From tips for young salespeople to how to go from salesperson to sales manager, we've got over 30 tips from top sales experts in this free presentation. Learn more sales tips in our free ebook: http://bit.ly/153XR9O
Text of The Best Sales Advice from Top Sales Experts
Set SMART goals and hold yourself accountable.
Relationships do still matter and trust is everything. Top veterans have unparalleled style and charm. If you can combine their top qualities with those of the next generation technical seller, you’ll be crushing quotas in no time!
Be quiet. Be prepared. Be on time. Send a handwritten thank you note.
Be fully focused. Nothing is ever the status quo, even when you think you are dealing with same-old, same-old. Listen with “new ears” and intercept new selling opportunities. If you remain “fresh”, both you and your customer will always be looking forward to your next meeting.
Realize your role is now as a sales leader. This means shifting your focus to leveraging the strengths of the sales team and each individual salesperson. You have to think strategically and strive to understand each person on the team. Great sales managers know each person on their team is different and, therefore, manage accordingly to each person’s unique needs and opportunities.
Understand that what has allowed you to succeed in the past will likely cause you to fail as a sales manager. Your ability to win opportunities, your ability to close, and your ability to be valuable to clients may be what brought you to this position, but it isn't what will help you succeed. You aren’t the super-closer. Your primary stakeholders are the individual members that make up your sales team. Your role as a sales manager is a leadership role. It's now your job to lead the sales force. It's important to remember that your new quota is the combined quota of all the individual members of your team. The only way you can reach your quota is by helping them reach theirs.
Step 1: Know what is expected of you and how you’ll be measured. Step 2: Communicate to your team what is expected of them and how they’ll be measured. Step 3: Put metrics and process in place to measure and report on everything. Step 4: Coach like crazy so your team hits their numbers
The best salespeople are productively sel"sh with their time. Top-producers lock in on their goals and guard their calendars. Their time is their own; don’t even think about trying to take it from them! They instinctively resist distractions and interruptions from others. The ability to focus on what needs to be done -- to close the door, to decline incoming calls -- are all part of why they’ve been so successful as individual contributors. That’s exactly why the transition to manager is often so frustrating.
Become an inspirational leader because you understand what it’s like to follow. Many sales managers are selected for this role because they are highly productive and pro"table sales people. However, being superlative as a seller does not equate with being a great sales manager. We all know this is hardly the way things play out. “Sell just like me!” is not an option!
The best sales professionals I know set (and write down) goals on a regular basis and they make sure their goals are SMART – Speci"c, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. They write down goals for each meeting they walk into, they set daily goals and prioritize what they need to accomplish, and they all have long term goals that revolve around where they want to be in their personal and professional lives within a speci"c period of time. Goal setting and holding yourself accountable is the best way to self-manage and the best sales professionals do this.
Your most important job is to proactively source quali"ed leads—which is something only you can do. Top salespeople ensure they receive referral introductions to their ideal buyers. They get every meeting at the level that counts, because executives will always take meetings with sales reps who've been referred by people they know and trust.
Being a top performer is a more than just a habit. It is a way of life with regard to how you view the sales profession. The top performer’s lifestyle is geared around discipline, integrity and the ability to discern. The big activity that separates top sales performers from others is their ability to not get caught up chasing opportunities that aren’t going anywhere. They are able to maintain a clear level of thinking, and as a result, they are able to focus on high-potential opportunities. Top performers stay focused when things may not appear to be going right.
The top sales performers meticulously prepare for each sales interaction. Each and every interaction a sales person has with a prospect carries the requirement to provide value to the customer in return for the time they have invested in you. This means that every customer interaction, every contact with a prospect has to be planned to achieve a certain goal and to lead to the required next steps.
How about good old-fashioned hard work? We talk a lot about con"dence and paying attention to the details, but being disciplined and “putting in the time” is often overlooked. All high performers in sales understand that if it’s a numbers game you have to get the numbers.
There are a couple signs that indicate that a prospective client is going to be a good "t. But the most important sign is that your prospective client looks like what I call a “dream client.” A dream client is a client for whom you can do breathtaking, jaw dropping, earth shattering, and results transforming work. Because you can create so much value for your dream clients, they're willing to let you capture some of that value.
