3 Steps For A Successful Mid-Year Sales Tune-Up
As a salesperson, in many ways you’re the CEO of your own business. Mid-year is a good time to take stock and assess where you are in your progress to goals as well as how you feel about your performance to date, your motivation and engagement levels, and the efficiency of your operations.
Here are 3 action steps you can take to make sure you’re well positioned for the remainder of the year.
- Check your self-talk: In a survey we conducted with the Sales Management Association, 84% of sales leaders responded that achievement drive — that is, your passion, motivations, sense of mission about accomplishing goals and belief in yourself that you can achieve more — was equal or more important than product knowledge or skills when it comes to succeeding in a sales role.
That inner drive is fueled or weakened by your “self-talk,” the conversations you have with yourself about what you believe you can do. Now’s the time to get real about those conversations: Is your self-talk getting in the way of your success? Even if you’re feeling pretty good about your results so far this year, you can always continue to refine those conversations with yourself to release and expand your achievement drive and push past your existing sales boundaries. Try this five-step process to break through your current levels of self-beliefs.
- Check in with your coach: Another secret to sales success? A great coach. In fact, in addition to the skills and tools you get from sales training, sales coaching plays a critical role in strengthening your sales performance on an ongoing basis. Like star athletes, top salespeople depend on their coaches to bolster their confidence and enable them to realize their full potential. And that pays off: Our research has shown that firms where high-performing salespeople are coached realize 10% higher sales goal achievement than the others.
Effective coaching can help you challenge yourself, uncover and address barriers to your success, maximize your strengths, and get more value out of your customer conversations. So take the initiative to review where you are with your plans, pipeline and deals, and then follow up with your coach on areas where you need support.
- Check your stalled deals: It’s one of the most frustrating aspects of sales: You get so close to closing that deal, everything seems perfectly lined up and then…nothing. It’s not that the customer went to your competitor. It’s not that they lost the budget. And it’s not that the need went away. They just decided not to do anything — indefinitely.
If it seems like your biggest competitor this year has been the status quo, take a moment to review any deals that have stalled out and look at them through a different lens. With each customer, consider: What’s their primary buying motivation? What drives their decisions? What are their reasons for buying (vs. your reasons for selling)? What other facts could you gather to put yourself in a better position to close that sale?
Keep in mind, too, that Behavior Styles often influence how people make decisions and what they’ll need in order to make the commitment. Make sure you understand your own style as well as your customer’s so that you can adapt appropriately and communicate with them in the most optimal way.
It’s hard to believe we’ve entered the 2nd half of the year, but now’s the time to take a thoughtful and objective look back so you can be on the right track for a successful third and fourth quarter—and in a good position heading into the new year.