The other day, a friend who works in sales told me an unbelievable story about her sales team. On the morning of the last day of the month, her team had met less than 80% quota. By the end of the day, they had hit 105% quota.
What? I’m sure this is a common experience for the people reading this post, but as a non-salesperson, I was curious … how does that happen? What type of team does make that kind of jump in one day? What behavior makes for an effective salesperson, and by extension, a team of effective salespeople?
To answer this question, we studied some of the most effective salespeople in around company. Based on our observations, we came up with a list of habits that make them so good at what they do.
The Six Habits of an Effective Salesperson are the followings:
1) They set and stick to their ideal buyer persona.
A clearly defined buyer persona is crucial to an effective sales process. And a sales executive who sticks to that persona is effective in generating sales. Otherwise, a salesperson might fall back on spray-and-pray tactics that result in inefficient prospecting. An effective sales executive researches the prospect to make sure they are a good fit. They stick to their ideal buyer persona and know exactly whom they are selling to and why.
2) They prepare ahead of time.
An effective sales executive prepares before a call. That means they do research on their prospect and gather all the information before a big customer meeting. Top sales executives don’t wing it. They go in with a plan and a contingency plan. This way, they anticipate challenges or questions and prepare an effective response to avoid losing the sale.
3) Their lead generation process is measurable and repeatable.
A great process is broken down into measurable actions. By making each step measurable, a sales executive can pinpoint the weak points of their process and know exactly where to improve. For example, let’s say a salesperson can convert a large portion of their prospects into qualified leads and can pique their interest — but has trouble closing the deal. By tracking each step along the way, the sales executive can narrow down the weak point. Is the sales pitch not convincing enough? Is the follow-up procedure ineffective? Could the salesperson be more enthusiastic on the close?
After analysis, the sales executive has specific actions to improve upon rather than just “sell better.” An effective salesperson gets their process down to a science.
4) They execute fact-based (not feelings-based) pipeline management.
Effective sales executive don’t let their feelings cloud their judgment. They are able to maintain emotional distance from their deals and avoid taking conflict or rejection personally. This allows them to manage a more accurate pipeline.
5) They constantly build personal relationships.
Effective sales executive know relationships are the cornerstone of sales. The best sales executives are constantly making new connections and keeping tabs on partnerships that could be mutually beneficial. Focusing on connections also expands their networks, yielding more potential referrals.
6) They think from the customer’s point of view.
Smart sales executives understand that to effectively sell, they shouldn’t just think about the paycheck. In order to be successful, they ask themselves how they can help their prospects win. They become an ally for their prospects rather than salespeople. They think win-win.
Rather than asking, “How can I sell?” they ask, “How can I help?”
Instead of following a script and approaching each prospect with a “one size fits all” mentality, high-performing salespeople are committed to learning as much as they can about a prospect to tailor their message. These sales executives understand the unique pain points a prospect is facing and can connect the dots as to why their product specifically solves them.