How to Get Out of a Sales Slump

Posted by:
the Attention team

If you are reading this and you or your team haven’t been in a sales slump yet, you will be at some point in the future. Trust me. Slumps are inevitable, but the good news is that there is always a way to beat them. Even if it feels like none of your usual tactics are working, your sales confidence is shattered, and you are overwhelmed by a barrage of rejection, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! If you follow these tips and don’t dwell on your losses too much, you will get your sales mojo back and your slump will be a thing of the past. Without further ado, here are 12 ways to beat the dreaded sales slump.

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1. Perspective

When you are caught in a sales slump, it can be hard to put things in perspective and look at the big picture. But obsessing over your current slump can prevent you from focusing on your long-term goals and getting back on track quickly. Focus on your big goals, and your slump will likely take care of itself. 

2. Confidence

Slumps can lead to a vicious cycle where your confidence takes a hit, which prospects can often notice and which leads to worse outcomes and a prolonged slump. It is key to maintain your confidence during a slump and project an image of success. It can be helpful to remember previous wins or awards; visualization can also be an extremely effective tool. Picture the presentation going well and the prospect closing the sale, in as much detail as possible. Preparation is also key to projecting confidence. If you know that you are ready for any questions or objections the prospect might throw at you, your demeanor will reflect that certainty, even if you are currently going through a slump.

3. Discover What Went Wrong

You can’t solve the problem if you don’t try to pinpoint what went wrong and find out how you can improve.  Try to go over the conversation and diagnose any missteps. Usually, if you look closely enough you will find something you are doing differently than usual is affecting your results. It could be a minor shift you didn’t even notice, but 9 times out of 10 there will be a cause you can identify for the slump. 

4. Focus on the Process 

After a slump, it is easy to fall into the trap of chasing the next sale or trying to boost your KPIs immediately. But this will often exacerbate the problem. The best approach is often to focus on getting the minutiae of the process down. When confronted with failure, it is always best to focus on the one thing in your control: your sales process. Go back to the tried-and-true basics and the results will eventually follow. 

5. Adjust your Goals

Maybe it just feels like you are in a slump because your goals were wildly unrealistic. Setting ambitious but realistic goals is an integral aspect of success in sales. You should also focus on setting process-based rather than outcome-based goals. This will train you (or your reps) to be consistent and deliver repeatable results, and also prevent you from obsessing over KPIs. 

6. Be Grateful

Rather than bewailing your fate and panicking, it is important to pause and appreciate the sales and progress you have made and the successes you have had recently. This will calm your mind, straighten your priorities, and make it much easier to operate effectively and shake off that slump fast.

7. Plan so it Won’t Happen Again

If you are finally climbing out of a slump, be sure to study what went wrong (see above) and have a plan in place so this situation will not occur again. Ask yourself what would need to happen for you to end up in a slump again and take the steps to prevent that outcome. This could mean training any one step of your sales process until it is rock-solid, or in some cases just making a minor tweak 

8. Focus on the Prospect’s Needs

When you are in a sales slump, you will often feel a compulsive need to close the next deal. But this is a good way to make the slump last even longer, as you will probably oversell or come across as desperate. A much better approach is to take a step back and try to learn as much as you can about the next prospect and the problems they are trying to solve. This can break you out of the cycle of obsessively trying (and failing) to close.

9. Shake Things Up

If your usual tactics aren’t working for you right now, try something different! This could mean tweaking something pretty minor about your process or trying out a new tip you read about. The important thing is the psychological effect of doing things differently, which can take your brain out of the groove of frustration it is stuck in. Be sure not to change too many things at once- if you do get more successes, you might not know which change to attribute the wins to. Also, don’t make the mistake of changing an important aspect of your process that has worked well for you up til now.

10. Focus on the Best Leads

If you are currently undergoing a slump, now is not the time to go out on a limb and try to close those difficult, long-shot sales. You want to zero in on your most qualified leads and the prospects you know you have a good shot with- the people and companies you know your product can help. Try to line up and close as many of these as possible. This will be a far better use of your time than chasing the long shots and will often restore your confidence.

We all know that sales are not always straightforward, but the good news is you don't have to be an expert in neuroscience or psychology to get out of a slump. All it takes is some perspective, confidence, and discovering what went wrong. Focus on the process by asking yourself why this customer isn't buying from your business. What can you do differently next time? The key point here is starting with changing how you think about selling. Which one of these steps did you take when faced with a sales slump? Try Attention to take your sales training to the next level.

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