Across the country sales professionals have confided in me that they are finding it difficult to achieve their targets. It does not have to be this way! Prior to starting my own business, I served as VP of Sales in four different companies (not all at the same time!). In each of these companies I was able to grow a very successful sales team. In many cases the sales reps in these organizations far exceeded other sales professionals in their industry by more than double if not triple. During that time and in my research since, I have discovered simple steps that allow sales professionals and companies to far exceed their sales targets. In fact, the keys to success in sales are the keys to success in all aspects of your work and life!
Successful sales reps have the same level of training, the same product knowledge and work the same number of hours as everyone else. The differences lie in whether or not they follow these three keys to success:
Successful sales reps have a clear line of sight between their work activities and the achievement of their goals.
Successful sales reps believe they can achieve their numbers.
Successful sales reps are receptive to doing what they need to do in order to achieve their targets; they become the person they need to be in order to achieve their goals.
As managers, the challenge we face in achieving sales targets is that we set goals that are in the best interest of the company, but not necessarily in the best interest of employees. Top performers are engaged in their work. When we engage people their productivity, the bottom line and retention of customers improves. The research is undeniable. Successful sales reps make 50% more sales, contribute 28% more gross profit and have a 50% higher customer retention rate.
By following these simple steps and tweaking the way we work we can easily obtain our desired sales targets. I believe all of us have more than enough talent, knowledge and ability to achieve our numbers. It is disheartening to see companies with great ideas and great products fail because of their inability to sell them. After all, we are all in sales, whether we sell products, services or ideas to customers or to our company. Improving our sales ability will help us achieve a more successful and happy life.
Live your dreams!