The best sales teams are motivated, excited, and constantly finding ways to improve their skills. The moment a sales person gets in a groove is technically the same moment they get stuck in a rut, so it’s critically important for them to keep learning and keep improving.
Of course, the best sales teams are also extremely busy and don’t have the time to read all the latest books, attend the local gatherings and seminars, or even read and share experiences online. In the worst case scenarios, the company might be pushing them so hard to fill quotas that they don’t dare deviate from their standard methodologies to explore different ideas.
What that means is that a lot of sales people prefer their hints, tips, and tricks in more bite-sized chunks. With that in mind, this article from the Salesforce hit that sweet spot between quick-fire tips and having enough information to be relevant to a range of situation.
The original article features 62 sales tips and quotes from sales leaders in a variety of industries, and, of them, these seven seemed particularly interesting and worth a further look.
- “Lead to what makes you unique, not with what makes you unique.” – Matt Dixon, Co-Author of “The Challenger Sale
This seems like a very fine line, but there is a really important difference here. Think of it like this: if you lead with the things that make you unique, you’re asking the prospect to take you at your word. When you lead to it, you’re starting on common ground – things you both know and accept – and then providing quantifiable facts and proofs along the way so when you reach your unique value proposition, it will have much more weight.
- “80 percent of prospects who eventually buy are originally marked as bad leads. Don’t totally count them out.” – Atri Chatterjee, CMO at Act-On Software
Sometimes “bad” is just a matter of timing. Maybe the lead wasn’t quite ready yet. Maybe they misunderstood what the offer was. Maybe the budget was under review at the time. Maybe the original contact was just having a really bad day and came off a little abrupt. There could be any number of reasons why it was a bad lead at the time. Maybe times have changed.
- “Salespeople today are the differentiator. That’s why it’s so critical for you to focus on becoming a valuable business asset to your customers.” – Jill Konrath, Author of “SNAP Selling” and “Selling to BIG Companies”
The sales people are responsible for a large portion of the customer’s first impression, and have the opportunity to make your company stand out. A lot of businesses may offer similar products or services, but your sales team has the potential to build the kind of relationships with individual customers that last for years.
- “You know you are running a modern sales team when selling feels more like the relationship between a doctor and a patient and less like a relationship between a salesperson and a prospect.” – Mark Roberge, SVP Sales and Services at HubSpot
People generally understand that when they go to the doctor they need to be direct and clear as they describe their problems and concerns. When the doctor prescribes the treatment, the patients listen and don’t say things like: “that sounds okay, but maybe I can get a better deal around the holidays.” Your sales team can fill that role in the business world. They can be the people who your potential clients trust to provide the right solution.
- “The No. 1 key to success in today’s sales environment is speed. The salesperson who delivers the most valuable information to their customer or prospect first, wins the game.” – Dave Orrico, VP of Enterprise Sales at InsideSales.com
Second place is just a fancy word for losing. It’s sad but true. If you’re second with the information your potential customers want, they won’t have any reason to work with you. It’s critical that you give the right information at the right time.
- “Be an example. Are you prompt? Are you professional? Are you engaged? As sales leaders, we have to set the bar high for ourselves as well as our teams.” – Lori Richardson, CEO & Founder of Score More Sales
If you seem utterly disinterested in your products, services, and sales process, then your team is going to feel the same way. If you want to build up a strong sales team, then it has to be clear that they are your number one priority. Set the tone and example you expect them to follow.
- ” Delivery of your value statement should take no more than 15 to 20 seconds — generally less.” – Dave Hibbard, Co-Author of “SOAR Selling”
Embrace brevity. Be clear. Be direct. Your value statement shouldn’t require anyone to ever say: “Now let me explain what that means.”
Building a better sales team takes a lot of time and effort, but, in the end, your company will benefit from it. There’s a lot to learn from sales leaders in different industries, so take a look at some of their tips (there’s another 55 on the Salesforce blog post) and discover new ways to up your game.