Are you a salesperson who wants to be even better at your job? Or, just wondering what it takes to have a great career in the sales world? Look no further. The Muse asked some of the best sales professionals out their for their secrets to success, and brought it all together in one place. Flip through for their practical tips and resources for upping your career game. For exciting job opportunities, expert advice, and a peek behind the scenes into fantastic companies and career path check out the http://www.themuse.com. Everything you need to find a job and kick ass in your career.
Text of The Ultimate Guide to Professional Development for Sales Professionals
How to Be a Better Sales Professional Professional Development Guides from
We know you want to BE AWESOME at your job!
So, we picked the brains of a team of sales experts to find out how they've gotten so good. Ekaterina Steube Sales Associate at The Muse Catherine Van Hersh Head of Sales for Chartio Fernando Campos Director of Sales & Business Development for Anyperk Ellen Huerta Former Senior Account Manager at Google, Founder of Mend
And compiled it all into the ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR SALESPEOPLE.
Are you ready for it? it'll be a HUGE help to your career. (And only take a little time to flip through.) Whether youre just getting started or youre ready to move to the top,
First, well talk about the skills you need. And then well give you the resources to make it happen. Let's get started.
So what skills does one need to develop to be a superstar salesperson?
Well, there are the obvious ones.
You definitely need to know e v e r y t h i n g you can about S ALE S STRATEGIES.
There are no silver bullets in sales, and becoming as educated as possible in methodology is important in forming the style that works best for you and your product or service.
You should also know everything you can about what you're selling.
If you've just begun a career in sales, learn the ins and outs of what you're selling. One of the best ways is to use it yourself if possible. Even if you're comfortable working with clients, you won't get very far if you don't have a strong foundation as a product expert. When you understand both your product and your client, "sales" becomes "consulting" and you become a "partner," not a "vendor."
But there are other skills that people tend to overlook.
Salespeople have to understand how to effectively analyze DATA.
You must: Use numbers to prove your product Analyze the effectiveness of sales strategies Understand personal performance data
"What gets measured gets done" I've always loved this quote because it really talks about the power of data. Measure everything you can, and test new approaches to optimize your strategy.
You also must have pretty solid RESEARCH SKILLS.
Youll often need to learn about new clients and industries at the drop of a hat.
The most important reading I do pertains to my customer. What are the business challenges my customer is facing, and how can my service solve those problems? Ultimately this feeds into a larger goal of better understanding how to grow into new markets and create new opportunities for Chartio.
Having excellent PRESENTATION skills is a must for pitching.
Being comfortable with speaking to groups of 1 to 100 Knowing how to tell a compelling story Designing decks that helpand dont hurtyour pitch
At Google, my team had the fortune of @avinash reviewing one of our client presentations, and he ripped them to shreds for being too cluttered. It was a little jarring at the time, but what he told us was true and I'll never forget it: If you really know your stuff, you don't need slides (except in some cases, like when data must be displayed). Slides often end up being a crutch to the presenter and a distraction to the listener.
And while you have to know how to talk well, perhaps more important is the ability to LISTEN.
It's so important to ask questions and really listen to your client: what their goals are, what keeps them up at night, how they make money, what they're really happy about. If you don't understand these things, you can't offer the right solution. When I first started at Google, I would often dive right into my presentation when I met with clients. I quickly learned to let them kick off meetings. I would ask my clients several open-ended questions, and their answers always helped inform the rest of our conversation.
No matter what, you always have to keep LEARNING & INNOVATING.
Don't get complacent. I have seen some very talented salespeople fail because they thought they already knew it all. Keep developing your skills, keep practicing, and keep asking for advice. Most importantly, don't be afraid to try out something new that no one in your company is doing yet. You need to make your own niche to get ahead.
Now that we're on the same page about what skills you need, let's talk about how to get there.
We asked our experts what resources have been helpful along the way, and pulled together an official RESOURCE GUIDE for your sales development.
BOOKS TO READ Predictable Revenue teaches you how to build a system to scale a sales team quickly and has tons of creative strategies that are easy to test and implement.
BLOGS & MAGAZINES TO READ
Instead of sales focused literature, I read a lot around current affairs. You never know who the next person you will meet is, or what their interests might be, so I like to be prepared. Whether you like it or not, keeping up to date with sporting events is also key.
CONFERENCES TO ATTEND It's important to be inspired and surround yourself with creative thinkers. SXSW is a great way to network and learn more about how others are taking their business to market.
CLASSES TO TAKE Sales & Leadership SPIN Selling CEO Summit Videos HBR IdeaCast I took a SPIN selling class earlier this year, which illustrates the difference between implicit and explicit client needs.
CLASSES TO TAKE Persuasion & Presentation Sales and Persuasion Skills for Start-ups Storytelling for Business Pitch PerfectPowerful Presentation Skills
Sometimes just sitting down once a month with the other salespeople in your company and swapping tips and ideas is the best kind of workshop.
EXPERTS TO FOLLOW Kevin is an expert in inside sales, and frankly, a guy I look up to. He knows his craft better than anyone I know.
Nowit's time to go out into the world and get better at rocking your career! (We know you can do it.)
And, if you want a little more help along the way? Keep up with for the advice you need to build the career you've always dreamed of. Get Career Advice Browse Sales Jobs Sign Up for Classes All photos courtesy of Shutterstock. Or follow us on: