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  • Writer's pictureSkip Miller

Smart Sales Goals – 3 Quick Things NOT To Do

At the beginning of the year, most of you vow to get healthy, try new things and set new sales goals. Good intentions, but will you get your desired results? So, instead of trying something new and different, here are three things you should not do to start your year off and really make a difference in your sales.

1) Don’t think like a salesperson

Great salespeople think like a buyer.  Most C-Level executives (we call Above the Line buyers – ATL) have a few initiatives they have committed to their boss for the coming year.

New products and projects?New goals and objectives?

What are they? Do you know? Make sure your prospecting emails and phone messages to ATL prospects talk about what is top of mind for them… their first half 2017 objectives (we call Trains) and the gaps they see in being successful. Oh, and get numbers. They need a ton of help, or this is really important are not quantified reasons. 

A 20% improvement or gaining an additional $300,000 are numbers that put real context around your solution.  You have to get numbers. Why? Because numbers are what ATL prospects are talking about all the time. They are not necessarily thinking about what your solution will do, but rather what their outcome, their overall goal is, and what quantified part your solution can play in achieving that outcome.

2) Don’t focus on the deal

When walking sales floors, we hear sales team discussions about “the deal”.

“I expect it to close this Friday.”“All I need to do is this final demo, then I’ll get it closed.”“This sale will happen by the end of the month.”

Really?  How do you know?  What is the buyer’s motivation?  What results are they expecting from this change they are making. (That would be buying your stuff). Can you get the buyer’s words on what outcomes they are expecting? The more you are aligned with their outcomes, the more you will be seen as part of their team; which is a great place to be.

For your top 2 deals this quarter, you should know the 2-3 initiatives (Trains) your customer is working on and what your solution is going to do for them.  If not, you are pushing the deal.  Pulling with the customer to help them to their objectives is always a better way.

3) Don’t be single focused

Way too often, we hear of “the reason” the buyer is going to buy the solution being offered. This is hunting for one Train or initiative. Way too often, the prospect has numerous “balls in the air”, and your sales solution could impact those other Trains as well. When you get a reason from the prospect that they would select your solution, don’t be afraid to ask:

“Really, so how does that impact the rest of the company?”“So, if you buy this from us, what other projects might this affect?”“Down the road, let’s say 6 months, what will change and what effect will that have on the other plans you are working on?”

You can call it Land and Expand, Upsell, or Multiple Reason Selling.  Doesn’t matter. 

If you’re selling to a single reason, you’re:

- Missing out on additional opportunitiesSelling too low in the organization

- Commoditizing yourself

So why would you want to do that?


It doesn’t matter how you frame it.  If you stop doing the three things we just covered, or if you start doing these things…

Thinking Like a BuyerFocusing on the ATL OutcomesHunting for Multiple Trains

… the better your Q1 and new year will be.



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