How Do I Hit My Sales Target?
Speaker 1:0:10Hello and welcome.
Speaker 2:0:11You are listening to an episode of the sales chat show to stream or download a host of further free episodes that will power your sale success. Please visit sales chat show.com. We really hope that you enjoy and benefit from this episode.
Speaker 1:0:35Hello folks and welcome to another episode of the sales chat show sales chat show.com, deriving your sales success. I'm here with my colleagues, Mr Phil and Mr Graham Jones and I am silent Hazel date and this episode of the sales show. We are looking at the question, how do I hit my sales targets and before we go into that, I would just like to say we recommend that everybody wants to listen to another sales chat show.com episode called should you scrap your sales target where Graham was attempting to convince filling on that we shouldn't have sales targets very convincing. I was very controversial. Uba to a very progressive view I think, but we are working on the assumption that the vast majority of our listeners do have a sales target, so we thought we would give you some thoughts, tips, ideas, and strategies for doing exactly that. So I'm going to hand over to Mr Jessen to kick us off. Yes,
Speaker 3:1:43thank you. Um, as we all know, sales is hard work often quite challenging, but fortunately it is not rocket science. If you think about where the results can come from, how we can achieve as sales time,
Speaker 1:1:57get back to defer, it is rocket science. If you're selling a rocket's, I'm tempted to say cut. I will soldier on.
Speaker 3:2:10Do you think about where the result can come from? It can only come from four places. Suspects, companies or individuals that we know nothing about. Prospects where you could probably put a face to a name because they've been contacted or visited in some way, shape or form. Customers who are buying regularly from us. And of course key accounts. Maybe the handful of very important relationships often built around the 80 slash 20 principle, 80 percent of the business coming from 20 percent of the customers a lot. So fortunately for us, the result can only come from suspects, prospects, customers, okay accounts, and it's really about working out how much of the sales target is going to come from each of those four boxes backwards. Start with the key accounts because we know most about them. Then look at the customers because we know most about then.
Speaker 3:3:05Then the prospects that we know something about. Then the suspects that we know very little about, so I would call that backward planning. Looking at how you going to achieve the Tongan and after that the. There are really only two things that we're salespeople can do about it. Isabelle and the quantity of work that we put in sheer hard graft on the quality of it as representative through a conversion rates and such like and the skills that we have and making sure that we in our salespeople and our listeners today are equipped to deliver the numbers that they're expected to, to limit. So before we plow it into our new sales year and after our target, it is that restraining ourselves to step back, have a think, do some analysis, put the plan in place. I mean, the, the way that I look at this is a, a sales director for example, probably has a 25 page business plan, uh, in any salesperson.
Speaker 3:4:02Maybe you should have a one page business plus with the detail on it showing where is that result going to come from. Um, and as we all know, the time spent on preparation and planning is seldom wasted and they will have a huge impact in where that, uh, a result comes from in the weeks and months that followed. But also your approach is driving would be driving me to think about how much of my time, for example, do I need to spend on prospecting activity in order to close the gap between what I'm likely to get as kind of a run rate of business we might call or existing business. And we're looking at what the gap is in the best way to close it. If you backward planet today, and let's imagine that you've got a three month target, for example, if you backward plan that today you will know how many suspect cause you need to make. If you don't backward planet life one fall and then two and a half months in, we'll probably realize that we should have been doing a lot more suspect than we actually have. Two, eight time has run out. And then I think, you know, you're looking on your, you can sell
Speaker 1:5:08products to new customers, you can sell to existing products to new customers. You can sell more of your range to existing customers as you say. You can think of different ways in order to how or how do I get the existing customers to buy more frequently
Speaker 3:5:22if you know where you're going, you're already halfway there
Speaker 1:5:26phrase for the day there. Now the second, the second one, uh, for me is Phil saying, you know, you've, um, we've only got a certain number of things that we're able to do and we only have so many hours in the day and so many days in the week to sale. So obviously we want to be working as productively as possible, so I'm a big advocate of qualifying sales opportunities properly. So before you invest a lot of time and effort, qualification is a process of understanding how likely are to win it. Now it's not a, it's not an exact science, but rather than pursuing everything with equal Vega, we prioritize opportunities that were most likely to win. We've we understand where the budget is, we understand who's involved in the decision making process and what that process is. We understand the timing from the customer, how soon they need to do something around it.
