These days, we’re always selling. In a business, it’s quite clear that we’re selling a service or product. In life, we’re indirectly selling. An idea, a thought, a plan, a photo and so much more, everyday on our social media profiles. It’s all about being able to influence others really – for revenues, or for accolades. In the digital age, with information overload and shrinking attention spans, it has become so much more difficult for salespersons to even get notice – let alone, have the prospect’s attention for any amount of time. So after putting together the essential skills required to close sales, I started poking into the habits of killer salespersons. What do they do that sets them a apart? And how on earth, do they manage these killer sales stats?
“13% of sales reps bring in 87% of the revenue “– RainGroup
After much digging around the web and talking to a few hot shot sales people I know, I found that there’s a common set of habits that top salespersons share. And of course, I just had to share it with you (no fun in keeping it to myself!). If you’re a salesperson, or aspiring to be, here’s the list you should emulate.
They Connect With Their Customers
- Winning salespersons are always prepared. They research their prospect thoroughly, before jumping in to craft a sales strategy. The take the time to really know who their customer is – not just the demographics, or their name and address – but who they really are, their psychological profile. What are their needs, what are their wants, what are their aspirations, what are their fears?
The best reps are 250% better at qualifying leads — Salesforce
- Killer salespeople truly listen to their customers. They don’t brashly launch into a sales pitch. They talk less. They ask intelligent questions – questions aimed at understanding their prospects better. They listen to what the customer is asking for, what the customer wants, and use that to figure out what their client really needs. In short, they are attentive and observant.
40% of salespeople can’t understand customer pain – TheTASGroup
- Using the above insights, they make a direct, personal connection. They constantly work at nurturing the relationship, irrespective of where it stands in the sales cycle. The salespeople who win are the ones who get the customers to see them as an ally, rather than someone who’s faking interest just to sell them stuff. People buy from people they like. Salespeople who connect with customers and are able to identify and address customer problems are more likely to win sales, and repeat orders.
..those reps are 28% more likely to achieve quota — Salesforce
They Convince Clients
- While most sales people wax eloquent about their product (or service) listing out all the features, winning sellers focus on the benefits – how their product solves the customers’ problem. They remove the guesswork from it. Instead of leaving the customer to do the math on whether this feature rich product is really a good fit for them, a killer salesperson actually shows them what a great match it is. He gets the customer to see the lasting value in the proposition.
- People are loss averse. We hate losing more than we value winning. Good sellers understand this. They anticipate the customer’s perceptions of future risk, and are prepared to address those concerns. When there are many players in the market, part of this risk reduction process is also convincing customers why to choose you over competitors. Winning sellers incorporate mechanisms to differentiate themselves as compared to key competitors.
Make competitors part of your strategy for 39% more high performers — TheTASGroup
- When times get tough, or there’s a dip in the economy, the unsuccessful salespeople will be the first to cool down and start making excuses. The winners understand that there are cycles. Not all sales get through. Some clients are just impossible. And that just about anyone can have a bad day. But they also know when, and how to brush it off and get back into the game. They are resilient. They are persistent. They make it a habit to hustle, to find alternative solutions even when there seem to be none.
Do. Or do not. There is no try. — Yoda
- Top salespeople just make it impossible to say No. They make it easy to say Yes. Whatever the situation, they find a way to move forward without offending or frustrating the customer. They communicate in a way that makes it easier for customers to make a favourable decision. Always. Even if it’s just a small win. For example, with a non-committal customer, instead of saying “Could you call me once you’re ready to make a decision”, top salespeople take an assertive stance and steer the customer with something like “Can you please give me a specific time and date when I can call back to help with your decision?” Now who can say no to that!
They don’t Sell. They Collaborate.
- The best sales people don’t focus on selling. They focus on helping their customers visualise a better solution. They make it a habit to build trust and credibility with prospects. They position themselves as allies and collaborate with clients and customers to create the best solution. There’s no great sales pitch. It’s just about gradually getting the customer from where they are today, to where they want to be.
It’s not about the e-commerce, it’s about the r-commerce (relationships) – Terry Brock
- One crucial habit that sets top salespeople apart is that they educate customers with new ideas and perspectives. They are naturally curious and continuously learning themselves. They take it a step further to apply their knowledge and experience to come up with new ideas for the customer, and help expand their options and horizons. Per the RainGroup’s study, this is one area that sets the starkest contrast between sales winners and the second place finishers!
- When problem solving, winners make sure to keep their ego aside and focus on coming up with a solution that is in the best interest of the customer relationship. Instead of being fixated on themselves as the key point of the purchase decision, they position the team that will help them win the account. They know that this reassures the customer that it’s not a one man show, that there’s a dedicated team on standby to help address their needs and concerns.
91 percent of top salespeople had medium to high scores of modesty and humility– HarvardBusinessReview
- Top salespeople know their tools. They leverage technology to be more productive and help steer their customers in the right direction. Not so long ago, the main sales tools were a rolodex and a phone. Today we’ve got a wide range of software tools to help manage the sales process – from digital lead generation methods, CRMs to tools like Skype, Hangouts and other to connect online with buyers. The average salesperson either tends to ignore the technology, or struggles with it. The top salespersons on the other hand, are the one who’re able to embrace technology and leverage it to better engage their customers.
CRM can improve sales by up to 29% and productivity by up to 34% – Salesforce
So yes, you can bet that the top salespeople are already using a CRM. The question is, are you ready to join them?
If yes, go over and check out the latest version of Stride CRM platform. It helps you track leads and deals, monitor the effectiveness of your sales approach and your conversions, and understand how you can improve your sales process. And we’ve incorporated feedback from top salespersons and built in their habits, their methods, right into the software. The Stride platform is crafted for specially for top salespersons. Check it out to see how you too can become a top salesperson.