We would all like to have a stellar sales month every month. You sell above your quota, and your earnings grow beyond what you expected, allowing you to invest more in your business and in yourself. Unfortunately, that’s not what life or business is like.
Some months, you’ll have excellent sales. Other months, you might feel like you’re floundering. That’s the nature of the market, but you can learn skills to help you weather those bad sales months. More importantly, you can pick up a few tips and tricks to turn around a bad sales month. Here are our suggestions:
Business is always in flux. It can make it exciting, but also frustrating. Even with your finger on the pulse of market trends and decades of experience in the industry, you can still be caught off guard. So the first tip to turn around a bad sales month is not to be too hard on yourself. It happens to everyone, and it doesn’t mean that you’re a failure or that your sales will only go downhill from here. It’s simply a natural occurrence in the world of sales.
Maybe the problem isn’t your product or service, but rather your sales goals. It might be that your goals were too lofty for your market or for the time of year in which you tried to achieve them. Maybe there was a shortage that you weren’t expecting or a world event that impacted the market. Take a look at your sales plan and reassess. Now that you know a little better what you’re dealing with, what can you do to meet your goals next month?
Likely, you’re not in this alone. If you work with a sales team, this is a good time to get together for a meeting and make a plan. Try to avoid placing blame or lingering too long on mistakes or failures. Instead, come up with a strategy for how things can be better next month. If the market has changed, what can you do to keep up with it? If your team has changed, what can you do to get yourselves back on track? When everyone is on the same page, they’ll work much more effectively.
Research shows that 41% of a sales representative’s work day is spent not actually selling products but rather dealing with manual tasks. The less time you spend selling, the less you’re going to be able to actually close on a sale. Look at those tasks, like scheduling meetings or administrative tasks. Can any of them be delegated? If so, consider delegating and freeing up some time so you can do what you do best.
When you have a discouraging month, it’s important to give yourself credit for those little wins. If you close on a quick deal or you get a compliment on your sales approach, celebrate that. You dedicate a lot of effort into this work, and it’s always nice for that to be acknowledged. When you take your small wins, you can use those as fuel to stay motivated. You can even use them to continue to hone your skills when the market seems frustratingly dry.
Sometimes it’s a rough month for the industry as a whole, and there’s very little you can do to change that. Sometimes, however, you might wonder if your approach is the problem. Consider asking a supervisor or a sales coach to evaluate you. They can take a look at your presentation or listen in on your sales calls, or even participate in sales meetings with you.
Though they will have an observing role while you work, they can give you useful feedback afterwards. This is invaluable information from someone who has more experience with success in the field. Work it into your sales approach and watch as your numbers rise.
The most important thing is not to let your bad sales month get you down. It can be easy to fall into despair and blame yourself. But in order to stay positive and upbeat for those sales conversations, you need to feel good about what you’re doing. So let the bad sales month roll off your shoulders. Remind yourself that bad sales months will come and go, that they’re only temporary.
Then, just keep trying. Come into work the next day ready to make the calls, to present your product, and to get back out there.