FOCUSED Persistence

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I’ve been on the road meeting with clients in the field and connecting with my team in person about how we can adapt to the current macroeconomic climate facing tech sales.

As sales professionals, especially in the world of tech – our mindset is our most powerful asset because in one given day we can be fighting a hurricane of emotions, for example:

  • You enjoy your latte and smile because you expect a forecasted deal to come through by the end of the day only to get that ominous email from a client: ‘can we postpone this discussion until The New Year?’
  • You suddenly feel like a ton of bricks hit you…you breathe in deep and chug another sip of coffee…Time for Objection Handling
  • You spend hours trying to re-engage the client and also scrambling to backfill your ‘pipeline’ so you aren’t on the ‘naughty list’

I experienced all of these emotions and more the past few days – and to be honest I felt like I was on the Loch Ness Monster roller coaster for the twentieth time.

And while I love to work from home, it was beneficial to see I wasn’t alone – my teammates were struggling with similar issues – from panic about deals, to powering through prospecting blocks – the emotion of high and lows hits you like a hurricane wall.

We are all feeling the pressure of Q4 as we navigate news of tech layoffs. As we discussed in my previous post, the best thing we can do when we feel the hurricane of sales cloud our forecast is to ‘mind the gap.’

We talk about forecasting a lot in sales…working in cloud sales I can’t help but compare a bad month, lost deal, etc…to dark clouds that threaten to destroy the beautiful forecast I expected. At this point we might panic – we’re doomed! But in truth this is an opportunity to ‘mind the gap’

  • Focus on what you need to do in order to protect yourself from the ‘storm surge’:
    • Get an umbrella – if you lose a deal, then you need to make sure you have a backup plan in place – reach out to existing or new customers and work to back fill the pipeline. Speak with your manager and team on creative ways you can get quick wins that help your customer’s achieve success and ensure you have enough ‘coverage’ (your umbrella) to hit your target number.
    • While most sales professionals understand that you need 3 x pipe generation to ensure you have coverage to hit your target – it isn’t always easy, especially now when many companies are tightening their budgets…so aim for 3x pipe, but also…
  • Focus on ensuring you are prepped for the ‘hurricane’ of uncertainty – but eliminating uncertainty. 99% of deals are lost because we didn’t take time in discovery to make sure we had a comprehensive picture of how our client purchases technology. In this macroeconomic environment it is essential to get the DM involved from the start – even if there is pushback. Anticipate red flags in advance so you can address those concerns before they wreck your deal.
    • Pro tip – a good way to game plan is creating a ‘war room’ on big bets with your team (including your manager) – where you look for weaknesses in the forecast and close date and work together to combat any potential hold ups.
  • Control your controlables – mind the gap – aware of the ‘noise’ about uncertainty, but combat it with doing what you can control. You can dial 80 prospects a week…You can focus on building the best presentation for your client and truly listening to their needs…you can go the extra mile in supporting your client and showing you care. This may not win the deal every time, but this consistency and focus will help you get to the finish line
  • Be mindful in persistence: I’m a problem solver and if something isn’t working I try to figure out why…however, when I get panicked about my number I tend to go full on work harder and be so persistent that I’ll have to win the second half of this tied game…While persistence and hard work is essential – you need to be mindful about your actions. If sending 100 emails a day isn’t getting response rates – then don’t keep sending the same email. You instead need to diagnose what is not working and work smarter with persistence to improve and find success.

Hope these insights are helpful. I’ve leaned into them the past week.

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