I was talking with my colleague at a get together the other night about the feeling we have when we hit quota. We started talking about monthly quotas, quarterly quotas and yearly quotas and what people outside of sales really thought about sales reps and quotas. We had a discussion with sales people, marketing people and operational people about what it feels like hitting quota as a sales rep.
People outside of sales think about sales people like this (at least this is my impression):
When in fact sales people with a quota of any kind (monthly, quarterly, annually) feel like this most of the time:
The amount of time for sales people to feel happy or sad about their month is really just a snippet in time. If you are on a monthly quota then it is the last day of the month in which you have literally one day to celebrate or be mad with yourself.
Since it is the last day of the month, you are likley working typically really, really hard and then even if you do hit quota or exceed quota that day you will only really have that day to be happy or proud of yourself. Because just like that it is tomorrow and then it is a brand new, fresh month where you start back at zero. You are back at square one and have to do it all over again. 🙂
I am going to talk about monthly quotas just to make this easier for people outside of sales to understand how it feels to always be thinking about hitting your monthly numbers.
1st day of the month: we are mostly just getting our act together. Following up on the old opps that didn’t close for some reason, trying to see what is still awake or hopefully revive the things that didn’t work out with some type of value add. You are really usually doing administrative tasks to get yourself and your act together for this new month that you just started (again). You also might feel a little tired because well yesterday was the last day of the month and you were at work really late working PST companies and then you went out to have a few glasses of vino to celebrate. You think, that was fun and remember the number you hit but quickly realize you are back at square one and have a lot of work and prospecting to do to work your way back up to where you were last month.
That weekend: Time to rest. Relax, chillax and then get back to work with a fresh mind on Monday.
The month goes on and you may start to win some deals….you slowly but surely trek your way back up towards your quota and you might even hit quota early in the month. If you are like me I rarely think about the deals that I brought in (whatever time of the month it is). The reason for this is because I know that I have more work to do. I know that I have more opportunities to help people so it is time to move on from that prospect to another one that you can help.
I never really bask in a good deal. I might be proud for about 10 minutes of the sales process that I had and the fact that I brought on a really great customer but then it is quickly time to move on and get on to the next one.
Hopefully you are gaining something here from my process. I will lay it out for you here in case you aren’t seeing my point.
To be good at hitting and exceeding a monthly quota you need to always be thinking about the next deal or the next prospect you can help.
The moment you step off the gas is the moment you set yourself up for destruction. When you are doing good you should keep that up by riding that wave. Don’t put the brakes on and start doing less work just because you hit quota or know that you are going to hit quota because your pipeline is full. That is the last thing that you should do. When you are doing well as a sales rep it is important to keep your activity numbers up because your confidence will shine through in your work and you will likely be able to bring in more deals because of that confidence.
This goes the opposite way too…if you are doing poorly and you know it, your prospects will feel it in you. Fake it in those cases. Remind yourself of what a good sales person you are and why you are doing what you are doing. When you don’t feel confident in your abilities and depressed about your performance it will come off in your meetings and calls with prospects. You will sound desperate and you will do things in the sales process that you would never do if you were doing well.
So in the good months ride the wave to the top.
In the bad moments and bad months fake it until you get back up there and remind yourself how great you are.
Always remember that you have a fresh start coming up next month and this month won’t matter much next month.