Sales folks, the first quarter of the year is almost over! March is the perfect time to review your sales progress so you can course correct and still achieve your sales goals. Here are the three important steps to follow:
1. Determine what’s not working.
By now some deals should have closed. Others may be moving forward because of actions you took that will ultimately lead to more business. And then there are prospects that aren’t moving forward at all.
Some of your accounts may have stalled. Did something happen so that a once-promising piece of business is now fizzling out?
Which deals have stopped and are now off the table? Did you lose a deal to a competitor?
It doesn’t matter if the change that caused a deal to be delayed or fizzle out completely seems beyond your control. You must come up with plan that will help you reach your goals. You’ve got work to do.
2. Chart a new path with the right prospects.
You’ve got to replace the business you’ve lost or business that you can’t close with different prospects. This is not simply coming up with names of new prospects. Instead, you must first determine what caused a once-viable prospect to become a dead end.
Was the account really a good prospect? Was the account different in some way than the business you normally are successful at selling? After all, past performance is a good predictor of future performance. You might have to redefine who is an ideal prospect to replace the business that is lost or stalled.
Did a competitor change to address a previous weakness of theirs and win the business in place of you? What can you do about that now? Get a plan together today to prevent future losses this year.
3. Avoid assumptions and take action.
Assumptions will get you into trouble. Often salespeople think they’re going to get new business and they haven’t talked with their prospects to confirm that it will happen. Speak directly with the decision-makers at your stalled business.
Here’s what you should include in your sales call: Explain to your prospect that you had planned on getting their new business this year. Then ask, “Is there anything that you know of that is preventing this from happening?” Your expectation is either going to be disputed or confirmed at this time. If your prospect agrees that it’s only a matter of time before the deal closes, you can ask, “What do we need to do to make it happen?”
March is the perfect time to assess your sales progress because you still have time to make changes. But you first need to know what to change.