The most recent post to my Understanding the Sales Force Blog was the Top 10 Factors in Getting Salespeople to Overachieve. Those of you in management may want to check that out. For all of you salespeople I present the 7 Factors that you can control, since the other 3 must be controlled by management.
1. Goals – I’m talking “raise the bar, stretch, out of the comfort zone, more than the typical 15% increase in sales” type goals here. You must raise your expectations in order to celebrate superior performance. Don’t forget two things: (1) that a forecast and plan come from the goals; not the other way around; and (2) Goals are derived not from your company but from your income requirements, based on the bills that accompany life’s desires and obligations.
2. Motivation – This is the combination of Goals and Incentives. In essence, do you have a strong enough Desire and Commitment to do whatever it takes – every day – to reach the goals. When you don’t, it’s your job to motivate yourself by knowing the real reasons why you’re doing this selling stuff. I’m not talking income requirements or gross sales here, I’m talking planes, boats and cars; big houses, vacation homes, golf trips, world travel, home theaters, fantasy camps, exclusive events, etc.
3. Managing the Pipeline – A Visual Pipeline makes it significantly easier to manage but the key to managing the pipeline is working with your critical ratios. Think monthly goal, closing percentage, average sale and length of the sell cycle. If you have a six month sell cycle, a $100,000 monthly goal, a $20,000 average sale and a 25% closing percentage, then managing the pipeline effectively requires that you put 20 (5 $20,000 sales at 25% closing) new opportunities worth of total of $400,000 (25% of $100,000) into the pipeline 6 months in advance of the monthly goal (if the goal is for July then the opportunities must enter the pipeline in February). Get that to work and the outcomes are all but guaranteed.
4. Self Starter – Last week I posted an article that discussed what it takes for salespeople to succeed in a remote location. The same factors, whether you are more effective when working independently or as part of a team; and whether you require supervision or can work without supervision; help to determine whether you are a self-starter. If not, you must get someone to start you up every day, twice daily or as often as it takes. If you are a self-starter, you can get started anyplace and anytime.
5. Skills – The more the better but let’s focus on the most important skill sets for overachieving. You must be able to hunt for new opportunities, identify the most qualified and be able to close them. Anything else you can do is a bonus! Baseline Selling provides you with all the skills, tactics and strategies you’ll need to over achieve.
6. Urgency – I wrote about Closing Urgency in January. You must have enough urgency to get your opportunities closed, even when your prospects are trying to put you off.
7. Weaknesses – Unfortunately, there are weaknesses that will neutralize all of the previous factors. There can be dozens of weaknesses that could impact performance but none are so powerful as these five: Non Supportive Buy Cycle, Need for Approval,Tendency to Become Emotionally Involved, Money Issues, Self-Limiting Record Collection. Baseline Selling has all of the instructions for overcoming these weaknesses.
This list of factors is not all inclusive but it’s a good start. You can become an over achiever if you incorporate not some, but all of these factors.