General Business

What You Need to Know to Hit and Exceed Your Sales Quota

A simple change of perspective can go a long way.

Did you know that in 2018, 57% of sales teams missed their quotas? It’s shocking!

When salespeople miss hitting their quota, it is never because there’s a lack of business opportunity. It is because they do not know how to identify and close a real opportunity.

There are many reasons why salespeople and sometimes sales managers believe quotas are missed. Some will say, “Our prices are too high; we can’t compete.” Others will say, “We don’t have the right brochures or our website is not up to date,” to justify why they are not closing business.

In some cases, the salesperson believes everyone is a prospect. This leads to too many unqualified presentations, proposals and quotes to the wrong people. As a result, the sales pipeline is filled and requires more follow-up time.

Another reason salespeople miss their quotas is due to not having an objective, measurable criteria for each stage of the pipeline. This leads to a subjective form of measuring a cold-to-warm-to-hot prospect.

I coached a salesperson who had 306 hot prospects, but he did not hit his quota for several years. After we established the right criteria for his prospect list, we whittled the list down to 27 hot prospects. What happened? He hit his quota for the first time in years.

For a salesperson to change the outcome, it is necessary to change his or her perspective. When salespeople take on a new perspective, it is followed by a different activity and new results.

Many years ago, when I was new to sales, I was hired by a company and told not to prospect against XYZ company because it did exactly what we do.

After I conducted my research, I developed a strategy to take business away from this competitor. Within six months, I closed 10 new accounts. Each of the new closed sales was taken from company XYZ.

When my youngest son was about five years old, he would not go to his bedroom at night because of his belief or perspective that there was a bear hiding under his bed.

Over a period of weeks, I would go upstairs at night with him and, together, we would look under the bed. We went through this exercise a couple of dozen times and eventually he came to the new perspective that a bear was not in his room. He then had no difficulty going up to his room at night.

This is a perfect example of when our perspective changes, the activity changes. When the activity changes, the results change. When salespeople want to change their results, they first must change their perspective and it’s the sales manager’s job to coach, demonstrate and not just tell. Or, bring in a professional that understands how to influence changes in perspective, activity and results.

About the Author

Alfred Turrisi is founder of Long Valley-based Turrisi & Associates, a sales consulting firm. Turrisi has created a training program titled “How to be a Black Belt at Life & Career,” which concentrates on the message of contributing to the greater good.

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