Every salesperson experiences sales slumps – those times when you can’t seem to close the sale despite your best effort. When the pressure is on and your numbers are down, it’s easy to lose confidence and motivation. Missing your quota feels terrible, but it also gives you an opportunity to uncover the problem and get back on track. Here are a few tips to put everything back in perspective to move forward:
Adjust the Plan
Go back to your sales action plan and review your goals. Recalculate your plan for the next month and include what you missed in the previous month. Distribute the shortage over two to three months. By recalculating your plan, you can determine how many calls you need to make and how many meetings you need to schedule to get back on track.
Maximize Your Productivity
Research has shown that sales representatives spend as little as 41% of their time selling. To be more productive, limit the amount of time you spend on activities that could be delegated or eliminated. It’s only natural to focus your time on urgent activities because the consequences of not dealing with them, perceived or real, are immediate. Your inability to correctly prioritize these urgent tasks result is squandering valuable time. Use the Leveraging Time Battle Card to help you regain control over your schedule, and your productivity.
Rebuild your confidence and motivation by going after some easy wins. Think about baseball homerun hitters who find themselves in a slump. Their hitting coaches help them regain their confidence by encouraging them just to make contact. They know that a string of singles will help their sluggers rediscover the big swings that send baseballs screaming into the upper decks. In sales, a few quick deals will reignite your passion for making the sale and motivate you to go after the bigger sales.
Ask for Coaching
Even the best salespeople can learn from others and if sales are down, asking for coaching is always a good idea. According to CEB, sales reps who receive just three hours of coaching a month exceed their goals by 7%, boost revenue by 25% and increase the average close rate by 70%. Your coach can be a manager, fellow salesperson, outside advisor or consultant. They can:
- Listen to your sales calls and provide feedback.
- Observe you at networking events.
- Evaluate your sales presentations.
- Go on sales calls with you.
You may even consider recording your own presentations and phone calls. Watch and listen to yourself objectively. Then, evaluate your performance and adjust your sales techniques accordingly.
When most people think of baseball legend Babe Ruth, they think of his 714 career home runs. What most people don’t realize is that the famous slugger had 1,330 strikeouts ranking him at 118 for the most strikeouts by a major league baseball player. Ruth didn’t let those strikeouts keep him from hitting 60 home runs in the 1927 season and setting the single-season home run record that would stand for 34 years. Like Babe Ruth who kept swinging, keep meeting with prospects, making presentations, and making your sales calls.
A new month is an opportunity for a fresh start. Use the tips above to improve your sales techniques and commit to doing what it takes to turn your old sales slump into a new sales spike!
Founder of RedRock Leadership