Salespeople from all companies across various industries share a similar reputation; they all get paid big money to schmooze clients over fancy lunches or extravagant golf games. The truth is, salespeople have a uniquely challenging job in that they are regularly managing client relationships, overcoming competition, and maintaining proper product knowledge. Simultaneously, they must consistently hit their targets and quotas to receive compensation, as most sales reps acquire monthly commissions versus a yearly guaranteed salary. That said, all top-earning salespeople engage in fundamental habits, helping them sustain quota achievement and financial security.
While salespeople might be known for their charm and confidence in a business setting, the most successful reps don't hit their quotas merely by talking on-the-fly. To thrive in a client meeting, salespeople must adequately prepare for any questions, challenges, or objections they may face. What is thrive meeting like? Simply put, it is when both the client and representative conclude a gathering with a mutual feeling of accomplishment and gain. This success can only come with sufficient preparation and education from the salesperson.
In addition to client research, a sales rep must be knowledgeable about their competition as well. Customers often meet with representatives from different companies, attempting to find the best, most appropriate fit. Knowing how to overcome the competition and point out weaknesses and shortcomings will lead to a higher chance of gaining the business.
Know Your Customer
New salespeople often cast a vastly wide net, contacting many potential customers who have no interest in the product for sale. Seasoned reps know that to be successful, they must carefully cater their efforts. Targeting clientele who have a specific need for their offerings will result in a higher percentage of sales closed.
Modern technology allows companies to study why clients need their particular products. Leveraging these tools gives salespeople the competitive advantage they need to edge out their competition. By showing clients how their products can positively affect their business, salespeople can create lasting relationships based on trust and confidence.
Salespeople regularly find themselves juggling several pressing tasks on their to-do list. Top reps utilize customer relationship management programs to prioritize their duties and ensure nothing falls through the cracks. CRMs make it possible for representatives to organize their client list and highlight their pipeline for manager visibility. Getting in the habit of entering meeting details, documenting next steps, and noting follow-up information following a client call are best practices employed by the most outstanding salespeople. After all, a forgotten follow-up results in dissatisfied customers and potentially lost business.
Further, representatives must remember the 80/20 rule of sales. That is, 80 percent of their business tends to come from 20 percent of their clients. Successful salespeople know not to waste their time and resources on long-shot deals but rather identify their most productive clients and make them the priority.
All too often, professional salespeople feel the need to get their pitch across immediately. In a client call scenario, they hastily spill their spiel before gaining the insight necessary to fit a need. These actions create missed opportunities, resulting in poor client relationships and missed business opportunities.
The best salespeople have learned that listening is critical. Asking thoughtful, open-ended questions and waiting until the client finishes answering is a tried and true method to success. The benefits are twofold. Representatives gain valuable insight into client's needs, and clients feel heard, trusted, and understood.
If Necessary, Walk Away
It is difficult for salespeople to turn away business; it is their nature to say yes to every opportunity presented. However, top-earning reps have learned that not every partnership can be profitable. It is in their best interest to walk away from a deal when they sense a poor fit. Time spent on qualified, interested buyers is much more worthwhile than spinning wheels on a problem the product can't fix.
While sales is potentially a very lucrative career, success does not come without careful education, preparation, and practice. The most prosperous salespeople stick to the basics while continually sharpening their skills. With dedication and commitment to the job, sales reps can not only hit their goals, but they can smash them year after year!
Publish Date: February 17, 2021 2:13 PM