Sales Excellence 101
In today’s day and age, it is easy to get distracted while trying to do your core job duties. Interruptions can arise from telephone calls, instant messages, emails or Facebook posts, just to name a few. Given this level of never-ending “chatter,” it is amazing any work gets done at all!
Those in a sales role have an added challenge – there really isn’t just one way to sell. Depending upon your product, service, industry, competition or the audience you sell to, there may be one or fifty different approaches that could yield a successful track record. Hanging out at trade shows every week might work in some industries. In other cases, this activity might be a complete waste of time. One technique applied to multiple industries will likely yield varying results.
How Do You Get Started?
If you are just starting out with a new job at a new company, perhaps in a new industry, what is the best way for you to accelerate your ramp up to increase sales? If you are fortunate to be hired at a company with a formal training program, take advantage of it. It is in everyone’s best interest to get you trained quickly, so invest the time and effort to leverage this knowledge.
For those not as fortunate, another approach to gaining sales tips might be to seek out the most successful account executive, and take themout to lunch (your treat) to pick their brain on what really has led to their success. Sales management’s formal training program and guidelines may or may not actually yield the best results.
Of course, the best sales people are usually the busiest … so you may be hard pressed to gain access to these individuals. And, they might not be too eager to reveal their “secret sauce” if it puts their future performance at risk.
There is another caveat. Quite often people aren’t always aware of what they actually do all day – specifically what activities are leading to their success. They know the routine they follow, and they likely have become so good at navigating through certain situations, but that might not be sufficient information to easily share with you to build your skills.
Subtle variances that may not be fully documented can impact your quest to improve sales performance. These nuances can lead to new results – or not. Word-of-mouth is a good place to start, but more is needed. If it were possible to more quantifiably measure sales performance – or specifically – those actions that led to sales excellence, then that would reveal greater accuracy and causation to accelerate sales performance.
The Ride Along
Another strategy to gain sales excellence and best practices for time management is to do a ride along, say for a few days with the top salesperson at your company. Seeing them in action, hearing the interactions they do with prospects, and watching how they spend their time – including how they overcome objections – could be an extremely valuable time investment to help train you for similar success.
If you have co-workers that would agree to such an exercise, take advantage of it. If not, the next best thing might be to obtain a listing of how your company’s best sales people spend their time coupled scripts of how they position the product and overcome objections. This type of real-world intelligence could go a long way to getting you up to speed quickly, and achieving quota faster than if you try to figure out all these variables on your own.