Speaker 1:6:21Is there a good fit between our capabilities and our cultures and also is there a sense of urgency as in the customer wants to do something with it quite quickly because if there's no urgency, it goes on the back burner and energy. You can spend a lot of time going round and round so you know, having some sort of spreadsheet or something where you can just put your opportunities, have some sort of ranking one, two, three, low, medium, high. That will tell you how to prioritize your opportunities. And then you fire into number one with as much vigor.
Speaker 3:6:52I think it might also have an impact on pricing. So for example, coming back to your point, Simon, that how urgent is this for the prospect know? Is there a compelling reason why they need to go ahead? If that need is very high, if it's very urgent, then we can probably charge more than if it's one of those rather casual. Well, we might do it and we might not type of situations outside of stage and understanding and your sales pipeline. Therefore, when these opportunities potentially are likely to manifest themselves. Now, point three, we, we, we, um,
Speaker 1:7:29make some notes in it and advance of, of our sessions. And you wanted to talk about suspects selection fill. So is that related to, to the, uh, proceeding points there about qualification or is that something something
Speaker 3:7:42different? I think it's, um, it's, it's linked to something I often hear when I'm talking to salespeople that had been working for a new company for six months or nine months. And time and time and time again, I hear people saying, well, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have visited half the people that I've been to see. So if you work on the basis that we should be working with quality organizations in its competitors who should be working with the rubbish, what makes a quality customer to go and visit and of course I'll just give you a couple of obvious criteria. One might be, well is the suspect company within a certain geographical range because we may not want to travel 250 miles, but if it's within 30 miles or whatever, another one might of course be well, am I going to be able to talk to all of the decision making process or is half of it in Brussels, which might again to lay that sort of situation. Are they in an organization who's trading performance is stable and drawing rather than organization that is on the decline.
Speaker 1:8:56I'm not saying those criteria are right for everybody, but what probably does it get? Each of our listeners will have a number of criteria which if they can tick them, would accelerate them towards that organization and if they put crosses against them, then they just wouldn't go there.
Speaker 4:9:15I think there's another criteria which relates to, to your point about, um, you know, working out how likely the sales lady to come across. There's only one criteria or are they going to buy from us and that that's it. If they're going to buy from you, then you're not going to be wasting your time. Whereas if they're unlikely to buy from you, you actually are going to be wasting your time because you're going to be having to try to spend most of your time trying to convince them to do something they don't want to do. So spend your time on sorting out that kind of exactly who's going to buy from you and then focus your time on energies on those people. I did a seminar. One of the attendees is a super bright account manager from hungry working in the IT industry. And is he. He
Speaker 1:9:56was one of the very powerful things about the it equipment. He was selling was that it was capable of operating in quite harsh environments, hot, hot, cold, dusty, wet, etc. So, and he was selling low by the carload into some companies in manufacturing. So we then basically around manufacturing environments and he basically have lots of suspects to go for because anybody, every business in hungry and needs it. Kit, where did he start going in where they had a problem and he had a solution that his success rate was the nominal and he worked it out and then just, and you know, just went after that, went after that piece of business and was a brilliant piece of, you know, we had thousands of thousands of opportunities to go for potentially, but he works out. His best suspect will be, will be. I think what I'm really saying is that when you think of that little phrase, that guy go principle, garbage in, garbage out.
Speaker 1:10:52If you accept business from any old built and able bodied, don't be surprised if some months later they're not paying their bills or like going out to business. Maybe the quality of the organization was wrong from day one. Yeah. So from sales managers and sales directors in particular listening to this, are they giving their team guidance on these are the type of organizations to target, these are the type of organizations to leave well alone, those are the ones that we've had competitors working with. We don't want anything to do with it because it was my first ever sales manager said to me and say, listen to sale to the money's in the bank. You have your suspect selection is the financial health and viability of, of, of, of the customer will pay the bill. We can check out. Yeah, absolutely. So moving on, kind of the fourth area for me is about managing your pipeline of opportunities proactively as you move, as you move through the year.
Speaker 1:11:52And so a pipeline, um, uh, I think as distinct from a forecast. So our forecast is what's going to close within the sales period. WhereaS a pipeline is longer term. It could be all in any opportunities or whatever stage they are. And I think is about managing that. Is it clean as it is? It just got opportunities in it that are viable because you can sometimes I've numbers of thousands of dollars associated and the roll up looks reasonably reasonably positive, but some of those might need taking out. Is it healthy as in they're moving is moving. Something's happening to the knee that sat there for six months. I think you need to have a very, very tough look at that one and maybe take it out and is it sufficient enough to deliver. So if your close rate is 50 percent and your pipeline is 2 million, you're probably go, you're probably going to be okay.
