If we’re being honest, competitors are hard at work manufacturing better and frankly superior products than the last guy. As if that wasn’t enough, the sales machine is constantly churning out more talented, smooth talking reps that could charm the pants off a prospect. The brutal reality is, the fundamentals of this industry don’t always remain the same. What worked yesterday might not work today – and it’s damn sure not going to work tomorrow.
But despite all these rapid changes witnessed within the sales specialty, one fact remains unbroken – good salespeople still earn their customers’ trust, respect, and loyalty. So, what wit or strategy do successful salespeople employ in their quest to become successful in the 22nd century and beyond? We’re glad you asked. In this post, we’ve consulted some of the top dogs in the sales profession to get their outlook. Here’s what they had to say all rounded up in a neat list of 10 things every salesperson should do before 2019 is up.
1: Identify your buyer persona
An effective sales process revolves around a clearly defined buyer persona. Sales reps who identify and stick to their buyer personas are able to generate plenty of sales within a short time span. No matter what you sell, start by understanding the specific needs of your prospects and figuring out how you can best meet them.
Focusing on customer service is the most crucial part of a successful salesmanship. In almost every case, a more successful salesperson focuses on how a product can meet their client’s needs and wants. On the contrary, a less successful salesperson tends to focus on the specs and features of the product itself.
2: Educate Your Prospects Regarding New Perspectives and Ideas
A prospect is someone whose presence is likely to bring value to the table. As a salesperson, your job is not just to sell. It’s also to expand your buyer’s horizons by educating them about new ideas that would change their mindset. For instance, let’s assume you deal in automobile sales.
A buyer who comes to you most likely has done adequate research on the make, model, and even the color of the vehicle they wish to purchase. As a salesperson, try not to rehash what they already know. Instead, educate them about other features they didn’t find online, such as the specs of next year’s model.
3: Collaborate With Your Prospects
Collaborating with buyers is one of the best ways to make them part of the solution. Successful sales reps often work with prospects to develop solutions as well as achieve mutual goals. Keeping in line with the automobile-sale example above, there’s no need to show your customer a variety of larger and more expensive cars.
Rather than doing so, try to learn more about their specific needs. How are they going to use the car? Any long term plans for the years to come that could affect the type of vehicle they need? Having understood their needs, you can now confidently go ahead and make suggestions and recommendations. You may suggest a mid-sized SUV if your buyer has plans to start a family in the next few years. But remember, if they have their hearts set on that Jag, you’re still a salesperson – not a family lawyer or financial adviser.
4: Apply Measurable and Repeatable Sales Processes
Low-performing sales reps are those who allow intuition to guide them. Successful reps apply sales processes that are highly optimized to move several prospects from “connect” to “close”. Unlike high-performing reps, the low-performing ones never analyze their results because surprise surprise – they weren’t event tracking them in the first place.
The successful sales reps have a clear understanding of the status of every deal in their pipeline. They know what actions to take and at what time. They’re obsessed with reviewing their key metrics and adjusting as necessary.
5: Find Hacks and Shortcuts
Once you’ve found a sales strategy that delivers results, use it over and over again until it no longer executes the expected results. Successful salespeople work against the clock, spending more time trying to experiment new sales hacks and shortcuts for true selling. Using a technique that works over and over again doesn’t mean never changing your approach.
Never miss out on the opportunity to try a new approach that might work for you. Just make sure to do so selectively, and choose whether to implement or not. You can implement the tactic if it does work, or leave it and move on if it never delivers the expected outcomes.
6: Learn How to Sell Yourself
Whether you’ve spoken before or you’re cold calling, keep in mind that no one is going to dish out their hard-earned cash if they don’t like you. A person has got to like you first as the salesperson, then the product you’re selling follows. Otherwise, no tangible transaction is going to happen.
Before you make a sales pitch, first take a few moments to get to know your customer. Tell them a short story about you so they get to know you. Overall, your personality has to shine if at all you’re going to do business with the customer. A customer is more inclined to buy something if they see you as a person and even a friend rather than just a random stranger trying to sell them something.
7: Take Advantage of New Technology
Smart sales reps use new technology these days to get the highest returns on both their investment and time. Today’s world is packed with infinite new tech services intended to help salespeople solve any problem imaginable. Learning how to use new tech is a great way to outsmart the competition.
8: Use Social Media
It’s nearly impossible to find a smart salesperson in 2019 that doesn’t use social media. The social media platform is a remarkable place for researching potential prospects, connecting, and communicating with them. It can also be a great platform where salespeople make personal connections with buyers to fortify and maintain their business relationships.
Depending on your industry, you might want to use social media to market yourself. It gives you the much-needed info regarding prospects that you’d like to have so that you can reach out to them directly. Nevertheless, make sure to portray the utmost professionalism while using social media and steer clear of certain amateurish behaviors that might hurt your reputation.
9: Strive to Sell to the Top
It does sound a little less important, but smart salespeople who rake in cash by the truckload tend to focus on selling to the top. Here, selling to the top implies connecting with VPs, CEOs, and the like. Basically high-level prospects who can bring in game changing sales. Top-level prospects are usually the main policy and decision-makers whose task involves carrying budget approval.
So, instead of wasting time with an entry-level staff who has no power to make key decisions, why not try out a prospect who has the budget to purchase your services or products? Well, this may sound harsh, but it actually pays off as far as closing a sale is concerned. Prospects at the lower level are simply a recipe for losing time and money.
10: Understand the Direction your Industry is Headed
Some low-performing salespeople make the mistake of thinking that their industry is immune to disruption. As a matter of fact, every single industry out there isn’t immune to negative internal or external influences. It’s important to get to understand what changes your industry is undergoing in order to adjust in line with those specific changes.
Understanding where your industry is heading will help you to tailor your sales career accordingly. It will also allow you to leverage those changes to your advantage when engaging the prospects. High-performing salespeople have a coherent and detailed understanding of all the goings-on in the market. That’s a big part of why we expect trusted professionals to win more deals.
Before we wind up, there’s just one more tip that we felt worth mentioning. As clichéd as it might sound, top sales specialists actually recommend taking time off. That may seem counter intuitive. Especially here in the US where we tend to glorify the culture of working as much as you can. However, this can be detrimental to everything else.
Working hard and not smart can also delay your rise to success significantly. According to our panel of specialists, it’s all about equipping yourself with both the knowledge and sales tools required to survive the rapidly shifting world of sales. This article has equipped you with the knowledge – it’s time to get the tools as well. Get Veloxy Mobile and Veloxy Engage so your team can focus on productive sales activities while a virtual, AI powered assistant takes the work out of selling. With Veloxy, your reps can get the right information and direction for their next task depending on their context, location, and current task.