Categories Articles, Sales and Marketing

There is no worse feeling for a Sales VP realizing he’s not going to hit his number this quarter. Your stomach drops, your face flushes and your palms get sweaty. You’ve gone though the numbers a hundred times and….there’s just no hope.

You’re going to come up short.

However, before you wave the white flag, there are some things you can do. The following options (which are part of our new FREE eBook on the topic of hitting your number) shouldn’t be routinely relied on, but they can certainly help in a pinch.

  1. Run a closed-lost campaign. Many opportunities close-lost not because they are intrinsically a bad fit, but because some factor — timing, budget approval or market conditions — prevents them. This means that there is a chance you can get them to come around if something has changed. If you’re just out of reach of your goal, go through some of the opportunities that you almost converted and try again,

  2. Hit your network. Does somebody owe you a favor? Do you have a personal connection to one of the opportunities in your pipeline? Look closely to find a way to leverage your network to help you push a stalling deal past the finish line.

  3. Cut deals. You certainly don’t want to be too quick to slash your prices or make price concessions, but in a pinch, this tactic can help you hit a number that would otherwise be out of reach. Don’t rely on this tactic too much, but don’t count it out either

  4. Run to Marketing. Ideally, Marketing should already be doing everything it can to help you hit your number. And yet… There is a chance that Marketing has a few tricks up its sleeve that can help you quickly salvage a bad quarter. Maybe they can use lead scoring to help you identify leads that are likely to be high-quality, deal-ready opportunities. Or maybe they have a campaign or two in their back pocket that are known to have short sales cycles and high conversion rates.

  5. Tell your CEO. No matter what you do, you should also tell your CEO about the issue you identified. It is much better to say something like, “I crunched the numbers and it looks like we’re going to be a little short this quarter for reasons x, y, and z. I’m currently exploring ways to make up the difference,” than it is to say, “We didn’t hit our number last quarter. I know! I’m as surprised as you!”

Of course, it is much better to find out as early as possible that you’ll likely be short. Download our new 4-step eBook to learn how you can tell (on any day of the selling period) whether you’re going to hit your number.

Mike Baker
Mike Baker is the Content Strategy Manager at InsightSquared, where he helps distribute original eBooks, articles and guides about data-driven sales and marketing. He has a BA in English and Journalism from Oberlin College.
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