Missed Your Q1 Sales Goals? Here’s How to Get Back on Track
It’s March, and if your business’ fiscal year starts in January, then you’re already near the end of the first quarter of the year. But what if you haven’t yet met your revenue target for the first fiscal quarter 2022? How do you make up for a less-than-ideal first quarter profit margin and improve sales performance and reach sales goals for the rest of the year?
Fortunately, poor sales performance in the first quarter doesn’t mean that the rest of the year is a foregone conclusion. You can still make up for missed benchmarks and reach your end-of-the-year goals. However, you may need to make some serious changes in your sales strategy to make up for lost profits. Here’s how you can get back on track when your first quarter sales report isn’t where it needs to be.
First, Identify What Went Wrong
Before you can get your sales back on track, you need to identify what went wrong in the first place. You need to figure out why your sales numbers didn’t reach the benchmark by analyzing the numbers in comparison to previous years’ records and best practices. Once you know why, you can figure out the right fix so your second quarter sales improve.
Here are some possible reasons why your first quarter sales didn’t meet the mark and how you can fix them in the next quarter.
You Set Too High of Sales Goals
First, consider if your team simply set too high of goals. Did your goal setting expect much higher growth than in past years? Did you take into account industry trends or world events outside of your control, such as product shortages and shipping delays? In just the first three months of 2022, we’ve seen record inflation, the outbreak of war, and continuing shortages due to the global pandemic. It could be that your goals simply did not account for these outside circumstances.
To determine whether this is the case, try to find out how your competitors performed in the first quarter of 2022. If they faced similar setbacks, then you know there’s an industry-wide problem instead of one specific to your company. In this case, the best solution might be to reassess your goals. It’s okay to readjust your year-end goals as long as you’re still growing your business. Remember, it’s okay if growth is slow as long as it is positive and sustainable.
If you need help setting achievable goals, then read this article on SMART goal-setting at work.
You Didn’t Get Quality Leads
A common issue in sales is a lack of quality leads. Maybe your sales team is contacting more prospects than ever before, but few are responding, let alone converting. If this sounds like your business, then you need to refocus your prospecting strategy towards capturing quality leads.
There are several ways that you can bring in more quality leads, several of which we discuss below. The best thing you can do is spend more time researching and nurturing quality leads instead of contacting as many people as possible. Evaluate your current customer base and consider which of your prospects fits your customer profile. Spend more time getting to know each lead personally. And don’t be afraid to follow-up with quality leads that have gone cold!
Remember to be patient as you focus on quality over quantity. When you spend time nurturing quality leads, your sales numbers may not increase right away. However, you are much more likely to convert happy customers who remain loyal to your business, thus increasing your profits in the long-run. When you focus on quality leads, you are more likely to reach your end-of-the-year sales goals and build sustainable growth.
You Don’t Have a Cohesive Sales Strategy
Do your sales reps all use the same techniques or are they all over the place? Is your team in constant communication with one another about leads or do you keep each other in the dark? Do you know who your top reps are and how they get the job done? You need to implement a cohesive and coordinated team- or company-wide sales strategy in order to meet your sales goals.
If you didn’t design such a strategy at the beginning of the fiscal year, then you need to do it now. Your sales team should all be on the same page in terms of what sales materials, techniques, and platforms they use. If you haven’t already, then identify your top sales performers and build your strategy around them. What techniques do they use to sell? How can you implement those techniques with the rest of your team? Answer these questions and connect with your top performers in order to build a coordinated sales strategy.
After you’ve designed this strategy, you need to make sure every member of your team is on board. Meet with them one-on-one to discuss the strategy, answer any questions, and go over personal struggles and goals. Every member of your sales team is vital for improving sales performance. You may need to meet more frequently with team members who struggle, but make sure everybody is in consistent communication with team leads and fellow members on their progress.
3 Ways to Increase Sales in Second Quarter 2022
Now that you know why your first quarter sales faltered, it’s time to fix your strategy for the next quarter. The 3 methods below are great for increasing sales regardless of the reason why you missed your first quarter benchmark. As such, you should consider implementing them into your overall strategy regardless of your industry.
1. Introduce Account-Based Selling into Your Strategy
Even if your primary issue in the first quarter wasn’t a lack of quality leads, using account-based selling to find leads can only help your sales numbers. Account-based selling involves developing a specific persona for what type of customer you want and targeting your sales efforts to prospects that fit this persona. Account-based selling includes tactics such as hosting webinars, attending industry-specific events, and using personalization in sales and marketing outreach.
By implementing account-based swelling into your sales strategy, you ensure that you’re spending time pursuing quality leads. You also build up your name-brand recognition in the industries that you’re targeting. Overall, 97% of businesses have reported higher ROI with account-based marketing and selling over other strategies. If you’re wasting too much effort pursuing leads that aren’t going anywhere, then it’s time to implement an account-based approach that emphasizes quality over quantity.
2. Master the Art of Cold Calling
Cold calling and emailing is still an effective way of reaching quality leads, as long as you do your proper research beforehand! Inbound leads rock, but your outbound strategy shouldn’t get left in the dust. Nevertheless, you need to implement the right cold calling techniques in order to successfully improve your outbound strategy.
You should use account-based selling whenever you can, even when you cold call. Other great cold contact practices that get responses include:
- Using a personalized subject line in cold emails
- Including urgent words and emotional appeals in your cold call or email
- Keeping it short, sweet, and conversational
- Focusing on their specific use case
- Closing with a CTA that directs the prospect towards next steps
- Using video
3. Use Video to hit Sales Goals
Using video isn’t just ideal for cold emails. You can use video in follow-ups, meeting reminders, and thank you notes for completed sales. Video is the best medium for sales teams because it automatically makes your outreach more personal and memorable. Video lets your prospect put a face to the name and understand that they are communicating directly with another person instead of a nameless cog in the machine. This will make your prospect more likely to respond and begin a conversation.
Furthermore, most customers prefer watching video to receiving a text or phone call. Information provided via video is also more likely to be remembered than that conveyed over plain text. Video is simply the best way to get your name out there, increase response rates, and covert customers.
If you need help introducing video into your sales strategy, consider using a platform like Covideo. With Covideo, you can record personalized videos from your computer or mobile device, then embed directly into your sales emails. You can also send Covideos via text message or through Salesforce and other CRMs. When your recipient clicks on your video, they will be redirected to a custom video landing page designed by you! You can also add customizable CTA buttons to this landing page, such as a link to your meeting calendar or contact information. Best of all, your prospects can respond with a video of their own, even without a Covideo account. This way, you can get to know your prospect on a personal-level before you even meet!
If you want to improve your sales goals and make up for a weak first quarter, then drop us a line. You can meet with one of our video experts to discuss how video messaging will improve your sales performance and lead to more quality leads and happier customers.