There are many reasons why sales targets are not achieved, but it can be very frustrating as a business owner to have it happen time and time again. Any strategies around business growth and greater ROI are pointless when sales are providing inconsistent results. So how can you take back control?
Aside from ensuring you have a realistic target, one solution is to prompt your sales team to be proactive, rather than reactive, when it comes to their selling process.
A solid sales pipeline will certainly assist with this, but there also needs to be a focus on how to bring on new customers as well as increasing the share of wallet for exisiting clients.
1. Order takers rather than order makers?
A lot of the time sales people will get stuck in the cycle of just fulfilling the same orders over and over again for their clients. But reps should always be exploring all possible opportunities within existing customers. By understanding their needs, and identifying other challenges they face, there might be a chance to assist even further – which results in growth for your business without having to start from scratch onboarding a new client.
So encourage your team to always be thinking about how they can expand on what you offer a client, rather than passively taking orders. A customer will always be happy to hear that you have considered their pain points and have come up with an idea of how they can overcome them.
2. Account management and not hunting?
How can your business realistically grow if all your sales people are spending a majority of their time on managing their already established accounts?
Working proactively is about thinking about the next hunt – finding a new lead to turn into a customer. A sales rep cannot expect to achieve target without bringing on fresh clients, and this comes down to proactively seeking out opportunities rather than only reacting to leads that come to them.
3. Waiting for results rather than planning for them?
It’s all very well to create goals and sales targets, but with no plan around what actually needs to happen to reach them, there is little chance you will actually achieve them.
A lot of the time sales reps are just reacting to what happens around them – a lead will come in and there is already a planned path as to what will happen with that opportunity, as well as a natural instinct to close the deal as quickly as possible.
Whereas working proactively ahead of time, with a set plan for incoming queries, and the ability to prepare a set course to achieve sales targets, you can take control. This reduces the risk of falling into the traps that ‘reaction’ often set up – forgetting to follow best practices, an overall feeling of feeling flustered, and like you have to play ‘catch up’.
From hiring the best reps, to motivating from the front and back, our free guide 'How to lead your sales team to success' is a must-read for sales managers and CEOs.