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12 Steps to Hitting Quota

More than half of SDRs consistently fail to hit quota. You don’t have to be one of them. Follow these guidelines to greatly increase your chances of success. 

  1. Know your product: This seems like a no-brainer, but the more you know about how it’s made and how it works, the more able you are to satisfactorily answer questions and book demos. Consistently carve out time each week to ask questions and get familiar with the ins and outs of every function and feature.
  2. Know your company: Backwards and forwards, inside and out. What it does, what it makes, who runs it, the cultural values that sustain it — anything and everything that puts whatever you’re selling in a larger context and helps you create a compelling narrative. Stories sell.
  3. Know your motivation: Why are you selling whatever it is you’re selling? “To make money” isn’t good enough. “To hit quota” definitely isn’t good enough. To advance your career, to buy a house, to put your kids through college — those are all goals that require money but also transcend it. In other words, think bigger and the money will come. Sales leaders need to communicate this early and often.
  4. Think smaller: Yeah, we just told you to think bigger, but achieving grander goals is easier from a psychological perspective if you set smaller benchmarks to hit along the way. It keeps you on target for quota and motivates you to move forward.
  5. Know your audience: Who are the decision-makers and what are their backgrounds? Is the company in your target demo? What are their pain points? How will your product help them more than similar products, especially ones they might already be using? What sort of customers do they serve?
  6. Diversify your channels: Don’t use the same ones as everyone else for cold calls and emails. Not consistently, anyway. Figure out other ways to approach prospects. Maybe it’s via social media videos or audio messages. Anything that helps you stand out from the pack and reaches them where they’re most apt to respond.  
  7. Stick to a schedule: Carve out periods of time for prospecting, researching and calling. And don’t try to make all of your calls at once; spread them out from morning to early evening. Speed-prospecting, like speed-dating, is anxiety inducing and largely ineffective.
  8. Expect rejection: It’s part of the job, but don’t take it personally. Easier said than done, of course, but it’s true: Getting shot down by a prospect isn’t an indictment of your character. Either they’re just not interested or you didn’t take the right approach. If it’s the latter, rejigger your pitch and try again down the line.
  9. Work from a script: But don’t be afraid to tweak it. What seems great on paper (or screen) doesn’t always work in practice. Another thing: As in football, sometimes you have to scrap the play and call an audible. Learn to think on your feet.
  10. Use the right tools: It’s on your company to provide these. And if they don’t, maybe find another gig. It’s especially crucial to have access to research databases like ZoomInfo as well as the latest call dialing software. 
  11. Ask for, and listen to, advice: From your managers as well as your peers. 1:1 coaching is crucial, but so is group calling from a bullpen (a virtual one if you work on a platform like Teamflow). Sales reps, particularly new ones, learn best from osmosis — from being in the same space and overhearing each other’s calls.
  12. Perform self-analysis: Do it regularly and rigorously, creating actionable steps for future calls. This should include your wins as well as your losses. What worked, what didn’t and why? Was your sense of humor well-received or off putting? Did you ask more questions than you answered, or did you talk more than you listened? 

Your quota’s waiting. Go crush it.