We see data that suggests salespeople believe they can’t reach their quota as soon as they find out what it is. A recent survey suggests that the average quota attainment is 27 percent. While this number may not be accurate for salespeople outside of the survey, we can use this data point as a basis for our discussion here.
To reach your quota in 2024, you will need to do something different. Some of what we will explore here is subversive. You will need to reverse what you are told to do. A few of these strategies can be difficult to accomplish, while others require nothing more than self-discipline. By following this path, you will improve your ability to join the 27 percent of salespeople who reach their quotas.
Prioritize Sales Effectiveness
The most important priority for salespeople now and in the future is to improve their effectiveness. This means you must increase your win rate. The fastest and the easiest way to improve your win rate is to adopt and master a modern sales methodology. First, using an effective sales methodology will create value for your client and help create a preference to buy from you.
To reach your quota, you must win more of the opportunities you create. While effectiveness is important, you will need to make a significant change, which we will discuss later.
Prioritize Sales Training and Development
In addition to adopting a modern sales approach, you will need to train and improve your skills in prospecting, discovery, resolving concerns, building consensus, gaining commitments, negotiation, and other areas. You can find several training programs, including mine, that will help you improve your results. Choose the one that seems best suited to your needs.
If you have a sales manager, ask them to coach you and give you feedback to help you recognize what you need to do better. It's difficult to recognize what you need to change, and coaching can speed your development and improve your effectiveness.
Build a Pipeline That You Can Win
Most salespeople are being told to create a pipeline of 300 percent or 400 percent over their quota. The horrible idea that selling is a numbers game has always been incorrect. The proof is that more opportunities do nothing to improve your sales results. Only winning improves sales results. You are better off creating an opportunity pipeline of companies likely to buy from you.
You want to pursue a few carefully selected clients, even if you must provide your sales manager with a bunch of opportunities that show you have the required coverage. This means you must work like the devil to win the deals that you believe you can win.
Spend 90 Minutes Prospecting Every Day
To build your pipeline, prospect for 90 minutes every day, or longer if you need more meetings. This discipline will do much to ensure your pipeline has the integrity that will allow you to reach your goals.
Remember, sales is not a numbers game. It is an effectiveness game. In the book, Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition, you will find a prospecting sequence that will allow you to manage 60 dream clients, the most desirable clients in your territory. The sooner you start pursuing these clients, the sooner you create the opportunities you need.
If you need help booking meetings, this strategy and the accompanying script will help you secure a first meeting, even if you need some help to build the insights you need to create value in the first meeting.
Do the Reading and the Research
You improve your odds of reaching your quota by being a professional. That means you do the reading and research that will give you an advantage over your competitors who are unwilling to do the work of a professional.
Read your prospective client’s website, any news about their company, and any public reports. You will also benefit from researching the client’s industry and their common challenges and problems. This work will position you to succeed in your first meetings.
The Need to Be One-Up
The concept we call being One-Up means you have the experience and knowledge your client is missing. This allows you to use information disparity to create value for your prospective clients in the sales conversation. It also means you lead your client, instead of having your client lead you.
Be the most consultative salesperson your clients have ever experienced. By being One-Up, you can create value beyond the average salesperson, meaning you have a sustainable strategic advantage in a contest. It also means you can use the sales conversation to differentiate yourself from your competitors, especially those who have no awareness of how much B2B buying and selling have changed.
You can find more on being One-Up in Elite Sales Strategies: A Guide to Being One-Up, Creating Value, and Becoming Truly Consultative. Much of what is here is found in this book.
How to Reach Your Quota in 2024
It may not be easy to reach your quota, but by prioritizing sales effectiveness, training, and your development, you can stay focused on winning deals. By building a pipeline of opportunities you can win, you improve your chances even more, as you are not spending your time with people who can’t or won’t be able to buy from you.
The disciplines of prospecting for 90 each day and doing the reading and research of a consultative salesperson, can define your approach and your ability to provide the counsel, advice, and recommendations your clients value.
If you are reading this now, you want to put this plan into motion as soon as possible. Doing the work to position you for success in reaching your quota will require time. Follow this plan and do the good work your clients need from you, stack up your wins, boost your win rate, and attain your quota in 2024.