How do you stay motivation at the beginning of the month as a sales rep? It's the end of the quarter and you did great. But, it's a new quarter. Now what?
You were the Top Sales Rep last month? That's great. Unfortunately, the month starts over and the grind begins all over again. This article will help you cope with the monthly reset and how to use the reset to your advantage and continue to close those sales deals.
Every sales rep knows the month’s-end story all too well — the old hero-to-zero zingers as sales goals reset and the next four weeks loom in the calendar. Yes, milestones have been met and accomplishments have been lauded, but now the team is suddenly back to square one.
Fact is, hero-to-zero isn’t a joke that stays funny for very long when you have to go through it month after month. Surviving as a rep isn't just about sales tactics and sales closing techniques. The sales-goal reset can be a crushing downer that undermines good work. For some, it can even lead to performance-threatening burnout.
And so, let’s look at the first-of-the-month blues and how to keep sales morale and performance on track for success — all twelve months, one goal-reset at a time.
Beating ‘Hero-to-Zero’: Strategies to Fight Sales-Goal Burnout
Sales reps can beat the hero-to-zero effect by making a few smart and strategic moves across the month. These are just as important as sales tactics, and they'll give you ways to surge at month’s start, every month of the year.
- Keep a few high-value leads in your pocket. While sandbagging or stuffing channels with sales in anticipation of month’s end isn’t necessarily advisable, you can certainly tuck away a solid lead or two for the next month. Knowing and anticipating a fresh opportunity with a solid set of contacts at the top of the month balances the good energy of the goals you’ve just met with something to allay the fears around the question what comes next?
- Lead with first-of-the-month calls. Instead of gazing at the gap between zero and the new month’s milestones, pick up your phone and pop off first-of-the-month sales calls to those saved leads you’ve tucked away. The sales tactic here, is to get busy and leave aside the inertia that can come with the shift between month’s end and a new start.
- Reengage and re-focus with re-training. “There are two things that have helped restore my energy levels and my enthusiasm, no matter how bleak things are looking,” writes Ian Brodie, in a recent look at sales burnout. “First is learning.” Indeed, training and growing breaks up the narrative — you’re not just a machine grinding goals, you’re also a creative and dynamic part of your team. Staying positive and keeping first-of-the-month blues at bay is easier when you act that part and live that narrative by learning through the process of your milestones, not just slogging from one to the next.
- Pay attention to the numbers but make time for your customers and their narrative. Staying inspired and making progress as a sales rep requires, at times, for you to “focus less on the product and more on the customer and the problems that the product solves for the customer,” according to Accelerate's new e-book on the benefits of training. And customer focus is key to sewing together your sales tactics, month to month. Seeing the big picture makes for a more proactive and positive rep experience than just focusing on goals alone.
- Take care of your mind and body. Finally, remember that part of approach to the start of every month’s goals is to actually stay healthy! “There is nothing more satisfying than absolutely smashing your monthly targets,” said Michael Joseph, head digital strategist at WME, but he added “maintaining a balanced mind and healthy body is crucial in our field, if you want to prevent yourself from burning out. I find it really helpful to practice regular meditation … Take advantage of long weekends and try to get away somewhere with family or friends. Mix it up.”
Managing your month-to-month experience of sales goals — and the inevitable reset that comes with the start of a new month — is about front-loading your experience with positive opportunities.
Sure, you won’t always feel super-charged about beginning a fresh goals cycle. But you’ll feel better about it more often when you incorporate the strategies and advice we’ve just looked at in the list above.
Now, pick up the phone and start that next call!