Having trouble finding or closing new customers or accounts? If so, you’re not alone. It can happen to the best sales teams in the world. It’s the natural order of things. You’ll have good years and bad years. Good months and bad months. Even week-to-week might fluctuate.
Is it a performance issue? Perhaps. But sometimes it’s just a market cycle, or a lag in your sales pipeline, or some other mysterious reason. Whatever it is, it’s 100% in your control whether or not you break free from the slump. And that’s GOOD news.
Operative word: Control. Some things are out of your control, while other things are in your control. It’s time to get on top of the variables that are in your control.
So without further ado, here are the five things you must do to get back in control, fill your pipeline, and start closing deals starting this week.
First Things First
The most important thing to understand is that while you can’t directly control the outcome, you can control the input, which heavily influences the outcome. Let me break this down in simple terms, using an analogy. I can’t control how someone treats me, but if I treat 100 out of 100 people with kindness, I can almost guarantee that most of them will be kind to me in return. The outcome is swayed by my input!
What does this look like in sales? Well, if my sales team focuses on picking up the phones, connecting with prospects and having quality conversations on a consistent basis (all input activities), then our pipeline will take care of itself (outcome). You can also think of this in terms of sales inertia or sales momentum. Newton’s law tells us that an object at rest stays at rest, while an object in motion stays in motion. With this in mind, let’s jump right into the list to find out how to get in motion.
1. Double down on outreach / cold calling. If you’re struggling to fill your pipeline, you need to increase your call volume. If your team is currently making 1,000 calls per day, challenge them to make 5,000 calls daily. Go hard for one month, and think of this as a sprint to the finish line. This is the input you need to fill your pipeline. Once your pipeline is full again, you can let off the gas some. Or, better yet, find a way to make your sprint pace your daily running pace.
Of course, if you’re unable to increase call volume, then you should strongly consider outsourcing your lead generation to the professionals. For instance, C-Level Partners can fill your pipeline with qualified sales appointments on demand. So get in touch!
2. Work your contacts. Chances are you have a sales CRM that’s loaded with warm prospects you’ve let fall through the cracks over the months or years. It’s time to dust them off and get in touch. Call everyone who has ever been interested in your offering. Also call on past clients who you’ve served over the years. Spend a full day or two just calling people who know your name, as these are far more likely to convert than new cold calls.
3. Mindset shift. A sales slump can be scary and emotionally-charged. So it’s important not to make any rash decisions during this time. Instead, focus on getting back the elite-level mindset that got you so far in the first place. Wake up each day and practice gratitude (yes, set your mind on the things you’re grateful for!). Watch motivational videos. Recite positive affirmations. Pray to God. Look in the mirror and pump yourself up. So much of sales and success boils down to mindset. A positive mindset attracts new customers and clients. It’s a simple fact of life.
4. Get to the gym! In the same vein, get your blood flowing on a consistent basis. As you exercise, your mind becomes clear, you begin to look better and feel better, and studies show that people who workout are more successful on average compared to those who don’t. As you notice incremental changes to your physique, you’ll become aware of other things (like big whale deals!) in life that are in your control if you’re willing to put in the time and effort. I simply cannot overstate the importance of physical fitness in sales and business.
5. Continue to educate yourself. Read books and take courses on sales, sales leadership, persuasion, and business in general. Yes, even when you’re in a slump! In fact, it’s especially important to sharpen your skills when you’re in a slump. That way you keep the cobwebs cleared and come back stronger than ever. Commit to reading for 30 minutes every day, no matter what your sales numbers are looking like. If you do this over the course of months and years, I can almost guarantee you’ll be acquiring new customers or clients at an all-time high.
Thankfully, you don’t have to reconsider your life choices or business choices. Sales is fun, exciting, and incredibly lucrative. You just have to re-align yourself, and your sales team, with the activities that matter most.
The important thing is that you focus your efforts on cash-generating activities. That’s why first on this list is “double down on cold calling.” However, the other points on the list are just as important. Do each of these things for one month straight and report back. I can almost guarantee that you’ll be back on track with a full pipeline and new customers or clients.
Whatever you do, don’t get stuck spinning your wheels doing busy work that doesn’t drive revenue. I often see sales leaders reconfiguring their CRMs, tweaking their sales process, or trying to come up with new commission structures when sales are down. Don’t do this! Instead, get back to basics and start priming that pump again!
Remember, when you focus on the input, the outcome will take care of itself.
Until next time…