6 Things That Top Performing Sales Representatives Do Differently

Cold calling, cold emailing, sales pitches — every sales professional does the same thing. 

These are the first things they learn during their sales training, and at sales events. These practices are common globally, the only difference lies in basic semantics. 

However, if sales trade is so prim and proper, then why do different sales professionals get different results? 

Some of them close a deal within a few days while some find it hard to do so in even months. 

And no, the overachievers are not born that way. 

Selling is a skill that they have nurtured over the years and they have honed it even more by using a few excellent tips — the tips that we are going to see today. 

Here’s a list of things that the best performing sales professionals do different (and what you must learn from them). 

1. Set your own sales goals (and monitor them)

Naturally, when someone has a target to meet, they get more fired up to do their work. With targets in place, they know they have to pull up their socks and achieve that line they set for themselves. 

And that’s why top sales professionals set their goals and constantly monitor them. 

In fact, according to a Harvard Study, salespeople who stick to their goals and monitor their achievements and progress consistently perform 30% better than regular sales representatives. 

It’s quite simple, really. When you feel that you have to anyhow meet your goals, your motivation level jumps to an all-time high. 

That said, sales goals cannot be the same for each sales representative. It’s a possibility that some may buckle under the pressure if the sales goals are stringent and some might do exceedingly well with the same sales goals. 

So, make sure that the type of goals you set for yourself should be done to align with your routine, strength, and weakness.

Also, setting the sales goals is not nearly enough — you have to make sure you are not falling behind. If you fail to monitor your sales goals, then how would you even know whether you are on the right track or not? 

So, set your own sales goals and don’t forget to monitor them at every turn. 

2. Top sales representatives show genuine interest in their prospects

What tells apart top sales representatives from the regular ones is their fixation on their prospects and the zeal to solve their problems. On the other hand, regular sales professionals are mostly fixated on anyhow closing the final deal, without nurturing their leads and engaging their prospects. 

Here’s what the popular sales coach and author Wendy Weiss, also known as The Queen of Cold Calling, has to say:

“If you’re not talking to a qualified prospect, the chances of anyone turning into a customer, in the end, are very minimal.”

After all, at the end of the day, you are dealing with humans. If you are going to treat your prospects as an end to get a paycheck, then you are heading for a disaster. However, if you show genuine interest in your prospects, ask them important questions, try to solve their problems, then you can also get elevated to the coveted position of sales representative. 

Also Read: 7 Lead Nurturing Tactics to Use in Your 2019 Marketing Strategy

3. Ask Effective and Challenging Questions

What do you do as soon as you connect with your prospect? 

Pitch your product? 

Tell them how you can help? 

If yes, then it’s better if you stop doing it. These steps come way later in the sales process. 

First and foremost, you have to invest a substantial amount of your time asking effective and challenging questions to your prospects. 

I know you want to shorten your sales cycle, but you can’t afford to skip this part of your sales cycle. 

As a sales representative, it is imperative that you know the importance of asking questions from your prospects. Don’t give in to the instincts that make you talk about your product right away. 

It’s crucially important that you DO NOT try to close the sales deal at an earlier stage in the sales cycle. 

Now, by asking questions, I don’t mean to say that you have to prod your prospects and get them to reveal important information using sneaky questions. Ask them genuine questions about their company, their goals, success stories, and so forth. 

You’d be surprised by the things you might end up uncovering this way. 

This is also a great way of deterring your prospects’ needs without being pesky and salesy. And we all know how exceedingly important it is to know what your prospects need from you. 

In fact, according to research by Sales Benchmark Index, a sale done without needs discovery is 73% less likely to close successfully.

So, before you set up a meeting with your prospect or get on a sales call, jot down the important questions you need to ask to engage them and get them to talk about their needs. 

4. Listen to the prospects 

In the previous point, we talked about the importance of asking effective questions to uncover the needs of the prospect. 

But asking questions won’t do you any good if you don’t even listen to their answer attentively. 

If you don’t understand the point your prospect is making, request them to elaborate, don’t hesitate, and DON’T just nod your head in vain.

A research report reveals that one of the best traits of the best 1 percent of sales representatives is that they don’t just talk and ask questions — they listen attentively. 

They ask thought-provoking questions to draw out their prospects’ trust and the necessary information. They know in what sequence these questions need to be asked. But more than that, they make their prospect feel important and special by carefully listening to what they say. 

If you don’t take the effort to listen to your prospect and note down the important things, then even your questions are of no use whatsoever. 

5. Top sales representatives don’t sell, they help their clients 

We always hear how the best marketing is the one that doesn’t feel like marketing. 

And the same goes for the sales process. 

The best type of sales process is the one that doesn’t feel like a sales process. 

As a sales professional, your prospect should feel that you are helping them out rather than selling a product. 

All the top sales representatives don’t start with the question “What my company can offer you?” Instead, they start off with the question “How can I help the client?” and take things forward from here. 

If you are planning to start talking about your product headfirst without giving the needs of your representative the first thought, then you are never going to get elevated to the position of a top sales rep.

6. Top sales teams create omnichannel marketing experiences 

Omnichannel marketing means you have to be present to market your product at multiple mediums all at once. 

For instance, under omnichannel marketing, you have to engage your audience using a variety of mediums including your website, your company blog, a wide array of social media channels, and so forth. 

If you are not available at one of these channels, then your competitors are going to pounce on the opportunity and take your lead away from you. 

Have a look at this infographic by Salesforce. It reveals that high-performing sales teams are 34.4x more likely to be excellent at creating a personalized omnichannel customer experience. 

top sales representatives

Also, this step cannot be taken by a single sales representative alone as it requesters plenty of teamwork, collaboration, and ideation. 

The omnichannel also requires the sales manager to form a team of sales representatives that are good at unique things. For instance, the team should entail sales representatives with different capabilities. It should have a sales rep who is especially good at social selling, one who can excel at cold-calling, someone who can achieve great success by sending out engaging sales pitches via emails.

That’s a Wrap

So, these were some of the things and habits that set apart top performing sales representatives from a lot of regular ones. Top salespeople don’t care about the selling part (or they are just great at concealing it), they are focused on the prospect. When the prospect basks in all the attention, they are more inclined to do business with you. It is simple human psychology – humans like to feel important and like the attention that comes with it.

More than that, the prospects feel ambushed when they think that the sales professional is being promotional. So set your goals, learn to ask effective questions and while you are at it, keep on monitoring your performance consistently.

Practice these sales habits and you will see the results on your own. And before long, you will be termed as one of the best sales representatives in your company. That’s the plan, right?

Also, one of the most important things to achieve success in the sales process is audience research. The more you know about your audience, the more easily you can deal with them. Here’s an article to help you out with audience research: Why Audience Research Is Crucial To B2B Business.

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About Deepti Jain

Deepti is a senior content writer with AeroLeads. She spends a lot of time brainstorming ideas and writing marketing and sales content. She also has a knack for writing and reading about politics and prevalent social issues and regularly pens letters to the Editor of The Hindu newspaper. When she is not working, you’ll find her socializing with friends or binge-watching Netflix. (And devouring sushi).

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