Quota success can never be guaranteed, but here are 10 simple things sales can do to increase the odds of knocking the ball out of the park.
- Understand the strategy of the organization intimately. If you don’t know exactly and in detail what the strategic objectives are, your sales plan will lack the focus and precision needed to deliver the expected revenue and product sales.
Also seek validation of your sales plan by confirming with leadership that you have understood the strategic intent for the next 12 months and that you have stressed the high priority objectives.
- Strengthen the relationship with marketing for their support during the year. You’re not a one-person show. Without the training, promotion and product support marketing provides your target will elude you.
Involve them in your sales planning process so that they share your goals and will be much more willing to jump in and help you be successful.
- Keep the quota plan simple – focus on as few clients as possible, contain the geographic distribution to minimize the time it will take to get to them. You have limited resources available, so focus on as few activities as you can to produce the results you want.
Many salespeople try to take on too much and are all over the map in terms of focus. Unfortunately the spray approach will keep you busy but won’t deliver the results you expect.
- Focus on a client solution that can be replicated across as many other clients as possible. Rather than have to mass customize everything look for one solution that can be spread across your customer base. This requires a deep understanding of customer requirements, so invest the time and your returns will be high.
- Don’t expect to know how to achieve every penny of the quota. There will always be a residual amount you will have to be creative to fill. Be okay with some haze in your quota execution plan; trying to nail every number down precisely is a waste of your time.
- Be prepared for “body blows” – unforeseen events that disrupt the quota plan – and revise the plan quickly given the new conditions. The unexpected always forces you off your original plan so have a contingency in the wings ready for use. The important thing is to not lose your momentum and pace to keep moving forward.
- Keep the medium to longer term in mind because those time horizons quickly become the next 12 months. Include relationship and loyalty building activities in your sales plan to set you up for your next quota period.
You don’t want to be a “one year wonder”. It’s better to be consistently high in your performance rather than a superstar one year and a loser the next. A balanced sales approach produces what organizations want.
- Know your target clients very deeply – know their secrets. Don’t sell into what they NEED but what they DESIRE. Desire-based buying tends to be less price sensitive and will not only get you closer to your sales targets quicker, it also deepens customer relationships.
- Constantly create value for clients – stay away from directly flogging products and services. Most quota systems impose both sales revenue and product unit sales targets. Promote products on the basis of the value they provide the customer; avoid selling on features and technology.
- Work on the answer to the question “Why should I do business with you and not your competition?” that is critical to the sales process. The ONLY Statement defines the sales person’s uniqueness in comparison to their competition and provides a clear reason why they should be chosen.
Quota success doesn’t happen through serendipity; it requires a disciplined approach.
These 10 steps will result in you making your quota more often than you expect.
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