2016 was a phenomenal year for me in Matomy. Through numerous challenges and hurdles, our sales team did everything they could to hit and exceed their yearly goals. Every salesman can agree that the feeling of reaching your yearly sales quota is almost equivalent to winning the Marathon. On the other hand, overshooting your goal would be like setting a new world record.
My sales quota was 4.2 million dollars in sales for 2016!
-At the time it sounded crazy. :-0
We were a team of 15 highly professional salespeople, working together to bring revenue to the company. It was the beginning of 2016, we gathered in a big and fancy meeting room. Our VP of sales gave us the motivation speech about last year’s resolution and what are our responsibilities for this coming year. I remember when our VP presented the PPT slide of our goals, I almost laughed…(a thought popped out of nowhere saying Holly S$#
My goal was almost 1.5 million dollars higher (!!!!) than my colleagues. I thought to myself:
For me it sounded like:
Matomy Media is an international and publicly traded digital marketing company providing advertisers, agencies, publishers and application developers with a wide range of performance-based and programmatic advertising solutions.
Basically, it means that Matomy has two main focuses, Performance and Media. While Performance is mostly related to performing sort of action according to the advertiser’s KPI (like app install, Social media marketing, Cost per action ect.) Media, on the other hand, is more like a T.V commercial. The advertisers are paying top dollar in CPM (Cost Per Thousand impressions) to place their ads on selected publishers.
What Helped Me To Achieve The Goal?
“Look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow, it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow, that did it, but all that had gone before.”
I am an avid believer in follow up emails, my experience shows that only on rare occasions one can make the sale on the first hit, in most of the cases it takes a high level of persistence to convince a potential prospect. Usually, I won’t give up until my 7-8 follow up (!).
If I don’t get a response within a week or so, I try to find a different approach. For example, I had one client that was avoiding and disregarding my emails on a constant basis. Let’s call him X. I’ve found X’s manager through LinkedIn and wrote a complimentary email saying how I am excited to start working with this company and how X was super helpful. I’ve received an email a few days later from X asking how we can kick-start some action.
Yes, sometimes the answer NO means it’s all about a matter of timing and maybe we can work together again in the future, however, there will be cases where NO means NO! Don’t over push it and always reply with a smile saying something like, thank you for your email, I value your opinion and hopefully, we will have a chance to work together in future.
Thinking Outside Of The Box
“If they close the door, well let’s find the window if they closed the window let’s get inside through the chimney.”
Here are some examples of thinking outside of the box that helped me push through the closed door:
- Asking my marketing team to target the potential prospects through Linkedin ads, this way my clients are exposed to our company and messaging. (Example here)
- Using Funny memes in your email, when you feel that the deal is not going anywhere and you have setbacks on their end. (Mr bean is the best, meme generator)
- Trying to make an introduction to your current customers, being able to leverage my existing leads and ask them for referrals.
- Make a follow up within 4-6 months from now with a notable insight or a piece of information that might be interesting to know of. Maybe a recent acquisition in the industry, or a strategic partnership or, a product release. Anything that can trigger a response and comment.
Effective Time Management And Focus
It is easy to get lost when facing a big challenge, especially when you have so much on your shoulders and you have to prove yourself. The secret here is to keep focused and manage your time effectively to reach your goal.
I’ve written down the number 4.2M($) on a piece of paper and wrote everything I would need to do in order to get me closer to the target. Then I’ve written down all the major players in the industry that we are not working with and if I will bring them onboard, they will make the biggest impact. Kind of a wish list.
A-Z Deal Ownership
One may say that once you bring a deal and pass them along to their dedicated account manager your sales job is done and you are now on the search for your next client.
I highly advise you to keep track and continue the relationship with your client. Once in a while check the performance, keep nagging to the account manager/marketing team to keep up their game and encourage them to give the necessary attention to help your client grow.
Mistakes happen, sometimes your account manager doesn’t have enough time to dedicate to your client, the results are poor and it can lead to frustration and grievance from your client. By being there for the client and for the account manager you prove yourself as double value both for maintaining a great relationship and a sales manager pro.
Know Your Product and Listen To Your Client
Sounds obvious though I can’t stress this enough. On too many occasions I’ve encountered with unprofessional sales managers who only memorized their sales pitch without really understanding the product or the service they are selling. They are hiding their ignorance with bombarding you with a useless sales pitch that you don’t have any use of. It is important for me not only to be 100% professional about the product I am selling but also to listen to my client’s needs and find them the best solution that I can offer.
“Approach Each Customer With The Idea Of Helping Him Or Her To Solve A Problem Or Achieve A Goal, Not Of Selling A Product Or Service.” – Brian Tracy
In a nutshell for busy people:
Persistence and follow up emails: It is only on rare occasions you will be able to make the sale on the first hit. In most of the times, persistence and content efforts will show the best results.
Creative thinking: Think outside of the box and search for new ways to trigger the clients reply to your email. Whether if it’s Linkedin Ads, funny Meme’s, creative emails and more.
Focus and effective time management: Build a wishlist of all the clients you believe will make the difference and impact on your sales quota.
Until next time,