Everyone goes through sales slumps. If you haven’t yet, you’re either too new to the profession . . . . or you just haven’t been doing it long enough.
We’ve got some sharp sales reps here at XANT, so I thought I’d talk to them about what they do to get out of their personal pipeline woes.
- Separate the real opportunities from the fluff: “When I hit a slow period, sometimes I’ll throw some stuff overboard and just start over. When your pipeline sucks, it means you’re wasting time chasing stuff you can’t really close. Focus on generating better deals instead of chasing garbage.” — R.J. Tracy
- Focus on “touch” quality, in addition to quantity: “Our software [the XANT Lead Response Management Suite] has built-in safeguards to make sure we do enough follow-up, but let’s be honest, not all follow-up activity is created equal. A call is a call, as far as your numbers are concerned, but being ready and engaged when you call is another story. The prospect knows when you don’t care.” —Dave Boardman
- Get an easy win or two to rebuild momentum: “Sales is so psychological. When you’re at the bottom of the leaderboard for a month, it becomes this total mental drain. Now you’re not only NOT closing, you’re hurting your chances to do it even more. I’ve found if I can get a couple of quick, easy closes, even if they’re relatively small opportunities, it gets me back into the flow.” —Erik Chapman
- Treat your leads like gold. Follow-up to new inquiries faster, with more relevance: “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a hold of someone who was surfing a competitors Web site just after they requested that we contact them. Because we follow-up immediately on all of our Web inquiries [see the XANT ResponsePop Inbound dialer], we have a lot of live conversations with people while they’re still in the search process, and I feel like it allows us to influence the conversations for our closers.” —David “Davie” Warren
- Reevaluate how well your technique aligns with how the customer actually buys: “I remember one deal early in my time here where I sent the prospect literally every piece of collateral we had, yet he still kept asking for more information. Turns out the main decision maker was attached at the hip to his IT people. Here I was, this “newbie” sales rep trying to ‘Wow!’ them, and a five minute conversation with Thomas [Purdy, XANT’s Director of Product Development] moved the deal forward more than I did in a week.” —Steven Foster
- Track your losses as hard as your wins: “There’s almost always a reason a rep loses a string of deals, a pattern behind it. If I see a rep struggling, I’ll go back into their last 4-6 opportunities, and work with them to piece together the process.” —Danny Gardner, XANT Director of Sales
- The most obvious answer, take a needed break: “Taking a week off to recharge is obviously ideal, but it’s not like you’re closing anything while you’re gone. Sometimes taking a random Thursday off to go do something you like is just as good. Sometimes it’s 20 minutes to make a doughnut run, or whatever, just something to get untracked.” —Ben Richardsr
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