We all want to sell more, sell faster and create better results for our business. But we also want to maintain brand value and the hard-earned trust we have developed with our customers. Striking the balance between the two is the tricky tightrope that sales professionals must balance every day.
Top-performing sales people all have something in common. Actually, they have a lot of things in common. They all follow several sales best practices that help them balance their results and reputation in perfect harmony.
Here are 25 sales best practices that you should know and follow.
1. Set Targets
Sales is a target-driven industry. It is likely that as a sales pro you are either given or create your own weekly, monthly or quarterly targets to hit.
To convert faster, develop targets that align with your physical sales numbers that can be measured as a progressive step towards that ultimate goal. For example, working out the average number of cold calls you need to make a sale will allow you to set target call numbers daily.
2. Practice Listening Skills
Listening is an underrated sales skill that can pay big dividends. Practice truly listening to your customers when they are explaining their challenges. Don’t just note what they tell you, but learn from what they don’t tell you. This will help you understand the true underlying issues and how you can help fix them.
3. Have an Objective for Every Call
Some sales professionals focus on making as many calls as possible, assuming that it is the volume that will produce the best results.
By setting a clear objective for each sales call you can be more concise in your approach. It also means you won’t waste anyone’s time because you’ll be speaking to the right people for the right reasons, which will hopefully help you close the deal faster.
4. Understand Your Customer
When you meet or set up a call with a customer do not simply jump into singing the benefits of your product or service. Seek first to understand their challenges and requirements and then tailor your message to show how your product can meet them.
This builds trust and is a powerful way to convince customers of their need for your offering.
5. Make an Offer they Can’t Refuse
Once you’ve taken the time to understand your customer’s position and their pain points, offer a deal they can’t say no to. This might include free trials, a discount or even a 1-to-1 introductory setup call.
6. Be Highly Adaptable
The best sales professionals are highly adaptable to any situation. Not only is this skill beneficial when talking to different customers who like to be dealt with in different ways, but it also helps you adapt quickly to changes in the market and stay profitable during uncertain times.
7. Remain Focused
Remaining focused throughout any pitch or presentation you deliver to your customers is a practice which shows your respect for their time and lets you communicate your message concisely.
8. Stick to the Plan
Having a plan limits wasted energy and resources. It also helps you quickly and efficiently guide your customers through the buying journey.
Always knowing which steps, you or your customer needs to take next keeps the momentum behind your sales.
9. See Prospects Everywhere
Developing your ability to see prospective buyers in every situation is a skill that will take you from a good to a great salesperson. Although not everyone you meet or talk to is a potential buyer, there is every possibility that their network could have your next big customer nestled in it.
10. Stay in Contact
Stay in touch with all your prospects, in a way that is meaningful to them. Nobody likes to feel like they are being sold to. So, if you only get in touch with your customers when you have something to sell, you might lose their interest.
11. Don’t Pester
Learn the difference between keeping in touch with your clients and pestering them. Find ways to bring value to your customers beyond selling to them and you will build a network that will start coming to you when they need what you offer.
12. Structure Your Day
Always structure your time to make sure you are continuously working towards achieving your goals. This can be as simple as developing a regular schedule Remember to work with your natural productivity levels to utilize the time you’re most able to focus.
13. …and Structure Your Week, Month, Year
Structuring your week, month and year will force you to focus on your goals and the time frames in which you wish to achieve them. Be realistic with your goals, but still a little ambitious.
14. Know Which Questions to Ask
If you want to make more sales, know your customer’s needs by asking the right questions. Practice asking probing, open questions that help you get to the core of their issues and you will see your ability to sell skyrocket.
15. Keep Clarity
Never assume you know exactly what your prospects and customers are dealing with or what they want. One simple way to make sure you are moving in the right direction is to summarize what you believe to be their needs and ask them to confirm at the end of each interaction.
16. Understand Their Position
Knowing your position in the market is paramount to sales success. Work out where you sit within the market in terms of quality, cost and service. This will assist you in approaching the right customers in the right way.
17. Prepare for Objections
Develop your knowledge of common objections and have an idea of how best to answer these in a way that keeps the conversation going. It is equally important to plan for objections where you may not know the immediate answer.
18. Treat Everyone Well
Whether you’re speaking to someone in customer service or the head of the company, speak to everyone with respect and genuine kindness.
Sales can be fast-moving and focused on winning, but treating everybody right along the way will ensure you uphold your reputation. And it’s nice to be nice.
19. Identify Decision Makers
Sales professionals can spend a lot of time talking to individuals within a business who ultimately do not make the final decision. Although it is important to know who the gatekeepers are, it is a crucial skill to learn who the decision-maker or decision-makers are so you can get your proposal signed off.
20. Consider Kaizen
‘Kaizen’ is Japanese business term which refers to making incremental, tiny improvements each day, moving towards one ultimate goal. The best sales professionals take this approach, understanding that selling is a marathon, not a sprint. They constantly develop their skills and relationships to increase their chances of making a sale.
21. Understand Competitors
Understand your customers, what they offer, where they excel and where their shortcomings are. This will let you answer questions and objections around competitor offerings and how they stack up against yours.
22. Work as a Team
Although sales can often seem a lonely job, communicating with the rest of your team is a great way to help you convert faster.
For example, clearly communicating customer feedback that you receive will help others in your business to develop the product and service to better meet their needs.
23. Act with Your Customers’ Best Interest in Mind
Being a great salesperson isn’t always about making a quick sale. Serving your customers and helping them meet their needs is the perfect way to increase your success.
For example, helping a potential customer, even when it doesn’t necessarily lead to a sale is a great way to build trust. Trust is likely to lead to bigger and easier sales in the future.
24. Keep Your CRM Notes Consistent
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems can get messy — and fast. Keep yours in order by standardizing the information everyone includes. Not only does it make your CRM tidier, it also makes handoffs to other sales reps as seamless as possible, meaning they can focus on being high-performing!
25. Keep Improving Your Process
Whether it’s looking out for new software, tinkering with automation or continuing to revise and [improve your cold email subject lines]https://textexpander.com/blog/29-email-subject-lines-for-sales-the-secret-to-getting-opened/), the most effective sales reps and sales managers keep up to date with new technology and always look for ways to improve their sales process and systems to ensure long term success for themselves and their sales team.
Ready, Set, Sell!
Learning, applying and consistently using these sales best practices is a great way to convert faster and make more profit. Implement them now and see your business grow.
What effective sales best practices do you use? Let us know in the comments.