4 Simple Steps to Create Sales Momentum and Focus
What is sales momentum? How do you build and maintain it?
Sales momentum is created as a result of your ability to maintain a certain velocity and consistency in your sales efforts.
Oftentimes, it’s really not about your sales skills, it’s about your persistence and grit. And deals can stall in the pipeline because you simply get busy or just flat out stop following up.
The more persistent, yet respectful, you are in your sales activities the more momentum you’ll gain.
So what can you do? Simply follow these four steps:
1. Create a clear picture of your goal.
What you do now will have an impact through next year. What will your monthly sales have to be each month for the remainder of this year? How do you avoid playing the year like a gambler who doubles down on December using all of your chips in a desperate Hail Mary play to make up for lost time?
Once you know what each month has to look like - the total budget - you need to consider what kind of sales are reasonable to expect for each month to hit that number. No doubt, each month you will need some big deals and small deals; a mix of renewals, upsells, and new business in just the right combination.
Some sales have longer sales cycles than others, so it’s key to hit a balanced portfolio of deals each month. Your prospecting must reflect that same balanced portfolio.
Does it? Are the targets you are prospecting to right now enabling or preventing you from reaching your ideal month?
2. Disregard distractions.
For most people fear stops them from even trying because they’re uncomfortable not knowing what’s going to happen. Preparation can make you confident, while fear keeps you focused.
Everything outside that focus which doesn’t bring you closer to the goal, is a distraction. Distractions, not fear, should be avoided.
Become motivated by your fear of failure to pay more attention to the most important details and minimal attention to anything else. See the path from your starting point to your goal.
Develop a laser focus. Once you commit yourself to a big, scary goal you will feel like you are living your life as if you’re on a mission. As life comes at you fast, you will be focused enough to fight your way through everything—all those things blocking your path toward success.
BONUS: Tune in to the 2-minute video below for a few more tips about how to create sales momentum.
3. Think about velocity.
There is always an average sales cycle. Look back on the last 10, 20, or 100 sales that you have closed. How long was it between the first meeting and signed contract in your hand and/or first check in your pocket? That is your average.
If your average sales cycle is, say, six months—but an on-fire sale is one month, you can conclude there is room to improve your sales velocity. Why isn’t every sale taking only four weeks? That would be your normal sales cycle if you only pursued sales that were ready to buy now.
A common situation and the usual root cause of long sales cycles is a lack of prospecting. Most sellers simply take a shot in the dark, rather than consider their long range sales cycle goals in everything they do. They only prospect to generate just enough opportunities, rather than continue prospecting until they can finally find a sale that can be closed sooner.
It’s essential to start recognizing sales opportunities that are not likely to close quickly at an earlier point in the sales process in order to shorten the sales cycle and stop wasting time.
Take a hard look at the way you are qualifying. What are you looking for apart from the normal qualifications? For example:
- Is this buyer and their company a likely target?
- Can they afford to buy my solution?
- Do they even have a need for what I sell?
Being qualified is all of the above plus “Can my offering connect with what they are doing now or plan to do next?”
If yes, then your prospect should easily be able to cobble together the internal support they need in order to drive a decision and a budget. If not, they may tell you your sale is relevant, but they will end up putting it on the back burner which is what happens to most sales and a primary reason sales cycles end up becoming too long.
4. Keep optimizing your approach.
Your goal should be to keep improving in everything you do, every time you do it. When we do something for the first time, we do it differently than we do when repeating it for the 100th time.
Consider how you open a meeting, present your company’s offering, and interview the customer to get the right information. Are you doing it by rote?
If so, not only is it not necessarily an improved version of what you did last year, but it’s also possible that you’re not doing it as effectively as you think.
By constantly adjusting and truly focusing on your behavior that has probably become routine by now, you will be able to make optimizations and modifications to become more efficient and ultimately, more successful.
Remember, stay focused on the right things to build your sales momentum.
*Originally published in August 2015, updated in March 2019.
About Steve Bookbinder
Steve Bookbinder is the CEO and sales expert at DMTraining. He has delivered more than 5,000 workshops and speeches to clients all over the world and has trained, coached, and managed more than 50,000 salespeople and managers. Steve continuously refreshes his training content to reflect his latest first-hand observations of salespeople across industries and regions. Through him, participants in his workshops and coaching sessions learn the best practices of today’s most successful sellers and managers across industries. Steve understands that sales is a competitive game. To outperform competitors and our own personal best results, we need to out-prospect, out-qualify, out-present and out-negotiate everyone else, not merely know how to sell. Through his specialty programs in Pipeline Management, Personal Marketing, Great First Meetings, 2nd-level Questioning, Sales Negotiating, and Sales Coaching, Steve trains sales teams to master the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face in today’s world… and keep improving results year over year.