It's still possible to hit your sales quota during a slump. But doing so will require some extra thought and dedicated effort. Sales slumps happen to everyone; it's how reps respond that determines whether they can still make goal. As Laura Tentas points out in an article for HubSpot, "Experiencing a sales slump can make you question your ability, or worse, your entire career…But remember — there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Even the most seasoned sales pros have gone through sales slumps — and usually come out of them even stronger than before." She highlights several ways that sellers can get through slow times, including:
1.) Shift your focus
2.) Review numbers and revisit leads
3.) Look at case studies and success stories
4.) Accept (and know it will end)
How to hit your sales quota when things are slow
First, take a moment to shift your focus. Yes, the fear of missing quota is real, and it's even scarier when it's looming during a sales slump. But panicking won't help you hit your goal. Instead, work on your mindset first. "Facing rejection after rejection is enough to shake anyone’s confidence, even the most seasoned salespeople," she writes. "But sales is all about your mindset, and if you’re reaching out from a place of desperation, your prospects will sense it."
Focusing on your mindset, and using simple techniques, like breath work, have a big impact on one's stress level–and performance. Check out SalesFuel's advice on stress management, including posts on how to implement meditation, recognize signs of burnout and even reach out for help.
Review your numbers and revisit leads
Once you are in a more positive headspace, it's time to take a look at your numbers. With your sales quota in mind, review where you are exactly and where you need to be. As Tentas explains, "To get more context on where you stand compared to your average day or week, review your numbers from the last month or quarter. Are your current actions in line with your typical sales activity? Have you reached out to more or less prospects compared to last month? What was the conversion rate?" Use metrics to answer these questions and get a clearer idea of where you stand and how to hit your sales quota. You might find a time where you overscheduled yourself or didn't hit your usual numbers. Whatever the issue, it's likely you will uncover an area where you can improve–or at least an explanation of why sales have stalled.
Also, she recommends taking a look at leads from the past that didn't pan out. There may be opportunity there as well to revisit, especially if an issue such as timing was involved. Note also if you see a pattern in why these sales didn't close; you may pinpoint an area where you can improve.
Look at case studies and success stories
Once you've uncovered what might have gone wrong, it's time to look at what has gone right in the past. "There’s nothing more motivating than reminding yourself of the success stories that have resulted from your product," she writes. "Similar to reaching out to your customers, taking a look at case studies and customer success stories can provide a boost of motivation. Revisit the different ways your company’s solution has helped customers and take note of anything that customers have said that stands out." If you're worrying over how to hit your sales quota, revisiting past successes can give some much-needed reassurance.
Accept (and know it will end)
Another way to nurture a healthy mindset is to keep reminding yourself that slumps happen. Not every rep experiences nonstop wins, no matter how long they've been in the business or how successful they've been. Sales ebb and flow, and sellers just need to ride the waves as best they can. Don't let rejections keep you down and feel like your quota is out of reach. "Focus on what you can do each day while accepting the bigger picture of an inconsistent amount of deals closed," Tentas advises. "[And] know that your sales slump will end. Nothing lasts forever, including the dreaded slump. Acknowledge that today, this week, or this month, you will close business and get back on track."
What sellers shouldn't do
When you're wondering how to hit your sales quota, one thing not to do is cut corners, like throw out discounts. Instead, implement Tentas' suggestions to give your strategy the boost it needs to pull out of a sales lull. Also, check out our past advice on conquering slumps. Remember, you aren't the only seller to experience a slowdown, but you do have the power to pick up speed again.
Photo by Ben White