Sales success is not just science; it’s a skilful art.
Sales involves a number of tricky variables. There’s a big difference between an average sales performer and a great one. A great salesperson not only hits their goals but also earns loyalty, consistent appreciation and retains their customers.
Bad hires not only prove to be expensive to the organisation.
According to estimates, a bad sales hire costs an organisation 50-75% of the hire’s annual salary. So, if the employee makes $50,000 annually, it costs around $25,000 - $37,500 just to facilitate a suitable replacement.
But there’s also another set of expenses - low productivity, potentially lost business, recruitment costs, and more.
Sales success is not rocket science, but it does involve owning certain skills that help you be the MVP of sales!
Common Hindrances to Sales Success
Not everyone can handle the high pressure that comes with the job and may quickly end up being stuck in a three-ring circus. Even a highly skilled salesperson can lose the plot sometimes.
Some of the most common reasons contributing to the failure of a salesperson include poor communication skills, a lack of planning, a poor sales script, inadequate product knowledge, inadequate follow-ups, failure to prioritise, steering away from the ideal buyer persona and relying only on manual work as opposed to leveraging automation software.
It’s important to have a growth mindset and remember that the best salespersons aren’t born; they learn, adapt, practice and nurture their skills regularly.
Being a Great Salesperson Begins Now!
With 92% of all customer interactions happening over a phone call, here are seven key selling habits that will take you a long way.
#1 Track the right KPIs for sales success
Oftentimes, for new sales members, tracking the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) can be extremely confusing.
You may find yourself asking what matters, what data points you need to track and what’s truly driving the revenue.
Even an experienced salesperson can sometimes get lost in tracking and creating the right KPIs. KPIs are leading signposts that contribute to being a great salesperson and help you evaluate your performance against your organisational goals.
#2 Leverage the right sales tools for maximum efficiency
Sales tools are any digital tools or software that help salespeople close the deal quicker and easier. Investing in the right kind of sales tools can save massive amounts of time spent on manual, repetitive, and administrative tasks. It can also help innovate the selling process itself.
Sales tools such as SalesKen can coach you and your team to navigate every sales conversation intuitively by providing real-time cues, analysing customers’ voices across channels with conversational intelligence, and eliminating lead loss by identifying the customers’ intent, objectives, needs, and context.
#3 Learn from your competitors
In this competitive era, understanding what your competitors are up to and learning their secrets to success is critical to an organisation’s success.
Ignoring this can have serious consequences - loss of market share, jeopardising the business, increased customer retention rate, and even bearing the expenses of low performers.
According to sources, three-quarters of companies state competitive intelligence is crucial to their sales process. Learning the nitty-gritty of your competitors’ offerings is another way of learning about your own. Understanding how their products are being pitched to and used by customers can reveal the potential of your own product.
To sell against your competition, keep these five factors in mind to create a solid foundation for your competitor product training:
- Direct competitors and their offering
- Product range
- Pricing and perks
- Target audience
- Marketing strategy
- Public news, PR, and reviews
#4 Implement the right strategies to win
A sales strategy is a plan by which you position your product or service in the market and towards your target audience to gain an advantage over the competition. Having the right sales strategy will help you and your team better prioritise and engage with potential customers and close the deal smoothly.
A Forrester study revealed that only 15% of sales calls add enough value. Being well-prepared with your sales calls practices can help you deliver conversations to create a distinctive purchase experience, demonstrate the value of your product, and make you stand out against your competitors.
Here are ten tips to craft a successful sales strategy for you and your team:
- Create product urgency
- Build a powerful value proposition in your pitch
- Sell a compelling story
- Experiment with the buyer persona
- Avoid the “commodity trap”
- Offer a demo of the product
- Lead with insights
- Don’t be shy to ask questions
- Personalise your sales strategy
- Enable situational training
Rather than creating a sales strategy that is set in stone, create a strategy that communicates more value in your sales conversations for successful sales.
#5 Personalise your message for quick wins
“Customer experience” is the next competitive battleground. Organisations and sales managers that focus on delivering high-end, smooth product offerings and solutions exclusive to their buyers are the winners at the end of the day.
Personalisation is often the key to bridging the gap to conversion for successful selling of your product. For instance, a sales manager personalising their sales techniques in their email marketing campaigns, cold calls, and even follow-ups, may lead to an increase in responses. This example is backed by data. The research found that 71% of consumers would change the way they interacted with emails if they were personalised.
Here’s how to stand out from the crowd and personalise your message -
- Add a human touch
- Understand the customers’ pain points and focus on solving them
- Use data to enhance the experience
- Leverage the right technology such as SalesKen’s intuitive intelligence to drip down further in the sales funnel
- Chat with prospects in real-time
- Personalised follow-ups
#6 Manage your time wisely
Time management and planning is integral to successful selling and is a vital part of your sales training.
Managing time well increases productivity. It prevents the production of poor-quality work, helps meet deadlines, maintains your professional reputation, decreases your stress levels, and more.
Time is the most valuable asset for any sales rep.
Here are a few tips to help you stay focused and declutter:
1. Eliminate distraction
According to Think Money, a third of the employees are distracted for as many as three hours of the working day. The best way to manage time is to avoid distractions and focus on a single task at a time, giving it your full, undivided attention.
2. Plan ahead
Have an actionable plan to tackle your most important tasks when your productivity is at its peak. Block this time on your calendar and schedule tasks to tick off the list.
3. Don’t focus on unnecessary tasks
Remove, automate, and outsource mundane tasks to help you focus on the critical tasks at hand.
#7 Identify sales success blockers
Whether it’s a lead, customer, prospect, or sales rep, it is important to comb out sales success blockers and focus on training and development opportunities.
According to the HubSpot 2021 Sales Enablement Report, 40% of sales leaders missed their revenue targets this year. On the other hand, the sales team that performed well credited adapting their sales needs, using data to focus on the right opportunities and enabling their sales teams with the right tools and technology.
Some of the most common sales success blockers revolve around time management, prioritisation, and efficiency, like not offering real value to prospects, disregarding adaptability, sending out stale sale proposals, lack of skilful coaching and inconsistent sales process.
Identifying and focusing on the right KPIs will help you tackle blockers that keep you and your team from reaching their potential.
There is no one way to achieve success in sales, but there are some tried and tested best practices. Learning on the go, adapting to successful habits and leveraging the right tools and technology are essential to providing a positive sales experience to your customers.
SalesKen’s AI-enabled sales performance automation tool can help you and your team to become successful salespeople easily and quickly. Book a free demo today and find out how!