From Chief Growth Officer & Sales Development Expert, Mark Trinkle
Guide to Sales Success
In this article, we cover the basic sales guidelines to sales success and how the little things can have a big impact when it comes to selling effectively and separating yourself from the competition.
How to Become a Better Sales Rep
One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from salespeople is, What is the secret sauce to sales success? or, How can I get my sales team to sell more? I need to sell more business. Actually, there is a secret sauce, and if you will permit me to enter your kitchen, I am going to serve it up to you.
There is no one thing that is a big thing in selling. In our organization, we refer to selling as a “slight edge business.” By that, we mean that the line that separates high performers from mediocre performers is usually a very small difference. Think in terms of maybe just one or two more conversations a week, or one or two more presentations a month.
The Olympics are a perfect example of this truth. Think of almost any race, whether that be swimming, track and field, or skiing. Do you know what separates the athlete who wins the gold medal from the athlete who finishes just outside the bronze medal? The answer is fractional seconds, sometimes even as little as tenths of a second.
There is very little you can control in selling. You can’t make prospects take your call. You can’t make prospects agree to meet with you. You can’t make them move forward in your sales process and you certainly can’t make them buy from you. However, there is a multitude of things you are in control of.
How to Achieve More Sales Success
- Identify and Create a Sales Process
- Practice and Improve your Sales Pitch
- Observe Buyer Personas and Tailor your Approach
- Follow Up on Open Deals
- Be a Great Listener
- Embrace Rejection
- Prepare for the Unexpected
- Learn from a Mentor
- Review your Strengths and Weaknesses
- Identify what Motivates You
- Be Able to Walk Away
- Prioritize your Wellbeing
1. Identify and Create a Sales Process
First and foremost, you’ll need a repeatable sales process that you and your sales team and implement and start running.
This sales process will help keep your team on track on the most important tasks at hand and help to remove any ineffeciencies from your sales cycle.
Just by implementing a great sales process alone, your sales team can see better results in a short period of time.
2. Practice and Improve your Sales Pitch
Much like your sales process, you and your sales reps will need to hone in, craft, and practice your perfect sales pitch.
You can start creating a better sales pitch by doing more research on your prospects, always put yourself in their shoes and ask through their lense “what’s in it for me?”, and build your confidence.
As a salesperson, you must invoke confidence. You can do this better by practicing and perfecting your sales pitch.
3. Observe Buyer Personas and Tailor your Approach
To get better results, you may need to go off-script and speak to your prospects on a 1-to-1 basis. As we mentioned above, you receive better results when you’ve done your research and can better suit your sales approach.
For example, you’ll need to change your approach if you’re speaking with a customer that’s already used your product or service versus a cold lead.
Another example is where your prospect is in the buying journey. Did they just start looking and reach out? Or are they further down the buyer journey and comparing products/services?
4. Follow Up on Open Deals
A good sales rep follows up on open deals. It’s great to get the word out, but as a salesperson, you will have more success following up on your exisitng prospects.
It’s estimated that nearly half of salespeople never follow up on a prospect, and only 10% follow up three times or more.
In fact, it’s estimated that 80% of all closed deals occur between the 5th and 12th outreach.
Following up also shows the prospect that you’re organized and considerate to reach out again. Most people will appreciate your follow up, and just by reminding them of your previous conversation, you can be more top-of-mind amongst your prospects, and close more deals.
5. Be a Great Listener
Having an open dialogue is critical in nurturing your prospects and giving them a voice. Make sure you’re listening to what they’re saying as it can help you close more deals.
By listening to better understand your prospects, you can better identify what your prospect wants, how they want it, and why.
You must listen to understand.
And by understanding what your prospect wants and needs from you, you can pivot to better align your sales pitch to meet and exceed their expectations.
6. Embrace Rejection
In sales, you will always be met with rejection. Accepting this fact, and learning from your no’s is key in becoming a better sales person.
A better way of dealing with rejection is by better classifiying why the prospect did not close. This will also adversly improve your sales process with better prospect information.
