During the XANT Sales Acceleration Summit, Tim Clarke, director of product marketing at Salesforce, revealed 10 tips to help sales reps perform at their best.
Tim based his sales tips on these thoughts from Quotable.com contributors and added his own recommendations.
1. Salespeople vs. the Internet: Who is winning?
“Rather than reduce the power of salespeople, the Internet made salespeople more powerful than before.”
- Jason Jordan, Partner, Vantage Point Performance
Ten years ago, many people were prophesying the extinction of sales forces because of the Internet. They believed that with so much information available, buyers would no longer need salespeople. They were wrong. The sales industry is stronger than ever and reps that make use of the Internet and automate their processes will have a significant competitive advantage.
2. Salespeople and the significance of the digital footprint
“Your target customers and prospects, especially the social ones, can tell within seconds whether you’ve done your due diligence.”
- Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist, Salesforce
Customers and prospects have done their homework. Many of them have already done a lot of research before ever speaking with you. In order to better connect with them, you must be up-to-date on their company and all their needs. Leverage all the information available to you to learn more about them.
3. The hottest job in sales right now
“While sales cycles haven’t elongated exponentially, the amount of effort required to win a single sale has.”
- Trish Bertuzzi, President & Chief Strategist, The Bridge Group
We talk so much about closing deals that we often forget the importance of building pipeline. The growth of sales development is helping organizations fuel their momentum, driving more revenue and more customers.
4. How to respond to one of the biggest sales blow-offs of all time
“I’m going to tell you to send me your sales information and then bet with colleagues how many follow-up calls you’re going to make.”
- John Barrows, Owner, J.Barrows, LLC
Many times when you’re speaking with a prospect and you offer to send them additioanl information, they’ll say yes just to be polite or get you off their back. In order to beat this, you need to ask key questions. Ask the what, when and why to determine what kinds of information they would actually benefit from.
5. Sales skills that can’t be taught
“The most self-aware sales pros are more deliberate with success and know how to repeat it.”
- Dan Ross, AVP Commercial Sales, Salesforce
When sales leaders are looking to hire the right candidates, they need to find those who have the right qualities to excel. Some of these skills include curiosity, integrity and a drive to succeed. If you’re looking to stand out, work on developing these qualities.
6. Are you missing this powerful selling skill?
“Empathy creates an emotional connection, which elevates the sales conversation.”
- Colleen Stanley, President & Chief Selling Officer, SalesLeadership, Inc.
A lot of organizations are beginning to make better use of sales training and coaching to improve professional development within their teams. That being said, many are missing one of the most important skills sales people can have: empathy.
7. Sales genius is a team sport
“Salespeople are accustomed to controlling their own destiny, often seeing other departments as the ‘land of no’.”
- Tim Sanders, Author & Keynote Speaker
The playing field of sales has changed. There are so many more people involved in the buying process than ever before, which means that in order to be successful, sellers must tap into their networks and collaborate with peers.
8. When a sales manager should save a deal
“When the salesperson is having trouble closing, it’s an issue that goes way back up to the sales funnel.”
- Mark Hunter, CEO & Founder, The Sales Hunter
Sales managers and leadership might question if they need to get involved, especially at the end of the quarter or the year. However, this isn’t the right thing to do. If you’re constantly getting involved, you can’t develop the individual. Resist the urge to jump in and you’ll build up a stronger sales team.
9. Effectiveness and efficiency: Why successful leaders do both
“Doing the right things isn’t enough anymore. Nor is just doing things right.”
- Laura Stack, President & CEO, Productivity Keynote Speaker and Author, The Productivity Pro, Inc.
Improving sales effectiveness isn’t enough on its own. Sales success depends on working smart and hard. Organizations must invest in technology to improve efficiency while constantly re-evaluating processes and methods to increase productivity.
10. Content is the currency of the modern sales professional
“If sellers demonstrate that they have information, insights, resources and networks – that is, real value to add – it’s like a magnet.”
- Jill Rowley, Founder & Chief Evangelist, #SocialSelling
Instead of trying to be hunters and chase prospects down, sellers need to become someone who wants to be found. They should swim with the current, insert themselves in relevant conversations, and create valuable content for their prospects to consume.