So you want to hit your quota? Yeah, me too. So do I. And we’re not alone. We’re all constantly asking ourselves this question. But have you ever stopped to think about how you could hit it? (That is, besides guessing or wishing.) There are ways to go about this whole quota thing — ways that can push you toward hitting that number we all love so much.
How am I going to hit my number?
Whether you’re in the beginning stages of your career or a grizzled sales veteran, it’s easy to get stuck on this question. After all, hitting quota can take up 50% to 100% of most sales reps’ time. So we try to figure out ways to beat it—more networking, more cold calling…the list goes on. And the harsher reality? Most of those tactics don’t ultimately give us the results we need to reach our number.
This post will cover why quotas are necessary, how you can hit your quota consistently, and what happens if you don’t.
Why Sales Quotas Exist
When you’re a sales professional, your job is to meet a certain quota each quarter. This quota aims to help you reach your target earnings for the year.
The importance of having a sales quota keeps you accountable and motivates you to work harder. It also helps you manage your time better to focus on getting the job done without sacrificing other priorities in life.
If you’re not meeting your quota, there’s something wrong with either your approach or your strategy. Either way, it’s essential to figure out what’s holding you back from improving upon it.
5 Proven Ways To Beat Your Quota (or Any Sales Goal)
#1: Set Sustainable, Realistic Goals and Timelines
You should set a pace that is sustainable over time. With this plan, you will be able to perform at a certain level every month consistently. It doesn’t make sense to have some stellar months and some crappy months just sometimes to exceed your quota.
That said, there are times when you may have a bad month, which is OK. The key is, to be honest with yourself and figure out why you had such a bad month. You can then use this knowledge to make adjustments for the next month.
Set goals that are achievable. Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to reach an unachievable target. If you want to hit $500K in annual revenue, set your goal at $750K instead, divide the number by two, and set your goal at $250K per year instead of $500K per year. If you want to go from 5 to 10 salespeople, then put your goal at 7-8 salespeople instead of 10 salespeople (if ten salespeople were your original goal).
Break up those goals into smaller, more manageable pieces so you can celebrate each small victory along the way toward meeting those more meaningful goals and not get discouraged when things don’t go according to plan.
#2: Prioritize Lead Quality Over Quantity
It’s easy to be tempted into believing that simply having more leads will increase your chances of success. We should always aim to maximize the quality of the leads we generate.
The following are three ways you can get better at generating high-quality sales leads:
- Use an automated lead generation system.
- Optimize your website for mobile and social media.
- Recognize the importance of lead nurturing and follow up with your prospects.
#3: Keep Leads Warm!
There’s nothing worse than a lead that doesn’t want to meet with you. It can be downright depressing.
But here’s the good news: The majority of your leads will be willing to take a meeting with an account executive right away. So what do you do with all those other leads who don’t want to talk?
Don’t give up on them!
Lead follow-up can be highly time-consuming, but it’s necessary to keep leads warm until they are ready to meet with an account executive. Here are some ways you can keep warm leads from turning cold:
- Use non-callable messaging software like Slack, Whatsapp, and others, so that your team is always in the loop when new, unqualified leads come into the system.
- Send out weekly emails summarizing what has happened recently in your pipeline, including new opportunities and deals closed by other teams in the company. These emails should also include links to blog posts or articles about industry trends that may be relevant to your target market and calls to action for any upcoming events that might be of interest to these contacts.
#4: Keep Up with Industry News and Trends
You can keep in touch with old leads by sharing industry news. This strategy works because it helps you identify potential customers and makes your company seem more knowledgeable and trustworthy.
You can also use industry news to create a sense of urgency around your product or service. For example, if a new regulation affects your customers, you can send an email about it with a discount code for people who sign up for new services in the next few days.
Another way to use industry news is by creating content around it. If there’s an event, write a blog post about it that includes some tips and insights from industry leaders. This helps you build relationships with influencers in the space while spreading awareness about your company.
#5: Be the Best Communicator You Can Be
In sales, you must effectively communicate with both your team and your leads.
The best salespeople are good at communicating and building relationships with prospects and their customers. And if you’re a manager or executive, you should be looking for these skills in candidates when hiring new team members.
Here are some of the best ways to improve your communication skills:
- Practice active listening. Active listening means more than just nodding your head while your prospect talks; it means paying attention, understanding, and responding accordingly. When you practice active listening, you show that you care about what they have to say, making them feel more comfortable working with you.
- Be honest in all situations. Honesty goes a long way, whether you speak with clients or coworkers. If you don’t know something or can’t answer a question (even if it seems simple), say so immediately — don’t make up an answer and hope no one notices! It will only lead to more questions later on when people realize that what they were told isn’t true at all.
- Be positive. Whenever you speak with your team, keep it upbeat. Use words like “we” and “us” instead of “you” or “they.” This helps build team spirit and gives everyone the sense that they’re in this together.
- Have an open-door policy. Be open to feedback from your employees — whether it be about their performance or about something that could be improved within the company (or even outside of it). While some people may be reluctant to give negative feedback in person, they may be more willing to do so anonymously online through an app like SurveyMonkey or Typeform. If someone wants to share something negative but doesn’t feel comfortable doing so face-to-face, let them know that all comments are welcome and appreciated so long as they remain constructive rather than diminishing.