Beyond delivering an exciting pitch, a successful sales rep follows a set of best practices they’ve learned over the years and has a genuine interest in understanding their customers’ needs and helping them come up with solutions through what they are selling.
Being a successful sales rep is about more than just selling. It’s about building lasting relationships with customers. What sets great salespeople apart is the ability to empathize, handle rejections gracefully, and exude confidence in what they’re trying to sell.
13 best practices from sales experts
Now, let’s learn from some of the best. We asked 13 sales experts to share their weekly gameplans for success.
Visibility creates opportunity
“I have one mantra that has proven to drive success year after year: ‘Visibility creates opportunity.’ Every week, sales people need to increase their visibility by sharing and engaging with buyers on social networks.”
“Top reps attack every day proactively and strategically instead of RE-acting to what’s in front of them (the squeaky wheel). They focus their time on where the most commission lies by blocking time for ‘A’ accounts, ‘B’ accounts and ‘C’ accounts, working deals, returning messages, dedicated email time, crossing off the to-do list—and they end their day with planning for tomorrow.”
“Every week, evaluate how much time was spent on prospecting, sales conversations, customer work, follow-up, and administrative tasks. Then use that review to better schedule for the coming week.
“Often, your sales calendar will have more internal meetings and admin time interfering with your ability to prospect regularly, engage in sales conversations to qualify opportunities, and handle appropriate customer work. Learn to say no to things that get in the way of selling.”
“Focus on who your buyer is and speak about them, not about you or your company. Find out who your customers are and what is important to their company growth. Tailor all your messages and interactions for each buyer so that they create interest, show you care, and add value.”
“If you want to be a successful in sales, then you need to constantly practice your pitch and presentation. Whether you’re making a cold call or giving a sales presentation, it is absolutely critical that you are prepared—even over-prepared. This means having all relevant information at your fingertips, including pricing, testimonials, samples, and a list of questions you need to ask to direct the sales conversation.
“I suggest creating a checklist of all of the information you will need, and reviewing it before your call or presentation. No matter how many times you’ve made a sales call or given the same presentation, always review your material ahead of time. You only have one opportunity to make a great first impression, so don’t waste it.”
“We all know the ABC’s of sales, but ABL is just as important! I should know: Ignoring this concept and thinking that I knew better literally cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars in missed sales earlier in my career.
“I challenge every sales rep to make sure that they read a book, attend a seminar, hire a coach or at least watch some YouTube videos every single week to succeed in sales. It’s easier than you think!”
“The #1 thing that helps reps the most is staying organized. At the end of every day, make sure your notes are tagged properly and in the right place, your checklists are organized, and your data is up to date.
“The minute you start to let this slip, everything slips. Accounts go untouched. Follow-ups don’t happen. Make organization a priority early on and you’ll have a long and successful career.”
Look for ways you can be useful to potential customers
“Successful sales reps look for ways they can be useful to potential customers. By using empathy as their intuition and reaching out—via phone, email, and social media—in a meaningful way, they build trust. They know this truth: The best selling approach feels like helping (because it is).”