"I'm in a sales slump and don't know what to do to get out of it. What action steps can I take to change the situation I'm in?"
Sales slumps are never fun. A bad one can shake your foundations to the core, to the point where you fear that your lifestyle is in danger as the bills pile up with every missed quota.
Here's the good news: Every top sales rep has had a sales slump at some time in their career. Which means, you CAN overcome this.
Your biggest challenge will be to take accountability and to have the commitment to overcome your situation. If the painful feeling of a sales slump outweighs your resistance to change and accountability, do these three things to help pull yourself out of the sales slump:
1) Take Inventory:
Take an honest look at your current pipeline.
Are you calling the same old leads, over and over again? You know the kind I'm talking about... the leads that will take your call because you have a "good rapport" with them, yet they never seem to buy?
I've seen sales people dig themselves into the ground because their fear of rejection was so high, they refused to prospect for fresh new opportunities, and instead, kept calling the same old leads that were willing to shoot the breeze with them, but never buy.
Top sales people know that priority number one is to always have a fresh stream of leads coming in. It's your responsibility to make sure that is happening regardless of what your company is doing. Sure, I feel marketing should be providing sales reps with a constant flow of leads, however, with todays prospecting tools, a sales person should never have to sit and wait for the marketing department to do their job.
Top sales people don't sit and wait. They MAKE. THINGS. HAPPEN.
The only thing sales people hate more than cold calling, is role-playing, yet it is the single fastest way I know for a salesperson to see what they are doing wrong on the phone and fix it.
Of course, you will need someone with experience who can correct your mistakes (having two struggling sales people critique each other in a role-playing session is absolutely pointless). So make sure you have a top sales rep or even the owner of your company, if possible, sit in and give you advice. It will be uncomfortable at first, but you will see the pay-off in short order.
3) Effort: Skills + Output = Sales Results.
If you have a fresh stream of leads and have sharpened your sales skills, the last remaining part to the sales equation is your effort.
Time management plays a huge part in whether or not a sales person succeeds or fails. Are you spending your mornings "prospecting" and looking for who to call? If so, you're doing it wrong! Why would you spend time doing non-sales call activities during the only time you have to make sales calls? Before you walk in the door, you should already have your first 20 to 40 sales calls lined up and ready to go.
Your "output" (effort) needs to be kicked up a notch or two in order to get out of that slump, once you fix your sales techniques. Chances are, what got you in a slump was bad sales techniques and/or poor effort. You're going to have to push yourself to get out of it. But you can do this!
One final thing... Remember those times when everything you touched seemed to close? All of a sudden, deals seemed to be coming in from everywhere, with almost little effort? Almost always, that was a result of all the hard work you were doing 3 or 4 months ago. All those calls you made when you were trying to get yourself out of that sales slump. If you don't want to go back to slumpville, make sure you continue to work just as hard when you're on top, as you did to dig yourself out from the bottom and you won't have to worry about ever falling into a sales slump ever again.
Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company
that helps Sales Managers, VP of Sales and Small Business Owners fine-tune their inside sales teams skills so they can perform at a higher level when selling by phone.