Getting the desired results in your career starts with getting results in sales. Moving into the ranks of medical device sales will be determined heavily by the results you are able to achieve and document in your sales career.
I have had the pleasure of interviewing some tremendously talented sales people in the past seven years. The best reps hold themselves accountable for their activity and their results. They know their numbers backwards and forwards, including their closing ratios. They know what they need to do each day, week and month in order close enough business to achieve their goals. If they have to choose between happy hour and making one more call they know they need to make in order to execute their plan, they will make that call.
Here are some winning ideas I’ve heard from successful reps over the years:
“I see my quota only as a minimum level of acceptable achievement.”
“My personal goals are higher than the ones the company sets for me.”
“I determine what I want to make for the year, then I work backwards to figure out how much I have to sell each quarter, month and week in order to achieve it.”
Because activity is so important to producing results, some companies have shifted their focus to measuring activity over sales dollars. If the activity is there, the results typically follow. There are some who see this as micromanaging; that may be because they are not managing themselves. If you hold yourself accountable for finding ways to be efficient and effective each day in your activities, it may actually reduce stress and pressure when month end rolls around, as it inevitably does.
Clear, written, detailed goals are critical to achieving the results you want in work and life. Goals can be incredibly powerful in shaping your behavior. Once you set a goal and commit to it, you may be amazed at how creative and determined you become in order to achieve it. 30 years of research on goals shows they are powerful motivators for several reasons:
1. Goals cause you to direct your attention in a focused way.
2. Goals enhance persistence in achieving a task.
3. Goals lead you to devise strategies that will enable you to meet your goals.
Goals are so powerful, you may find yourself becoming a workaholic if you are not careful. The best way to prevent work from entirely taking over your life is to 1) set challenging but achievable professional goals and 2) set goals in all areas of your life, such as health and other personal areas of your life. If you do this, then you’ll have to ask yourself how you can achieve your professional goals while also achieving success in other areas of your life. Your goals will counterbalance one another. In the long run, this will help you avoid burn-out.
Once you master the art of setting and achieving short-term goals, make sure you take time to appreciate your success. This is less about indulging yourself than recognizing the progress you are making toward achieving your long-term goals. One rep I interviewed recently told me she saves evidence of her past success in a file so that she can refer to it when she is feeling discouraged in order to re-energize herself. Saving the documentation of your results, such as rankings, awards and quota performance, will also come in handy when it comes time to create a brag book for interviews.