You’re in a sales career because you enjoy winning and you enjoy the financial rewards that come along with it. You probably also enjoy the competition and love solving problems for your clients (but you really love the money!). To be considered a successful salesperson, you must consistently hit your quota – the revenue results your leadership have determined equal success.
But in tech sales, only 60% of salespeople achieved their quota last year, according to a recent Harvard Business Review survey. Here are five tips that will help you consistently hit and/or exceed your quota:
1. Always focus on your sales pipeline.
Many sales reps make the mistake of reserving most of their attention to the tail end of their sales funnel — the deals that are close to closing. I understand why, but this can be a fatal mistake. Once these deals close (or not), you are left with a gap in the funnel. There’s nothing moving up to take their place. Great reps are consistently working deals at all stages of their sales funnel, and this ensures a consistent flow of new opportunities moving into the closing stages.
2. Have a referral process.
Smart reps routinely rely on referrals, because referral-based sales usually close at 50 to 70%. You should have a process to consistently engage current customers, primary contacts/decision makers and their professional networks, and they leverage those connections for warm introduction (referrals). This process is key to develop ongoing relationships. It takes thought, time and energy, but if done right, it will help you become a sales superstar.
3. Reconnect with lost opportunities.
Rock star sales reps share a similar mindset when it comes to lost opportunities: It’s not a ‘No’, it’s a ‘Not Now’. These reps consistently go back to their lost opportunities and re-engage, and this is a great way to generate new opportunities. Also, because these opportunities had previous exposure to your company, they often move much faster through the sales funnel than a traditional net-new opportunity.
4. Don’t forget about renewal business and upsells.
Depending on your position, role and responsibilities, renewal and upsells can have a major impact on your business. Renewal sales can often account for over 50% of revenue. It’s critical to develop a strong relationship with regular contact and consistently add value to these accounts. If you wait until 90 days before the renewal date to have an impactful conversation, you may be too late.
5. Engage in creative prospecting.
Prospecting comes in many forms – cold calls, emails, thought leadership, webinars, etc. Smart reps know they can’t put all their eggs in one basket, and they are always pushing the limits on new and creative ‘out of the box’ prospecting ideas. Test new initiatives and strategies – you’ll probably find a few that generate routinely solid responses.
Becoming a consistent sales performer isn’t easy. But if you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the top performer on your team.
Learn how to avoid and get out of a sales rut: How to Avoid Sales Burnout: 6 Tips