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5 Traits of the Winning Salesperson

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5 Traits of the Winning Salesperson

Why are some salespeople more successful than the rest? How do good sales staffers meet their quotas consistently? Well, efficient salespersons have 5 traits that enable them sell effectively. Let us see what they are.

Trait 1: Successful sales reps don’t push products 

Well-performing salespeople don’t push their products; rather, they add value to the customer. Tom Reilly, in his article, What Is Value-added Selling says sales reps can add value to the buyer by convincing him of the impact their products can have on his businesses. And, to do this, good salespersons offer the right solution that helps meet the goals of the customer. They explain how their offering provides the best ROI on the money spent by the prospect. One of our clients in the manufacturing space has come with a mobile app which enables their sales reps calculate the amount prospects would save and determine the break-even period.

Trait 2: Top salespeople do their homework thoroughly

Staying on with creating value for the customer to facilitate effective selling, it is essential to have the “big picture” of the potential buyer. Good sales reps realize this and “study” the customer thoroughly before approaching him. They make the best use of buyer personas to ensure they are approaching the right prospect, and this helps them utilize their energies effectively. In his article, 3 Ways to Use Buyer Personas to Shorten Your Sales Cycle, Doug Davidoff points out that buyer personas are very useful to plan well for the sales calls and deliver the right sales message. He says that the description of the buyer’s problems helps the rep come up with the right strategy to handle the sales call.

Trait 3: Winning salespersons are good listeners 

Good listening is the key to effective sales enablement. Top salespeople are active listeners, and their listening skills enable them communicate successfully with their prospects. Keith Rosen, in his post Active Listening Is an Essential Sales Tool, states that good listening helps improve relationships with clients and generate new selling opportunities. Rosen lists 5 major mistakes salespeople make when they converse with prospects, which have a major impact on their ability to listen effectively.

  • Thinking about something else (may be the next sales call) when the customer is speaking.
  • Pretending to listen, which can result in a poor understanding of what the prospect is trying to convey.
  • Listening selectively. Many reps hear only what they want to hear.
  • Paying poor attention to the body language and facial expressions of the prospect.
  • Letting their biases interfere with understanding the prospect — passing judgment on people because of their age, success, or how they look; invalidating people based on what they see or based on a similar situation with another client.

Realizing the significance of active listening, many firms have made listening skills an integral part of their sales training programs.

Trait 4: Best salespeople learn lessons from failures 

Effective salespeople see every failure as a stepping stone to success. They comprehensively analyze what went wrong and ensure mistakes are not repeated. Mark Hunter, in his article, Lessons You Can Learn from Lost Sales, explains it is important to conduct a post-mortem of a failed sales initiative and determine why the customer didn’t choose to buy. Hunter advises reps to ask the following questions when they analyze a failed sales effort.

  • Did they get the customer to state his needs?
  • What did the customer ask and what was their reply?
  • How did they respond to the customer’s objections?
  • How did the customer respond to their closing pitch?
  • What did the customer agree and disagree to?

 This would prove very useful in preventing the recurrence of the mistakes.

Trait 5: High-performing sales folk manage their time well 

Successful salespeople have good time management skills. They know how to prioritize their duties and draw effective prospecting schedules. The post 6 Effective Time Management Techniques for Success in Sales states good reps minimize the time spent on non-revenue generating tasks such as processing sales paperwork and answering mails. This can be done by allocating a fixed amount of time to perform these activities. The post advises reps to “zone” their calendar. It suggests salespeople divide their territory into 4 zones and work only in one zone per day. This allows salespersons to hit every zone on different days of the week. It is better to have an “Inbox” drawn from the various tasks to be performed. The Inbox helps the sales folk review each task and identify the tasks that can be delegated. This enables reps overcome stress in a big way.

Good salespersons are customer-centric and know the importance of thoroughly understanding the prospects’ requirements. They are good listeners and learn their lessons from failures. Successful sales reps have good time management abilities which help them facilitate sales effectively. Hope you liked this post. Do share your views.

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