According to the 20-60-20 rule in sales, 20% are strong performers (top), 60% are average performers (middle) and 20% are weak performers (bottom). The top performers are the ones who achieve or exceed their sales targets. But then, it also indicates that the rest 80% are not delivering the desired results. What can you do to shift the average and weak performers in the top bracket?
Well, you should first do the root-cause analysis of why your sales reps are missing on the sales targets. On a closer evaluation, you fill discover that ineffective goal-setting, lack of adequate sales training and inefficient VAR tools are the weakest links.
So, here are effective tips that value added resellers can follow to achieve their sales targets.
- Set a goal
- List out all your prospects
- Communicate with prospects to estimate conversion possibility
- Push them a bit with special discount/offers
- Have regular communication with your existing customer
- Ask for referrals
- Review sales goals once a week
- Have a brainstorming session
- Perfect your presentations
- Improve your selling skills
- Use tools to fully utilize your time
Set a goal
Now you may wonder which sales rep wouldn’t set a goal. What you need to understand is that there is a stark difference between ‘goals’ and ‘right goals’. Are the goals SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely? If not, then a goal-setting exercise is crucial and the first step to accomplishing sales targets. A goal should have a clear direction, be possible to be measured for effectiveness, be realistic to attain, be significant to the productivity and have a timeline.
At times, it so happens that the value added resellers set goals that are too improbable to attain. This could put tremendous pressure on the sales force, and demotivate them, as a result of which they may underperform. Hence, the sales quotas should be set as per logical expectations.
These goals can be further divided into smaller goals for daily or weekly tasks. For example, ‘I will make three sales calls and meet one prospect today.’
List out all your prospects
Statistics reveal that
On an average, sales reps make 52 calls every day, it takes 8 follow-up calls to reach a prospect and 50% of their time is wasted on unproductive prospecting.
The time spent on prospecting eats away a huge chunk of sales productivity. Hence, it makes a good sense that sales teams list all their prospects in terms of demographics and geography. They should also shortlist all sources such as social media, influencers, customer referrals, websites or emails, from where prospects can be identified.
Communicate with prospects to estimate conversion possibility
What would happen in you set up a meeting appointment with a prospect, only to find out later that he is not interested in your product? Imagine all the time and energy you wasted in one single prospect, and multiply it by all other such ones! So, it would be a good idea to research about a prospect’s needs and interest in the initial calls. This will give you an insight into whether there is a possibility to convert a prospect.
Push them a bit with special discount/offers
Who doesn’t love discounts and offers? At times, prospects are almost 90% into closing the deal, but the 10% holds them back. At this stage, you could tempt them with discounts or offers such as free trials, an extended service guarantee or anything that doesn’t affect the sales deal much on your end.
Have regular communication with your existing customer
Relationship building is integral to sales. After you have clinched the deal, don’t let go of your customers. Keep in regular touch with them – you can make a thank you call, seek their feedback on the product performance, follow-up after a few months for a second round of feedback or simply maintain an email contact sending them updates. This will ensure that your products stay on the top of their mind. In most probability, they will make a repeat purchase or at least provide referrals.
Ask for referrals
Don’t hesitate to request your customers for referrals, may be immediately after closing the deal or anytime after that. You can also send a referral request letter to all your prospects and customers via emails.
Review sales goals once a week
The goal-setting exercise should be a continuous one. A weekly review exercise will give you a progress report – it will tell you where you stand and what action you need to take to inch closer towards the sales targets. If there are any challenges, you can discuss with your sales manager or peers, and find out ways to overcome them. It may be also possible that you may need to change the goals due to some circumstances.
Have a brainstorming session
If you have run out of ideas and techniques to achieve sales targets, a brainstorming session with team members could work wonders. These sittings will bring out tips and tricks on how other sales reps attain their share of quotas. If the organization as a whole is not able to accomplish sales targets, then brainstorming can help in evaluating competitor’s ideas, formulating new sales strategies, etc.
Perfect your presentations
Did you know that
The last five minutes of a sales presentation is the most memorable, so you should end it with a story? Apparently, 63% of attendees remember stories!
It would also surprise you to know that according to Neo Mammalian Studios
visuals are processed 60,000 times in the brain than text, hence visual presentations are more effective.
A salesman’s strength lies in his script or presentation, so there is no doubt that it should be perfected, whether it is oratory or ocular. You should keep the presentation short and crisp, let prospects ask questions, and get feedback from the peers on your sales presentation technique.
Improve your selling skills
Selling is a core skill of a salesman, and there is no way he can afford not to master it. Have you ever wondered why some sales reps are more successful than others? There is something they must be doing right, isn’t it? You can learn from them. Here are some ways to improve your selling skills:
- Understand company’s goals and products in details, customers’ needs and expectations, competitor’s offerings, and market dynamics.
- Keep yourself updated with the latest trends in sales practices, sales strategies and VAR tools.
- Be confident and keep a positive attitude.
- Be a good listener.
- Enroll in a sales skills training program, if the need may be.
Use tools to fully utilize your time
There are a good number of automation tools such as sales quoting software and CRM, yet most salespeople shy away from them. They usually think these tools are too complex to understand/operate or take over their jobs. It has been found that 25% of sales teams don’t use CRM. Small and medium-sized VARs can benefit immensely from small business CRM tool and embrace automation easily. CRM can eliminate routine/mundane tasks such as data entry. It can store information in organized and chronological orders, trigger reminders and follow-up emails, and keep all functions of the business in the loop. Needless to say, sales tools can help value-added resellers to focus on their core job of selling.
Reporting to your sales manager on the status of your sales targets will highlight that you are committed to these goals and accept accountability in full spirit. It also shows that you are ready to be answerable, in case of misalignment with the goals. At the time, reporting also enables you to take a timely course of action to achieve the goals as assigned to you.
The attainment of sales targets is difficult, but not impossible if you follow the above tips.
Still, have any doubts? Just drop your queries in the comments below:
To know how you can motivate your sales team, read the following blog: