While it might feel like the stars need to perfectly align for an AE or SDR to consistently hit their goal, there are strategies and habits that can set them up for success. TOPO estimates 83.4% of SDRs fail to consistently hit quota each month meaning roughly 8/10 sales reps fail to meet the expectations set for them. We need to change that, and I’m not talking about reducing the quota! Take a page out of the top performing sales reps’ book and make these habits part of your daily routine. Quota attainment will become a regular occurrence in no time.
1. When they make a commitment, they stick to it
There’s nothing worse than making a promise that you can’t keep. Your buyers are looking for a commitment and you need to maintain their trust. If you can’t meet deadlines that you set yourself, how are they supposed to trust you when their credibility is on the line too? With that said, make sure you’re agreeing upon attainable deadlines. Next time you feel the urge to say “I’ll get that to you by the end of the day,” pause for a moment and ask yourself if you can actually make the deadline. If you can’t, don’t commit.
2. Obsessed with optimization
As you go through your day, don’t just run on auto-pilot. Look for opportunities to improve and optimize the sales process. Sales is an industry of funnels and conversion rates. Even the smallest optimizations at key parts of the sales process can have a profound effect on the business. Any time you find yourself doing the same task over and over on a daily basis, remember that even 30 second optimizations can make a significant difference at scale.
3. Open to trying new things
While it may seem trivial, it’s worth stating that you have to be open to new things. Too often I see great sales tools and strategy fail simply because the end-users, the sales reps, don’t accept it into their workflow. When a manager or peer introduces you to something new, give it a shot, don’t try to sabotage or reject the initiatives.
4. Sell with solutions not features
The best sales reps know that they are selling solutions to problems, not a set of features. As you give your demo or run your qualification call, try to frame everything in a context that the prospect can relate to. Understand the pains of the prospect and position what you’re selling. If you struggle with this, challenge your product marketing team to assist you – this is what they specialize in!
5. Committed to buyers success, not purchase
Believe it or not, it’s not all about getting the signature on the order form. As an account executive, focus on making the prospect successful in their business, get their problems solve, answer their questions, and the order form will come naturally. Remember, when someone buys from you, they’re putting their professional reputation on the line by selecting your product or service, don’t let them down.
6. Establish themselves as a thought leader
We all want to buy from experts. Think about things you’ve bought; cars, houses, computers. For each of these purchases, you evaluated the market, looked for who really knew their stuff and then reached out. With today’s review sites, most of the buyer journey is complete before you even knew the prospect wants to buy! As a sales rep, you can position yourself as an expert in your category. Spend an hour blogging each week. Share relevant articles on LinkedIn or Twitter. Make an effort to show you know what you’re talking about and your prospects will begin to turn to you as the trusted expert in your space.
7. Set checkpoint goals
In addition to the monthly or quarterly quotas, create smaller checkpoint goals. This will help you achieve your overall quota and alert you if you’re not on pace to meet your commitments. Say you have a quota of 10k for a quarter and your average deal size is 1k, set a goal of closing 4 deals per month. If you get to month two and you’ve only closed 2 deals, you know you have a problem on your hands and you need to pick up the pace.
8. Accept training and feedback
The top quota hitting sales rep didn’t get there on her own. Behind success lies hard work, training and feedback. When coworkers or supervisors offer feedback, listen to them. They are trying to help you and chances are they’ve run into a similar situation in the past. It’s easy to brush off feedback, especially when it’s about something you’re not doing right. Accept that you can improve and listen to the feedback you’re given.
Did we miss something? What’s your strategy or tip for hitting your quota? Let us know in the comments below!