There is a secret formula to consistently exceed your sales goals, but as you might expect, it is not easy. The good news is that most people could do it, if they chose to.
Set a high goal and truly commit to it. It starts with the goals themselves. What are you willing to commit to? Are you ready to take the path to committed execution and drop your excuses? If not…stop reading. If so…let us go through the steps to success. Take a look at your assigned goal and set your target. Do not go for 100%. Stretch yourself to 110% or 120%. That way if you fall short, you will still hit or exceed your goal.
Focus on improving your real win-rate. Most people and organizations have an approximate 25% win-rate, or less. That means a 75% LOSE rate. We all know the game of not reporting all your sales opportunities to reduce management’s expectations and make your win-rate look higher. I am talking about focusing on your real win-rate and lose-rate. Once you make a sales presentation or deliver a proposal, how many do you win or lose? If you raise that even 5%, you will see tremendous revenue growth.
Disqualify bad sales opportunities faster. First—start letting go of some sales opportunities! I know this sounds extreme…but if you only have a 25% win-rate you are chasing too much unqualified business. This can be painful, but it is important to your success. “When in doubt, throw it out” works very well…do not hang onto things that have a low probability of being won. Work smarter and start disqualifying business.
Do not count on others to fill you sales funnel. The next step is critical…you have to fill the funnel. Do not rely on Marketing for leads—this must become a personal mission. Marketing may give you some qualified leads, but if you are going to exceed your goal, you need to take charge of filling your funnel. Start talking to contacts and engage people. Ask for referrals. Target people within your accounts to share ideas. The more you do this, the more opportunity you will create. To be safe, your funnel should have no less than 4x the value of your monthly or quarterly goal. So, gear up and let us hit the sales gym. Pick up the phone, start sending emails, ask for and follow up on referrals. The world can change for you in as little as one month if you follow through.
Evaluate your revenue pipeline realistically. Focus on the reality of what is in your pipeline. Be honest with yourself. Do not count on winning opportunities that have a probability of less than 70%. Evaluate each opportunity as clinically as you can. Use whatever sales intelligence tools you have. Saying you will do something and doing it are two different things, and the biggest key to making your words become a reality is planning. If there are opportunities you are committing to, be sure you invest the time to plan how you will win it.
To be a high performer, year after year: Set higher goals for your target. Commit to it and plan. Focus on improving your win-rate. Evaluate and disqualify opportunities faster. Be honest with yourself. Do not count on Marketing to fill your pipeline. Use your sales tools to realistically evaluate your pipeline monthly.
Top performers will be top performers—because they are willing to do what others are not—and enjoy what others cannot. The secret formula works, but it is not magic. Transparency, commitment, planning, and discipline are the secret to your success.
Personal Challenge: Review your performance to date and evaluate your win-rate. Are you chasing unqualified business? Struggling to fill the funnel with new opportunities? Trying to close business that contains obstacles you could have prevented? Narrow down the root cause of why your win-rate is not where you want it to be and pick two things that you want to improve and get started.