Occasionally, even successful salespeople find themselves in a sales slump, where their pipeline isn't working as well as it has in the past, and they are struggling to create or win new business. This can be a difficult time for a salesperson, as they may be uncertain of what to do to improve their sales performance.
However, there are a few steps that can help someone get out of a sales slump and back on track. These include evaluating their current sales processes, researching and understanding the market, understanding customer needs and wants, and improving communication and relationship-building skills. Additionally, it is helpful to stay positive and motivated, and to take time to review successes, so that the salesperson can focus on the future with optimism and enthusiasm.
There may not be an explanation for poor results. Sometimes nothing seems to work, or a salesperson encounters a string of bad luck. There might also be a natural down period after a run of success, and the contrast between the two states makes it feel even worse.
Sales is broken. Before we tackle exactly how to get out of a sales slump, first look at your sales approach. If you use a legacy approach, it is possible that it is no longer as effective as it once was, causing your slump. When this is true, you will need to adopt a modern approach, one that allows you to create greater value for your prospective clients. If you are already practicing a modern sales approach, follow this plan to bust out of a sales slump.
Sales Slump Buster 1: Work on Your Sales Mindset
When things are going well, it’s easy to believe that things will continue to go in that direction. The opposite is also true. One of the defining attributes of a sales slump is that it feels as if it is going to last forever. The most important thing to do when you are in a sales slump is to work on your sales mindset. Nothing continues in one direction forever, not even the worst slump.
Most people have a voice in their head that continuously talks to them. For a lot of people, it is negative, speaking to their fears. That voice is your inner critic. You also have an inner coach, a voice that says, "You've got this." You want to listen to the voice that tells you will succeed over time, and that you are going to be okay.
When listening to these voices, remember that there are two kinds of fears. The first type prevents you from acting. The second type compels you to act. To break a sales slump, it’s important to act.
Remove any content you consume that is negative, including the news, politics, or anything else that feeds your fears, even if they have nothing to do with sales. Replace that negative content by with positive, optimistic books and programs. Remember why you love sales in the first place.
Sales Slump Buster 2: Take Care of Your Health
A sales slump will be made worse if you don't take care of yourself. You brain lives in your body, and if it isn't healthy, it's easy to feel bad and negative. There are a couple very easy ways to improve your overall outlook.
First and most important is to sleep at least seven hours each night. Second, make sure you hydrate, as your body is mostly water. Eat a healthy diet, and get some exercise, even if it is only 20 minutes of cardio or weights.
When you don't feel good, you can spend too much time in a negative and unresourceful state. The more you take care of yourself, the better you will feel. This will help you shift your focus and be positive, optimistic, and future-oriented. It will also help with the sales motivation you need for what comes next.
Sales Slump Buster 3: Get Back to Work
Even though it feels like nothing is going right, after working on your mindset, the second most important thing for you to do is to get back to doing sales work. One of the challenges salespeople have when they experience a slump is that it feels like nothing is working. The reason it feels this way is because the first thing you must do to get out of a sales slump is cold outreach, and that means making cold calls. This will help you fill your pipeline.
To beat a slump, you need to build an outreach strategy. Cold calling is a low-yield activity when it comes to conversations and first meetings, and a high-yield activity when it comes to net new revenue. It's critical to remember that this combination will put you back on track.
Don't focus on the outcome of the activity. Instead, do the work without any expectation of success or failure. Just get back to the sales activity and pick up the phone.
Sales Slump Buster 4: Get a Coach
If you work for a company where your sales managers coach their team and a sales coaching system is available, ask for coaching. Most of the time, a slump is just a slump, and you will need to work through it. But you will feel better and improve your sales results by talking to someone who will listen to you and help you recognize anything you might need to do or something you need to change. Mostly, it's helpful to talk to someone who has sold and understands where you are, having experienced a sales winter themselves.
It can be difficult to talk about a sales slump with people who have never experienced one. Take advantage of sales professionals who can give you some perspective. Just talking with someone can make you feel more positive.
Sales Slump Buster 5: Know That Spring Is Inevitable
The dark cold of winter can seem like it will go on forever. In every human endeavor, even sales, there is winter. No matter how bad a winter might be, the ice eventually melts away, ushering in springtime. Things start opening up, and what wasn't working starts to produce the better sales results you need. You will return to being a high-performing salesperson closing deals, reaching your sales goals, and continuing to be successful.
Sales slumps can be difficult to get through and can seem like they will last forever. However, with the right attitude, self-care, and a few helpful tips, you can get through one and come out stronger and more resilient on the other side. Taking the time to work on your mindset, get back to work, get a coach, and remember that spring is inevitable are all great ways to help get through it.