Speaker 1:12:40But it's understanding and managing that on a basis. And then these sales managers listening I think should be focusing some coaching time, helping their sales people manage, manage those pipelines because it'll tell you if you manage it well, it will tell you much earlier than you normally would know that you're going to have some sort of a problem or that you've got a. You know, you've got something that you need to be doing doing much, much earlier and obviously using a good decent crm system and an encouraging the discipline of of of that, and I know some salespeople crm, it's just an ottoman pain in the backside. It's only what good salespeople have always done. We just now have a piece of technology that helps us to do it far more effectively and also gives us lots of other things that the paper and pencil or xl spreadsheets didn't, didn't talk, can't or can't do, so we are now moving on. The area five is as I suppose is selling as a team sport. You say that
Speaker 4:13:40you put who you're. You're, you're good. Suspects are you worked out that what they're likely to buy and you're going to go and see them, but actually as a salesperson you might not be the right person to talk in detail with the customers that your potential customers that you're aiming at. So there are other people within your organization who are not necessarily salespeople, but they're going to be the people you can work with. They might be a technology person. They may be a scientist, they may be a product manager, somebody like that who can actually sit alongside you and talk what the prospect needs to hear from you because you know that the generalities, but you don't know the specific detail or they may ask about and having that personnel alongside you. It actually makes it much more likely that you're going to get that sale. You're going to convert that sale because you've got. You're talking their language. Know. Good idea. I'm an
Speaker 1:14:35certainly, you know in the past, taken in sort of my logistics manager, experts with me to talk, so we have a meeting where logistics talks to the logistics or technical talk to technical. The other person as well. I think to bring in sometimes there's sometimes more senior managers from your own. They
Speaker 3:14:52can sometimes unlock meetings with higher people. The maybe you can sometimes. I certainly certainly coached a key account manager in Germany to take his emdeon with it because he wanted to get some executive level and it was an alien concept because at the end it was two or three levels of the hierarchy and I said, well, your empty wants. This business doesn't need. He'll come along and help you. I it, although it was a bit, I think a bit nerving for instance, he actually went to approach the md via his boss and the md said, yeah, what do you want me? Yeah, that's a great thing to do. I think that's a great idea. I think it requires a bit of a change in attitude on the part of sales people because sometimes when told the boss is coming out with them for the day, that can be a little bit of a sudden they're under review under the view why me?
Speaker 3:15:45I better be on my best behavior rather than the normal behavior, but we would encourage our listeners to view the boss coming out with them as a, as a resource to view the boss as a consultant to the territory, et cetera, et cetera, and to make sure they're getting their share of the bosses skills and talents along those joint visits. Absolutely. Get them to get an hour with you and um, and help them get them to help you to close close to the sale. So you talKed about the importance of planning filled, so kind of our six or ticket area. So we've got our plan in place is not a game over then our plans done as winston churchill once said, no plan survives contact with the enemy during the course of the three months, six months or whatever we're talking about. Stuff will happen. So yes, although we are encouraging people to have a plan and we, they, they should take time to park the car, switched off, have a cup of tea, have a cup of coffee.
Speaker 3:16:50And to review there is a lovely new monica called opera. I mean hooked on that sign, I think you've mentioned this from your military for my musical back, you'll know it from your data science security executive. The music hold, we call it bouncer and opera stands for objective plan, execute review unimagined. So yes, we needed to, but if we need a plan, we've been executing it for the last three to six months. We need to park the car and review how things are going and be brave enough old enough to a named either the objectives or the plan or the way that we are executing it. I think, um, if I, if I remember correctly, one of our speaking colleagues, lady called cathy. Oh, dow to I think if I'm correct, is the first woman in human history to climb mount everest from both sides. I think if I remember where cathy was speaking, said something
Speaker 1:17:50like, it's very important to have a plan. It's also important to know when your plan has detached himself from reality, which I think is an interesting. It's an interesting thing. You have to, then you have to replant, which, but I think it's the reviewing thing that is so often overlooked. Those were very busy doing. We're not always sometimes reviewing. are we on, are we on progress, et cetera. I having a digital gps or a sat nav for your territory. did she, did she climb everest? Both sides because she left. Her bubble has. Hold on. No, I'm not sure. But uh, that's a, that's a pretty incredible feat. So I'm sure it's an excellent plan. I shouldn't have to ask her on the subjects and reviewing. I think that the seventh kind of area is, as the year progresses is conducting regular when last reviews with customers as you go through a piece of business, if you win it, always worth asking the customer, could you please tell me why you have to select it as what it is you liked about us or what we did that made you want to buy on the same thing if, if you don't win the business, can I ask you why you didn't want, you didn't select us?
