Were You Unable To Achieve Your Last Quarter Sales Targets?

Leveraging the optimism and energies at the beginning of a new quarter

Numerous sales related blogs publish articles during the last two weeks of each quarter on what sales reps can do to achieve their individual quarterly sales targets. But now that the quarter is over, sales reps are either euphoric or relieved since the sales target was delivered or are disappointed and unhappy that sales target were not achieved.

If you are part of the latter group, let me share some ideas on what you can do at the start of each quarter so you have a better chance to be part of the achievers group from now on.

1) Take inventory of your failures or successes in achieving your quarterly sales target – It's essential to always review after the fact. Investigate what was successful and what worked that you tried. Maybe that new technique or methodology you tried helped you generate a new lead for future development or you were able to deliver the sales target because of it. Also, look through your past quarter's activities, analyze these activities for reasons why they did or didn't work. Next, take time to reflect at the beginning of each quarter and try to identify what went wrong so you don't repeat the same mistakes again this upcoming quarter. It's essential to pull back and reflect. Be critical and tough on yourself, but most of all be honest with yourself about what you did well, not so well, and what you could have done better this past quarter.

2) Be willing to try something new – Don’t just start the quarter doing the exact same activitie(s) that you did at the beginning of the previous quarter, this is especially true if you did not achieve your sales target. Perhaps it's time to try something new since what you were doing up to now did not produce the results you were expecting. Doesn't that make practical sense? How about preparing more thoroughly before going into a customer call by writing down objectives and questions you want answered. How about being more curious and look for new ideas by questioning or observing your colleagues who are consistently more successful than you are. How about becoming a subject matter expert by devoting additional time in the next quarter to increase your product knowledge, research the market and even the competition to see if there is missed opportunity you can capitalize on. This list can go on and on, but don't be afraid to try something new this upcoming quarter to make you a better sales rep even though it would mean venturing outside your comfort zone and require additional commitment and hard work.

3) Create a realistic activities plan for the upcoming quarter then discuss them with your sales manager – This plan should not simply be adding a bunch of numbers into an Excel spreadsheet or filling in the company sales forecast template in ten minutes, but really focusing on customer needs and customer activities that will make a difference this upcoming quarter. First, create the plan of what you believe will enable you to achieve your new quarter sales targets. Next, take this plan and proactively go to your sales manager to discuss these ideas. Have a through discussion and take suggestions positively from your sales manager. Remember it's always good to have another person to talk with, react to your plans, and to bounce ideas off of. You and your manager are a team with different responsibilities, but the ultimate end goal is to achieve the same results - achieve your quarterly sales forecast.

4) Front load activities to the beginning of the new quarter when energy levels are at their highest – Remember the phrase “Out with the old and in with the new”? Usually at the start of anything new, energy levels and enthusiasm are at their highest levels. Think of how you felt when first start a new relationship, move into a new home, or driving a new car with that new car smell? At the start of the quarter, you're optimism is at the highest point. So use this positive energy to break through whatever is holding you back. Have a positive change in mindset and take advantage of this unique opportunity by getting more done at the beginning of the quarter.

Go ahead and try one or all of these points listed above. What have you got to lose? Perhaps it will springboard you to an even higher level so your sales target achievement will be accelerated and completed.

Do you what you need to change or will you always maintain the status quo. Remember, only you have the power inside of yourself to make these changes happen, BUT ONLY IF YOU REALLY WANT IT TO HAPPEN.

Good luck selling next quarter!