the low hanging fruit. Look for the specific types of customers or deal types that experience tells you are the most likely to convert. If you know there’s a sector where you can count on prospects to convert to customers in less time, then this is where to target your activity right now.
Use your Network
We all know the old saying, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” Now you’ve got some prospects lined up, it’s time to ask yourself: who do you know?
Do you have existing connections within the company who could help influence the decision maker? Does anyone in your network have details about the company that could reveal opportunities or the best time to attempt a connection? Can someone you know make an introduction to a decision maker?
Social selling can play a huge role here in helping you find connections or make the new ones you need.
Stay Committed to Consultative Techniques
In the final week, you may be tempted to abandon your well honed active listening skills and bombard your prospects with the hard sell. Don’t make this mistake and put all your hard work to waste. Yes, get on the phone to your prospects; yes do everything you can do to get in front of them. But never stop asking exploratory questions and never stop listening. You never know what problem they might reveal that you can seize upon to position your product as the perfect solution.
Go For the Close
When you’re up against the clock, it doesn’t make sense to play it safe. If you manage to get in front of your prospects in this final week, now is the time to try for the close. Of course, always start by asking questions and listening carefully but don’t leave that meeting without laying your cards on the table. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. It won’t necessarily go your way so be ready to do some clever objection handling. But if you’ve done your research, weeded out only the best prospects and found their pain point, you should be on track to close the deal.