In parts 1 and 2 of this trilogy, Change How You Think and Change How You Act, I introduced new ways to think about prospecting and alter your selling process to enjoy and excel at prospecting. This final chapter of How To Love Prospecting is about changing how you feel about prospecting by providing a new perspective on the way you view your daily activities.
As a sales consultant firm specializing in inside sales consulting, we know that how you feel is a major factor in how well you sell. It is important to set up a sales process and sales culture that encourages motivation and achievement every single day. A myriad of factors can lead to a “bad day” which leaves the rep unhappy, unproductive, and ineffective. I find that daily motivation, defined sales process, and clear goals all help to motivate and improve the mental state of prospectors, and improve results. If you have the right sales process, with the right goals, striving to achieve those goals will yield a sense of accomplishment every day. The following sections will address how to set and adjust individual goals as a part of a sales strategy designed to improve morale and performance.
Set Meaningful Goals
Goals are an essential aspect of prospecting and selling, but it is often difficult to set the right goals to actually motivate yourself. Your quota is not a goal, but the byproduct of achieving your goals. It’s easy to get discouraged if your quota seems like a marathon, so make your goals into manageable mile-stones.
By breaking your marathon into miles, you can really attack each mile without focusing on the other 25. On days that you’re discouraged because the finish line is so far away, it is my experience that you are likely to make fewer cold calls, have fewer conversations, and be less convincing in those conversations. If you are discouraged and don’t feel like a selling machine, you have two options:
- Become a great actor, and try to fake it; or
- Find a way to start feeling like a selling machine.
People are expressive. We send and receive millions of non-verbal communications every single day, so no matter how hard you try to mask it, you were designed to project how you feel. You need to feel like a selling machine, to be a selling machine. Prospects respond well to confidence, cheeriness, and people they like. Prospects respond poorly to nonchalance and a lack of confidence, but what’s worse is if they never heard from you at all.
Your daily goal should be more than a certain number of dials or new leads: you should have a goal to achieve your goal. You should feel good about achieving your daily goals, you should feel good about your daily progress, and you should feel good that you don’t have to run the marathon every day.
How To Set Your Goals
Set your daily & weekly goals with your desired result in mind. Make sure you understand your timeline, conversion rates, sales stages, sales process, etc. Use these metrics to work backward from closes, to selling stages, to initial calls. This can be much more complicated, but the below is a basic funnel that shows the process:
With this data backing you, there is no reason that accomplishing your daily goals will not carry you through to your weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals and quotas. Having the confidence that you will achieve your organization’s long term goals by hitting your manageable daily goals will allow you to focus on what’s important, not what’s next.
By focusing on what’s important today, you can manage quota-anxiety better, exude more confidence on the phone, be more successful in your efforts. This focus is only possible if you have confidence in the process and the goals that you set.
Do the math to determine what your goal should be within your organization, but if it doesn’t sit right, make it bigger! The point of setting these goals is to instill confidence in long term success by focusing on short term goals; if you’re not confident, find a way to become confident.
Optimize Your Goals
After you’ve strategically created manageable goals, and spent an adequate amount of time dedicated to them, it’s important to evaluate how well the new process is working. If it is determined that it takes an average of 100 calls per week to hit your assigned quota, some weeks you will be over, some weeks you will be under. If you’re making your goal number of calls and not hitting your number ever week, that might be ok! It may just be a slow mile in a long race.
If a pattern of underperformance emerges, however, you need to reevaluate either the quantity or quality of your calls. You can try setting a higher daily call goal. With some quality sales coaching, you may be able to build an optimized sales process, better sales pitch, more meaningful value proposition, or other helpful tools to increase the quality of your conversations. Ideally, your increased confidence and focus has made you a better selling machine, but there is always room to improve.
This final chapter of How to Love Prospecting has hopefully given you some ideas on how to have a healthier and more productive mindset when it comes to prospecting. We’ve reviewed what a meaningful goal is, how to set those goals so they work for you, and how to optimize them if your short term goals aren’t aligning with your long term goals. If you trust the process, and run one mile at a time, it will drastically change how you feel during down weeks, and help you sell better every week!