“We not only have to meet sales targets, but we need to exceed them” – we have all heard this line before. No matter what the situation or tone this statement is delivered in, the result is just one thing – a lot of hard work! We wanted to get down to the brass-tacks of how to go about exceeding sales targets. For this we turned to the experts, people who understand sales, who are in the “sales” industry and people who actually sell products and services. Here are some of the top crowdsourced tips for exceeding your sales targets.
Here’s what John Golden, CSO, Pipeliner CRM, has to say about how to exceed sales targets:
Sales in the modern era is still about creating value. Buyers are telling us that what they truly value from a supplier or seller is not the information about products and services. The value that buyers are looking for comes in the form of the insights they receive during the buying process. The most successful sellers are the ones that have the skills to ask the best questions to help their buyers arrive at conclusions – conclusions about their unrecognized problems or unanticipated opportunities.
In addition to having superior investigation and communication skills, the modern salesperson needs to become part researcher, part micro-marketer. They need to have a greater level of business acumen than ever. They need to be insatiably curious about the business of their buyers, even when those businesses are spread across multiple segments or verticals. They need to be bringing insight and ideas to their buyers and creating value at every juncture of the buying journey, understanding that the velocity of business change is only increasing.
Peter Fuller, CMO, Salesvue, shares his insights for exceeding sales tips:
To measure success rates, you need to measure sales activity. Reports give managers an idea of how well the team is progressing, but that’s not the only metric to measure. With the right tools, you can modify reports and data requirements to help you visualize the sales funnel better.
Reports can range from new opportunities added in the past week to opportunities set to close or new contacts added into the system. The key here is to determine which key metrics you need to report on and also constantly be on the look out for new KPIs to consider.
Connecting The Dots
“Data gathered is useless if you are not able to use it to boost sales, grow more, or manage resources better. Don’t just use the data to see how well or how fast your sales reps are moving; use it to connect the dots and make improvements to your entire business. Make a connection between previous deals and
deals-in-progress, and see how this could affect future transactions.”
Nicole Wright, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Coach, reveals a unique way to exceed sales targets:
Set Higher Targets
“To start, set the sales target at twice the number you actually want to achieve.”
Think of this as setting your clock five or ten minutes faster than normal, especially when you need to arrive early at your destination. Most times, this trick works for us. With sales too, set a higher number than the actual target. Make sure you don’t go overboard when setting your target – this way, you know it’s a bluff and instead of motivating you, the higher target might have the opposite effect!
Choose your words wisely
“Ask questions that elicit a “yes” response and arouse positive emotions.”
We need to structure our thoughts around how we are asking and answering questions. Use positive language and ask questions that result in evoking positive emotions. “During interactions, a sales professional must keep the outcome/result in mind and then proceed to ask questions that are designed for positive results.”
Troy Rhodes, President & GM, Iturna, shares his tips for exceeding sales targets especially in the enterprise space:
Move quickly (even in the mid-market/enterprise space!)
Once a potential account is identified as a true prospect, move as quickly as possible to identify the decision maker so you may work towards selling directly to that person. Lots of people can say “no” but ultimately very few do say “yes”. For instance, if you sell a business application, it’s okay to meet and discuss with the company’s controller or IT manager how your system is suited for the company’s particular needs, but don’t get stalled out there and never meet the CFO/CIO, otherwise you just turned your closing process over to a non-selling tactical resource that isn’t even part of your company. I doubt they can articulate the value of your organization and solution as well as you and even worse is that you won’t be there in defense to see and hear what they say.
Get to the Decision Maker
How do you get to the decision maker? Ask early and often. If the prospect is truly interested in your solution, it’s easy to negotiate access to power up front early in the solution evaluation process (i.e. require the decision maker to be available for fact gathering interviews and the product demo). If you wait until the point of closing, you’ll likely not gain access or at a minimum you will only get a brief courteous meeting with the decision maker.
Here’s what Liam Healy, VP of Sales, OutMarket has to say:
Know Your Numbers
Sales is a numbers game. Kind of a bland, undefined statement but true nonetheless. Most think, the more you put it the more you will get out. In all actuality, the more work you do, the more you’ve done. Metrics are and always will be a key to sales success. That said, focusing more on how much effort actually results in success, will unlock results.
Be Honest and Charge a Fair Price
Along with being knowledgeable; candor, honesty and sincerity mark the cornerstone of any successful sales relationship. Customers and prospects are not looking for embellishment and fluff; they’re looking for honesty and business partners who will work with them to reach success. Business relationships, however, are a two-way street; both parties should benefit. Don’t be afraid to charge fair market value for the problems you’re helping to solve.
Emmanuelle Skala, VP of Sales, Influitive, spoke to us about focusing more on creating advocates rather than focusing solely on closing deals:
The most efficient way to exceed sales targets is to get more warm, fast-closing prospects in your pipeline month after month, quarter after quarter. I’m talking about referrals from happy customers. The first step in doing this is to change the paradigm of a sales person’s role. It’s not to “close deals”; it’s to “create advocates.” Once you’ve done this, take advantage of the honeymoon period and ask for a referral as soon as you can. This might be immediately after you’ve wowed them with a demo or immediately after the deal closes. If you did your job right as a salesperson, your prospects and new customers will truly believe he or she can help their network achieve value and will be happy to provide a referral. Adopting a culture of advocacy through an advocate marketing program can ensure that happy customers continue to provide high-quality referrals throughout the lifetime of their relationship with your company.
Bob Wolf, Founder, HOPE Skills Program spoke around how important it is to nurture a relationship in order to start exceeding sales targets in a more organic way:
People do business with and choose to support people they know, like, trust and have confidence in. These four things take time to earn. We have to remember that in order to ‘earn’ business from someone, you first have to establish rapport with them so they see and think of you as someone they are willing to choose to give you the opportunity to earn their business.
Finally we asked our very own 9Lenses team member Ali Nasir, Sales Development Manager, to share insights on the subject and here’s what he said:
Set your daily goals
“Review all your goals and where you stand in relation to them every morning. This way it sets the tone for the day and motivates you to get closer to your goals.”
While we’ve shared a roundup of some of the best and most interesting insights we could find for exceeding sales targets, we know there are many more practical tips out there. Do share them with us!