Let’s say you have two prospects that both turned you down. Instead of just dealing with a no, uncover why they said no.
If you find out that one prospect can’t afford your services, that would be beneficial for both your sales rep and for future outreach. Maybe your team can offer a lower cost solution.
If the other prospect declined your offer because they already have a product or service like yours, that’s also great to know. By saving that information, your sales team can reach out at a later time to keep tabs on the prospect and hopefully reach them when they’re in between service providers.
7. Prepare for the Unexpected
In sales, you always have to be on your toes, and expect the unexpected. By having a well-crafted sales script, you can get back on track, but there will still be those prospects that want to take the reins and misdirect the conversation.
Every situation is different, and you will need to address them accordingly. As mentioned previously, by letting your prospects speak, gives you an opportunity to listen and refine your approach.
However, if the prospect is talking in circles, and the conversation isn’t going anywhere, the best course of action is to start the closing process early.
If you have any deals or other value incentives, bring those to the conversation. Speak to your company’s value, years of experience, anything you can do to get the conversation back on track and hopefully get the prospect to make a decision.
8. Learn from a Mentor
Learning from a mentor is one of the best ways in becoming a better salesperson.
Having someone that can show you the ropes and provide constructive feedback, can drastically improve your sales abilities.
If your company is looking for professional sales training, guidance, and leadership, check out our sales growth coaching program.
9. Review your Strengths and Weaknesses
Any great salesperson will be able to evaluate their strengths and their weaknesses and be able to play into their strengths, while working around their weaknesses.
By identifying areas where you excel in either prospecting, communicating with prospects, or closing deals, can help you increase more of those desired actions.
And by identifying your weaknesses, you can better craft your sales process, sales pitch, and work with your mentor on how you can improve upon your weakness and work around it.
10. Identify what Motivates You
We all have motives behind everything that we do. Identifying what motivates you can be one of the best things you can do to become a better salesperson.
Are you motivated to become a better version of yourself? Do you seek praise and want your work to be recognized? Are you trying to achieve the lifestyle of your dreams?
By recognizing what motivates you, you can start to put into play an action plan that gets you to your goals.
This can be all the motivation to become a better salesperson and close more deals.
11. Be Able to Walk Away
Earlier we mentioned the importance of following up. But it’s also important when to fold the cards and walk away.
If you’re reaching into double-digit attempts to outreach to a prospect, or they have seemed very standoffish, it might be in your best interest to recognize the situation and walk away entirely.
This can be hard to do the further you are down the sales pipeline, but you must be able to let go of a prospect and embrace rejection.
However, create a follow-up one week, one month, three months, a year to follow up with this prospect and see where they’re at.
Lean towards never giving up, but if a prospect is not returning your emails or phone calls, your time is better spent on new leads.
12. Prioritize your Wellbeing
Last but not least, you have to prioritize your work/life balance and mental health.
You’re no good to your company or your prospect’s time if you have too much going on, burnt out, and ineffecient.
The world of sales can seem like it’s always moving and can feel like it’s moving quickly. But by taking frequent breaks, getting fresh air, taking time off, and prioritizing a social life can help counter balance the stress of your job and prevent burnout.
It’s proven that a healthy work/life balance helps employee turnover, improves company morale, and reduces burnout.
Taking care of yourself now means you will be able to return to work more refreshed and mindful, which will help you sell more. It’s a win-win!
Selling is not going to suddenly become easier. Leads are not likely to become more plentiful. So, the question that is worth asking is this: What are you doing to shave fractional seconds off your sales time in the race you are running?
What are the little things that when done week in and week out will amount to big things in terms of your 2021 production?
Maybe it is the one more conversation you need to have each day with a prospect. Maybe it is the one book you will read or the one new connection you will add to your network that will make all the difference.
Sometimes little things are so small you won’t even notice them when you look back at your sales success. But that doesn’t mean that it is not a big thing to worry about the little things.