4 Steps for Improved Quota Attainment Performance
Every sales organization has room to improve; always look for ways to level up the skill set across your entire team. With this end in mind, I’ve put together the final four value selling steps to help sales reps advance their efforts. Set the bar high, then reach even higher to boost productivity and enhance performance.
1. GET COMFORTABLE BEING WRONG
Too many sales professionals wait until their pitch is rock solid before having the confidence to start client outreach. No one is perfect and even the most tenured rep will continue to tweak and refine their messaging throughout customer engagements. Starting out, you must take the first step before being 100% ready. It will be messy and scary and far from polished but if you keep that simple script in mind and approach the conversation with genuine interest you will gracefully dance towards success. Plus, there is a benefit for marketing and enablement in this scenario as well; fresh eyes and ears find points of confusion. Getting critique from new hires — and not what they liked or didn’t like, but what resonated within the message - will strike a chord with your prospects and customers as well. This is the best kind of feedback.
2. GET THEM CURIOUS
Time is a precious thing. While we often say that there are no stupid questions, you may find yourself repeating the answer over and over and over again during onboarding interactions. Curiosity wins. When reps are eager to understand they will continue to ask questions, sometimes endlessly, and they will ask them five different ways. Celebrate the behavior. Because if they act this way during onboarding, they are going to be even more inquisitive with clients. I’ve found customers respond well to genuine curiosity, more so than the most polished of pitches. Put your energy into helping reps get out in front of customers because the sooner they try, the sooner they give feedback, ask more questions, and exponentially improve. You will never have all the answers, but keep the conversation and the desire to learn front and center.
3. PRACTICE WITH FEEDBACK
Effective coaching is hugely valuable for new hires. But this isn’t about having repositories of content for them to navigate; instead, it’s about having them pitch within a safe environment where losing an opportunity isn’t a consequence. It’s a place for them to get timely and meaningful observations about their delivery. I’ll share an unpopular opinion here: sales managers aren’t the best coaches. That’s okay…they probably are amazing managers and leaders, which is why you hired them in the first place. But coaching and managing are not the same things. Sales managers generally don’t have the time or the patience to coach (they tend to backseat drive). Oddly, sometimes the best coaches weren’t the most successful reps. However, they were probably the most observant. What I’ve learned is that great coaches pay attention. This is the art of feedback. People who can watch without judgment and give neutral observations are the very best coaches. Consider marketing, product management, and support roles; if these folks are willing to engage with sales you might be surprised how insightful their feedback can be! This nuance is one of the most important gaps for sales enablement to address.
4. SPEED OF SUCCESS IS EVERYTHING
Salespeople need to win. Most are action-oriented with a “short focused” attention span. That means you have roughly six weeks to capture a new hire’s energy before they settle into “meets expectation’’ vs the ‘‘exceeds’’ milestone that you hired them to hit. Your goal – the number one thing you focus on – is to bulldoze absolutely everything that gets in the way of a rep being able to sell. Give them a ready resource to navigate processes quickly, or to kindly repeat (132 times if needed) where to find that one document or be available to review an email draft they need another set of eyes on before hitting “send”. Answer anything you possibly can without a hint of annoyance. Responsiveness at this stage will launch a rep into productivity faster than a spiff. As an aside, during these interactions, you will also gain a grateful member of the team.
HONE YOUR APPROACH. SEE YOUR TEAM SHINE.
Finding good people is a hard-fought battle right now. You need to make the most of every hire and every minute, from getting them out in front of customers faster to arming them with DecisionLink’s ValueCloud® platform. Exceed your revenue targets by selling value at every stage of the buyer journey. Your new sales reps will thank you. And you’ll have a faster bottom-line lift to show for it. Find out more and schedule a demo by visiting us at decisionlink.com/valuecloud.
Anne Deming is the Vice President of Enablement at DecisionLink. She has spent the last 15+ years in software sales with responsibilities ranging from account management and has managed special projects for CEOs, sales enablement, and sales engineering. Learning from the experience of winning and losing in each quota-carrying role, Anne develops training that truly matches the job reality and empowers entire sales organizations to level up for success.