Who do you picture when someone mentions ‘pro sales reps’? Probably someone like Jordan Belfort from the film The Wolf of Wall Street who is always driven, never takes no for an answer, and wins every deal. That might be a slight exaggeration, but it raises the real question – what really makes for a top-performing sales rep?
I believe it’s a mix of both art and science. Sure, some people are naturally good at building relationships and negotiating or are empathetic. But to build a team of sales winners, you need to be able to replicate certain qualities at scale. Here are some of the qualities and habits of successful salespeople your sales team can learn from:
1. Disciplined: The best sales reps always ensure that the basic processes involved in sales are taken care of. They follow up on time, drill down to customer pain points during discovery, nurture prospects, take notes, and clearly spell out the next steps, to mention a few.
2. Adaptive: They can easily mould themselves to work in different situations and settings. For instance, when the pandemic hit, most sales reps had to start working as inside sales agents. The best reps quickly adapted to online meetings and continued to bring in business remotely.
3. Collaborative: Pro sales reps make the most of their resources and support systems. They appreciate healthy competition but always remember that the real competition is outside their company. They also work closely with members from other departments such as marketing, product, and IT to win more deals as a team.
4. Tech-savvy: They use technology effectively to enhance their performance and save time.
5. Experts at time management and planning: Good sales reps respect time. They masterfully manage their days and tasks. They plan in advance, prioritise the hottest leads,set reminders for important meetings, and keep their files organised.
6. Always prepared: They gather all the information they need before every meeting or conversation. They look up prospects on LinkedIn and the latest developments in their prospects’ industries or companies. They also look for details such as browsing, purchase, and interaction histories of their prospects to have more contextual conversations.
7. Great listeners: They ask the right questions and give prospects the time and attention to answer completely. This helps them to understand prospects and their needs deeply.
8. Put customers before deals: The best sales reps are persistent but never pushy. They don’t try to sell their products or services. Instead, after getting to the root of prospects’ pain points, they focus on problem-solving through their offerings.
9. Act as advisors: Following a solution-based approach allows top-performing sales reps to gain customer trust by providing them with valuable advice and insights before and after a deal is closed.
10. Know their offerings well: They take the time to get to know their offerings completely. This helps good sales reps perfectly position their offerings based on each prospect's specific needs and respond to objections confidently.
11. Learn continuously: The best sales reps don’t just learn from their own mistakes but that of others too. They always try to understand what went wrong in any situation and don’t dwell on their losses.
12. Replicate success: You are only as good as your last deal. Good sales reps understand this and never allow their success to make them complacent. They identify what works and use that to continue winning.
From boardrooms to Zoom meetings, sales teams around the world are looking for ways to continue meeting new prospects and bring in more revenue. The pandemic poses some challenges, but it has also unlocked many opportunities. One of the biggest opportunities for sales teams is that clients are now willing to close big deals worth millions virtually.
By following in the footsteps of the best, any sales rep can improve their performance and make greater contributions to their organisation. And with the right technology, sales reps can stay on top of every task, contact, and deal.