There’s more to becoming a successful salesperson than just wanting it. Like anything, there are steps that must be taken in order for you to get where you want to go. You must dedicate time, patience, and effort in order to get tangible results. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
In this post, we are going to look at 9 strategies on becoming a more successful sales rep. Sales success, when broken down into 9 simple strategies, is a lot more straight-forward than you might think. The key to these steps are commitment and execution, and with both of those, you’ll notice a drastic difference in both your confidence in selling and your sales numbers. Sales are what drive a business and without them, your business will go nowhere. Here are 9 sales tips that will help your business to grow successfully:
1. Solve Your Customers’ Problems
Whatever industry you are in, you need to understand the real challenges your customers face and how your product or service will solve them. This is the most crucial step and it also demands the most time to achieve. The best salespeople are obsessed with solving their customer’s problems, which means they know their customer’s problems just as well as the customers themselves.
Avoid the urge to sell features or offer discounts, as neither of these will retain the customers you want. You are not selling a product, you are selling a solution to their problem(s). Make sure your pitch is also scalable, especially if their business will grow because of your product. It frames your product as a longterm partner and implies that your customer will be more successful if they chose to purchase. Your customers need to understand the value of what you’re offering and how your current pricing is justified. Customers love companies who understand their pain and works with them to solve their problems.
2. Manage Your Time Effectively
Historically, salespeople aren’t great at keeping schedules. Getting caught up with customers can take up a lot of your time. It is important to find a conversational balance with your customer between pleasure and business. Human connections are a big part of why some salespeople are successful and others aren’t, but the great salespeople know when to cut to the chase. A great segway to use when the conversation is veering too far away from business is to offer up a future time to get back to the “pleasure” side of the conversation. That way you can meet your next customer at the promised time.
Manage your time effectively by dedicating more time to closing deals that will bring a higher profit. This does not mean that you should neglect clients willing to spend less money. The moment you start ignoring these buyers, they will look for someone else who will cater to their needs. It will come back to bite you in the end because you could be losing upsell and cross-selling opportunities! Be sure that you dedicate enough time for every client.
3. Focus on Quality Instead of Quantity
Sales as a profession has a steep learning curve. It is tempting to want to get as many sales as possible in order to impress yourself and your managers. Quantity matters in business, but quality matters much more. Quantity should be considered a booster for your business to help you reach your goals more quickly when and where applicable.
To focus on quality, ensure that you only engage with prospects that are likely to buy your product. This is where research data becomes vital. Sales analysts on your team can collect data and carry out a deep analysis to understand the specific pain points of a client and whether they’re a good fit for your business.
Once you have a deep understanding of what your clients want, you can start contacting the prospects that are most likely to buy your product or service and begin the sales cycle.
4. Plan for Every Single Call and Meeting
Taking time to map out your upcoming sales calls will pay dividends when it’s time for your customer to make a purchasing decision. To ensure that you give yourself the best possible chance at landing each client, it is important to treat every sale as if it’s the most important sale in your life.
Best selling sales author, Neil Rackham, suggests that before each meeting you:
draft a few questions you may need to ask the client
write down a rough plan of how you want the meeting to go
Makinga meeting plan will help you remember quickly what your goals are so that you can drive the meeting in the right direction. You can also use these notes to make sure that you are not forgetting any crucial details during your sales call.
5. Embrace Challenges:
Sales is full of roadblocks and challenges to overcome. But rest assured, if you commit to overcoming each and every challenge, you will only get better at your job. The same can be applied to any challenge. The harder the competition is, the stronger you will be after facing it.
To ensure that you benefit from facing challenges in the long run, you must document them. Write down the challenges you faced, the parameters of the situation, and the results of your efforts to overcome them. By avoiding these challenges, you are just putting them off to a later date. By facing these challenges head on, you are giving yourself the opportunity to grow.
Michele Romanow, the co-founder of Clearbanc, advises that these challenges will help you grow and sharpen your sales skills.
It is only by working on your sales skills that you can build worthwhile relationships with customers, vendors, employees, investors, and business partners. Embracing these challenges will open up many opportunities for you, so don’t hesitate to take them head on.
6. Answer the “Why” Questions:
When you are making a sales call or are arranging a meeting with a prospect, you should be ready to provide the right answers to all the “WHY” questions clients might have. Every customer or prospective customer has these questions:
“Why should I listen to you?”
“Why should I spend money on your product?”
“Why should I trust you?”
Giving a value-driven and immediate response to these questions exudes confidence and builds trust between you and your customer.
7. Follow-up Effectively:
Creating a meeting plan beforehand will better prepare you to close the meeting. You should have already crunched their numbers to show the ROI of your product or service. If your sales call went well - that’s great, but now it’s time properly end the meeting. If you don’t do this part correctly, your prospect will never respond to you.
Before you leave, ensure that you schedule the next meeting and agree upon how you’re going to follow-up. When you work with your prospect to create a follow-up plan, they’ll feel obligated to respond to you. Whatever they respond, at least you’ll know where your deal stands.
If you have to send a proposal, present a demonstration, or close a deal, agree on a date to meet or speak with the prospective client. If the client agrees to a meeting or teleconference, they are likely to become a paying customer.
8. Stay Consistent and Disciplined:
There’s no silver bullet that will automatically improve your sales. You should learn how to stay focused and deliver every single day. According to Steli Efti of Close.io, your success in sales depends on conversion rates.
Buying business hacks and in-app upgrades can be a waste of resources. The most common pathway to sales success requires that you put in hard work to create a pitch that people love. You will not get conversions or sales from a shoddy pitch. Never question your ability to sell. The second you start questioning whether you’re good enough, the battle is already lost.
9. Empathy is a Requirement:
The trait that all great salespeople share is empathy. The best salespeople are incredibly empathetic and genuinely want to solve their customer’s problems. Now, you might think that plenty of people have empathy, so shouldn’t that mean anybody can do sales? While anybody CAN do sales, that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain traits and people that are better than most.
Sales empathy involves actually catering your message to this person’s specific personality type and problems. Recognizing different types of people and who responds to certain value propositions in what way will increase your close rate.
To understand your clients, you need to have the communication skills that will make them share their pain points with you. As you have these conversations, try to keep a light and friendly tone that allows the clients to feel welcome. As they get more comfortable, they’ll open up to you more.
Author Bio: Nicole Cowart is a freelance writer at https://customwriting.com/ and entrepreneur. By studying how to become a successful entrepreneur, she came up with these sales tips to improve her online business.