Hitting target, or quota, is at the forefront of everyone’s mind in sales. You are only as good as your previous quarter, and in high-growth environments, you need to keep hitting target to stay on the team.
One of the most effective ways to hit target is to identify and act on sales opportunities quickly. Spotting and acting on opportunities are two different parts of the process; the role of a skilled sales agent is to connect the two, quickly.
So let’s look at how to identify opportunities first. Once you’ve spotted a viable opportunity, we can help you act on it quickly. Speed is essential in sales. Companies are the first to act are often successful, unless a competitor jumps in too and beats you on price or another factor.
How to spot an opportunity
#1: Know your market
Every market and vertical is different. Having a clear understanding of your market - knowing the companies in your territory/country or sector(s) - helps you see when in the year there are going to be more opportunities to act on. Be ready for the busy months. Spend time building relationships in the run up to those times, so that you are ready before any competitors.
#2: Watch out for growth opportunities
Growth opportunities or sales triggers can include some of the following account or potential client actions:
- Advertising that they are recruiting new staff;
- Opening a new office;
- New/more funding or revenue (or both);
- Management, leadership or ownership changes;
- New account/client wins.
Depending on what you are selling, a client or prospect announcing something along those lines on social media, through a press release, a company blog, or when talking to connections at networking events, represents a potential trigger moment for sales professionals. Whenever possible, act quickly.
#3: Changing buyer or market behaviour
Knowing your market means anticipating changes. Acting before a client expects you to act. Maybe you know they might struggle to maintain growth into the next quarter. If you have a solution, or even can refer them to another company that can help, you are demonstrating that you’re a trusted partner, not simply someone trying to sell something else.
Monitor the supply chain and customers/markets they rely on. No matter how the market is evolving, make sure you’ve got a relevant solution to offer in a timely fashion, showing that you are responsive and understanding of the needs a client/prospect has.
Once you’ve identified an opportunity, you need to act on it.
Acting on sales opportunities
Here are a few ways you can do this quickly:
#1: Use the pattern of 3
Give your prospect 3 benefits of your solution.
Use a bullet point or numbered list to convey these messages.
Why? Because we are hard-wired to seek patterns, and three is the quickest most recognisable pattern we want to see.
#2: Convey the message in a story
Use similarities in every story. Someone in a similar job role, or similar size company with issues that your prospect is having. Find pain points and problems that your potential customer can relate to and understand. Mentioning companies that your customer will know - especially if they’re in the same sector or region - is another great way to act on an opportunity quickly.
#3: Setup an instant demo
Don’t wait for a meeting next week or the week after. If you’ve got a prospect interested, they won’t want to wait either, unless they’re too busy. Whenever possible, jump on a quick instant online demo. Whether they’re out and about or in the office, you can walk them through a demo wherever they are.
This way, you can qualify them as a lead quicker. Ask questions. Find out if they’re a viable client, and if they are, then book a longer call, meeting or demo in the calendar. Never waste an opportunity to convert or qualify a lead.
When you get into a habit of constantly spotting and acting on opportunities, you will put your sales pipeline in a stronger position. Hitting sales target will be less of a challenge, so ensuring that everyone wins.