The best early sign that a prospect is a good "t is a willingness of the prospect to put in a lot of work early in the sales process. The more effort a prospect puts in early to help move the sales, the higher the probability it’s a good "t. If prospects aren’t willing to help with the sale early or commit to putting in much effort, it’s not a good sign. There is a direct correlation between customer commitment to the sale and product/solution "t.
A solid two-step proactive quali"cation process that uses less subjective criteria to evaluate the merit of a prospect will quickly separate the “good "ts” from the “time-wasters.” In short, step one quali"es that your product or service is a good "t for the prospect’s requirements. Step two quali"es the prospect’s interest through a tentative agreement that the value your product and service will provide is worth $X to the prospect (where X is roughly equal to your price). Quali"cation on these two points is a great early sign that the prospect could be a good "t.
1. Does the prospect align with your ideal customer pro"le and do you have access to the decision maker?
2. Next, is the pain real? Is the need well de"ned? One early sign: the
prospect has been trying to solve their problem and hasn’t come up with the right solution.
These questions answer for ‘authority’ and ‘need’. They’re the "rst two steps in the ANUM quali"cation model, made popular by Ken Krogue at InsideSales.com and it’s a really helpful way to determine whether you have a great prospect.
Take the time to identify what types of customers, verticals, and personal attributes allow you to bring your A-game at all times. Then identify your A-list customers whose values and businesses align with your own requirements as a person of worth.
A prospect is more likely to be a good "t when it looks, smells and feels like your other clients who receive great value from your offerings.
The most effective sales presentation is the one that is never given. What this means is the salesperson knows their material so well that they can conduct a sales call as a discussion anchored with questions. This is a better approach than a call that relies heavily on marketing materials, which ultimately can offer little #exibility.
Review the work you did in planning the sales call. You're going to want to review the outcomes that you need to obtain in order to either create or to advance an opportunity. Achieving those outcomes almost always means creating value for your clients at whatever stage of the buying cycle they happen to be in. What do you need to do for your client or prospective client to help them get the outcomes that they need from this call?
If you haven’t done the upfront work, then get your butt in gear and at least get the bare minimums out of the way: • Check out your contacts and companies LinkedIn page • Check out their Twitter stream • Preview their website
I do "ve things 15 minutes before a sales call: 1. Check that my presentation looks the way I expect 2. Review my notes from previous conversations 3. Open up my customer’s LinkedIn Page so that I have an
image of what they look like as I am speaking to them 4. Think about how I want them to feel during our
conversation and my ideal outcome 5. Take a deep breath!
The best sales professionals quickly review the notes they took during the call, pull out the key information and send a summary e-mail to the client asking them to con"rm its accuracy. This shows the client you actually listened to them during the call and con"rms the accuracy of the information to ensure you actually got all the information you thought you did.
If the sales call went well, the salesperson is on the phone with their sales manager sharing the good news. When you knock the ball out of the park it's hard to wait to call and talk about that with somebody who's going to appreciate exactly what that means.
Send a recap email to the prospect outlining the call, what was discussed, the prospect’s commitments/deliverables, the salesperson’s commitments/deliverables, and next steps with dates.
Take a moment to breathe. Clear your head. Schedule out your next steps for engaging with the prospect. When and where and what -- the details all matter. Write it down and set a reminder to keep you on schedule. Debrief. Do it right when the call happens – while it’s still fresh in your mind.
One of the best ways to measure success is to look at the close ratio with regard to the number of leads. The salesperson who is able to convert a high number of leads into pro"table and sustainable customers is the person you want on your sales team.
Like sports, there are individual statistics that shed light onto the salesperson’s individual efforts. Some of the best individual sales stats are: 1. Winning % 2. Average Time to Close (ATC) 3. Average Deal Size (ADS) Measure the things that affect quota.
Activity. The best companies strive for predictable revenue. This requires inputs (activity) and outputs (success measurement). The only way to improve is to understand what works and what doesn't.
Momentum is what matters. How do you measure momentum? It starts to show up in everything that you are doing. You get more calls back, more emails answered, and the right people seem to be reaching out to you. You aren’t doing much differently that you were before, but you seem to be getting better results.