Getting out of any slump, whether you are a baseball player or a sales professional, usually means getting back to basics. This is exacting what I am prescribing for working out of a sales slump. Strip away all the nonsense and rework your sales process from the basics up.
1. Establish a productive routine. Falling out of a productive rhythm is probably the most common root of a sales slump. The most common patterns I see are related to giving up healthy habits to give you more “work” time. For instance:
- Getting up earlier (depriving yourself of proper rest)
- Skipping work-outs (depriving yourself of proper exercise)
- Eating at the desk (depriving yourself of proper nutrition)
- Eliminating reading or training (depriving yourself of knowledge)
All of these activities sharpen your mind, improve your health, and make your “working” time more productive.
2. List specific targets and goals. Working without a plan is like not working. As the famous quote from Will Rogers goes, “When you don’t know where you are going, any road will do.”
This is the nemesis of many a failed sales process. You need to have clear goals and objectives. These benchmarks help you to quickly identify slumps and processes that simple aren’t working. Hopefully, prompting you to make a change.
3. Stop prospecting for a week. This is where I get the crazy mail-“Troy, stop prospecting for a week?” Yes. That is what I am proposing.
If you are like most sales people you always have this restless optimism that the next prospect or lead will be the “big” close. It is what makes us sales people. Unfortunately, it can be counter productive. The statistics tell us that deals close (typically) with long-term effort and multiple contacts. Therefore, if we are endlessly prospecting we are neglecting the work that brings results-working the pipeline.
Force yourself to do the work for one week and neglect the lust for new blood.
4. Set daily benchmarks. Like your list of goals, daily benchmarks will give quick feedback. These daily check-ups will allow you to gauge your progress and make incremental adjustments.
5. Build a playbook. This is one of my favorite ways to make an impact on my sales process. Most sales people are wedded to sales scripts. Unfortunately, sales are less like a movie (i.e., script) and more like a football game. Movies are written from beginning to end in a very controlled fashion. A football game evolves based on the other team’s strategy and actions. For that reason, teams construct playbooks that are based on behaviors and tactics the other team may throw at you. These plays can be mixed and matched to optimize your results-winning.
Sound like a sales day? Right, I think so too. So, create a playbook full of common questions and answers, common problems and solutions, and common objections and counters.
6. Close or push out “big opportunities.” Nothing is more frustrating than continually starting your sales days staring at the same “big” opportunities. You need to have a methodical way of push deals through the pipeline, even dead deals.
I don’t really believe in killing leads. My suggestion is setting a process that pushes deals into lead nurturing after they hit a “nonresponsive” threshold-number of calls, no contacts, or some similar measurable step.
7. Stop whining. For heaven’s sakes stop whining and do something!
You are the only one that can change your situation or success. Take responsibility and win more.