Speaker 1:18:57Um, do you think the customer's going to be honest? If a sales person says, why didn't you give us the business? I think you have to, you have to position it that you really want to learn from the feedback and you would like to know the genuine real reason and if they say price for example or something, I just dig a bit deep because sometimes it is just price. Very rarely is it just price. It might be, you know, some of the stuff that's going to be quite hard to get. He might be about how you personally looked after them, but I think if you frame it in, you want to learn and please can you be absolutely candid as honest as possible. You might have the customer, the customer sending it, but I think you do have to say, look, you know, I'm, I'm a grown up.
Speaker 1:19:40Please give me, give me the feedback as it is. Maybe get a colleague to do that. That's also so also another, another, another way, another way to do it at all. You know, if, if you were giving us like a trip advisor review, what would we, how would we have a two star, three star, four star three, why? Why only three? What could we have done, what could we have done better? Because then you can copy and do more of what works and eradicate, eradicate what, what, what does show up over time. You should, you should be able to be raising your success rate by doing the things that are working because sometimes why they selected you is surprising. You assume it's because of the quality of your product or something or the technical superiority. And they may say, well yeah, we didn't think that was particularly much better than the competition.
Speaker 1:20:34What we really liked was the way you did x, y, z. Again, we, we've said this a few times during this episode that for sales managers and sales directors, uh, listening to us today, maybe that's a point to in sales meetings, absolutely. To openly encouraged members of the team to talk about why they want it or why they lost it. There's some learning in there. Either way. We don't want people being defensive around the table when you need them to be open and honest and share that stuff and it's about how the culture, I think that you're creative learning around that sorts of thing on the, on the, you know, we never lose because we learned enough that, you know, if we lose that we must learn because I think also what we sometimes do when we win in many organizations is we pop the champagne cork.
Speaker 1:21:20We don't know why. Sometimes I think it's really important to kind of refine our reflecting on whether you win or whether you lose reflecting on everything you do is a really important task and a lot of businesses miss it out and it's, you learn a great deal from that and sitting back and reflecting on how that sales meeting, when, what went well, what didn't go well, weighted down and reflect on what you did each time. So the moral of this story is that if you lose, don't lose the learning. Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Always. I can remember sitting in front of a very large company in the uk. Uh, we came second. What's a five, so better than better than coming fifth out of five, but we came second and I spent an hour with the chief, the person who was leading the bind decision, very painful hour to find out that our proposal was very complicated versus the people they select it.
Speaker 1:22:12We also want a piece of business in the same month from another large company and put the two proposals side by side on the desk. And you could see one was very clear, one was a little bit over engineered and complicated. We confuse the customer. They selected us. So we just, that made all the proposals logged, the one, that one. So you learn, learn from success, learn from failure. So that was one point. Oh, because he did say right in the beginning that this was not rocket science. And then halfway through he told us we needed a geiger counter. Just, just, just thought I'd mentioned that I was speaking to a lot of friends in America who uses the expression, it's not rocket science quite a lot. And uh, and he said, I'm going to have to stop saying that. I said, why is that? And he said, I'm visiting nasa as a client.
Speaker 1:23:04So if it is rocket science, it is rocket science. So jacket jacqueline, you have been listening to the uh, how do I hit my sales target episode from these sales chat show as ever Mr. Graham jones fell jessen and simon hazel been wishing you. Good luck. Good selling. And please visit [inaudible] dot com. There is a huge library now of valuable free recordings like this one. So particularly as we said right at the star. Next one listened to, probably have your, uh, sales is just shoot you. Scrub your sales targets. A very lively debate to is vital, sort of good luck and good selling fakes.
Speaker 2:23:51You have been listening to an episode of the sales chat show to stream or download a host of further free episodes that will power your sales success. Please visit sales chat show.com. Thank you very much for listening to this episode and from everyone here at the sales chat show, we'd like to wish you good luck and good selling.