How to not let a bad sales month drag you and your team down?
The best practice, as you know, is to not let a bad month happen in the first place. But sometimes it happens, whether we like it or not; and in those moments, all we can do is to stand up to it in the right way, so that it doesn’t keep dragging us down in the months to come.
Here’s how to do that.
Back in sales manager pre-school, you were told to be proactive, not reactive. Stick with that. Naturally, when an unexpectedly bad sales month happens, it’s too late to anticipate anything. But you’ve got to maintain the proactive approach when it comes to dealing with the consequences.
If some of your usually well-performing salespeople suddenly have a failure, you find out whether it was an one-time thing or if something bigger’s happening. You get one step ahead by identifying the biggest issues and their causes, and taking precautions to eliminat them in the future. The problems aren’t going to fix themselves and magically disappear, so don’t wait around for a miracle. Instead, get out there and help your sales team get back on track.
Like I said at the beginning: the best defense against a bad sales month is not letting it happen. When a disaster is about to hit, you may not manage to turn it away completely, but there’s a certain amount of preventative maintenance that you, as the boss, have the power and duty to perform.
Whenever you notice a development that’s out of the ordinary (2/3rds of the way through the quarter and the team’s nowhere near quota; changes in customer behavior; etc…), you want to investigate as soon as possible. What may seem like a small issue can end up blowing up your whole sales plan; and things that may seem like larger issues can often be eliminated, if dealt with in a timely manner.
The way you withstand a bad sales period is directly linked to the way your team overcomes it. Keeping a positive attitude even during bad times is one of the most reliable signs of an excellent leader. Show your people that you’re on their side 100% of the time, and the results will come.
If you feel like the morale of your team is suffering under the pressure of a bad sales period, just remind everyone that sales is a living and breathing industry, and that just like we all have our good and bad days, so do sales months come with their ups and downs. With that in mind, make sure everyone steps back up to the plate feeling motivated to have a winning month the next time around.
To sum it up: stay one step ahead of the sales plan, keep an eye on unusual developments and a smile on your face, and you’ll save yourself and your people a whole bunch of stress.