This article aims to point you at the five things that most affect your sales results and get the results that effort deserves.
Improving sales results should be the goal of any sales professional, regardless of their current level of success, but knowing that and knowing how to do it are completely different things. Simply ‘working harder’ only works to a point, and too much inefficient hard work can actually backfire by killing your morale and dulling your edge. This article aims to point you at the five things that most affect your sales results, so you can narrow the focus of your effort and get the results that effort deserves.
It’s truly astounding how many sales people think it’s enough to know how to sell. It’s a simple fact that to see truly excellent sales results, you must understand what you are selling and why people buy it. What needs does the product fill? How does it compare within the industry-what are the weak points and the strong points?
If a prospect asks you about a weak point, do you know enough to give a satisfactory answer without lying? Can you offer solutions not written on the box, propose work-arounds when a prospect wants the product to do something it doesn’t do well? This ties in closely with next sales results factor on the list, understanding customers.
Knowledge of your prospects often trumps all other factors when it comes to sales results. Even a cold call can be a high-success-rate proposition with a thorough understanding of the person you are calling. And no bit of knowledge can be said to be useless-many a business sale has been made because a savvy caller started a conversation about something personal to the prospect that they noticed in an office or read in the ‘hobby’ section of a biography.
This extends to those you’ve sold to in the past. If you understand who buys your product and what they do with it, it gives you a personal insight you can apply to sell that product again. You can also develop a better strategy for retaining customers, a major boon for long-term sales results.
It should be no surprise that a willingness to learn plays a pivotal role in your sales results, as it does in success across all fields. There will always be new things to know about the industry, new changes in the way people communicate, and new tactics developed by people reading the latest social science papers. Intellectual inquisitiveness carries value on its own, of course, keeping your mind sharp and ready to take in information-whether it’s how to use a new productivity tool or the hobbies of a prospect.
Understanding your own strengths and problem areas can contribute as much to your sales results as the rest of this page combined, if you put that knowledge to good use. This means eschewing the urge to lay the blame on the economy, the product, the rest of the team, and always looking for what your, personally, do right and do wrong. If you excel with a particular form of sales, or at interacting with a particular type of client, knowing that and putting it to work for you means less time wasted on inferior leads-because sometimes, a perfect lead isn’t perfect for you.
Not all the knowledge in the world will help an individual unwilling or unable to adapt. Perfect strategies die overnight as the competition changes, so sales people who cannot adapt will inevitably fail–no matter their sales results today. Always consider tomorrow and how you might be the one to pull the rug out on the competition. Try to be the first person to pursue sales through a new form of media, or to propose a solution to a problem previously unsolved. Be flexible in your thinking and never let the competition leave you behind, or your sales results will show it.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.