It’s the bottom of the 7th and you’re trailing

Your team has just taken the field after another inning with no hits. You have 2 more chances at bat to change the score from being behind 5 to 3. Your focus is currently on being defensive with throwing more strikes than hits and making more outs than errors. But, you also have to get some hits in when you’re up to bat. What can you do to get more hits? That is the question.

OutfielderThis is the same question salespeople need to ask themselves when they are in the last two months of the year and they are 25% away of reaching their annual quota. You cannot have another year when you don’t make quota. At this point, with the current sales pipeline, you will fall short by $67,000 in revenue. What can you do to change the outcome of the year and make your quota?

Have you ever been in this situation? It may be too late to make a big impact on reaching the goal. As Steven Covey says, “You cannot cram for a harvest.” The farmer decides how big of a crop they want in the Spring when they plant. If you could just go back in time to the Spring time, what would you do different?

That is the question of this current situation. Your newly focused approach on productive activities that support the goal, versus the distractions, can be implemented now for the future, which includes this year and next. It starts with identifying what you can control. What factors can you control? Let’s try to list a few.

Start and End times. Can you control what time you start your day? Maybe begin an hour earlier to get some of those administrative tasks completed, so they don’t take you away from selling time in the day when your prospects are available. Or stay at work an hour longer.

Time Management. How about your efficiency during the day? Are you making a goal-focused to-do list and sticking to what is urgent and important? This demonstration of commitment by following through on prospect promises will increase the perception of value and generate greater respect.

Progress Focused. Are you giving the prospect’s closes to making a purchasing decision (or taking the next step in the sales process) the most attention, no matter how big the sale? Instead of putting more attention on the big sales at the expense of the smaller ones that have a shorter sales cycle.

New versus Existing. How much time are you spending talking to people you don’t know? When we start to measure the time you spend talking to prospects, you will discover your time spent on new versus existing starts to decrease, and after you close a few existing prospects, your pipeline dries up with no new ones waiting. The best way to close more sales is to open more conversations.

ABL – Always Be Learning. When was the last time we learned a new sales technique or tried something new? Are you starting to sound like a traditional salesperson and not recognizing when the market changes and prospects evolve, while you get left behind? Sales skill development is a destination never reached.

If there are two months left in the year (16% of the year) and you are 25% from reaching your goal, you still have a chance. Anything is possible. The best way to avoid this crunch is to focus on activities you can control that support the desired outcome. And here is the secret. Do it every day. Have a monthly goal and stop thinking about a year. If you tell me you could sell more if you had more time, you are not controlling what you trade your time for. Your life is made up of what you trade your time for. Make a better deal. Focus on what you can control and you will see a difference in your results.