What makes someone a great sales person? It’s a question we’re asked a lot by clients.While there is no definitive answer to the question there are personality traits we see in a lot of Kingman Lennox candidates. Inquisitive is one,some might call it plain nosey. There is a driving need for information and knowledge, a die hard interest in learning how dots are connected.They need to understand situations and business politics, how it all works. Goal oriented is another. Could be a sales target, a meeting with a certain CEO, or sitting in a chair on the board. There is always a goal and there isalways a plan in the making, working out ways to reach it. Contrary to popular belief, not every salesperson is gregarious. Their success is often based on their clients’ respecting their views and accepting their leadership. Personality traits aren’t the only thing great sales people have in common. At the end of the day character will take you so far. The rest is an approach to work that gets results. After a quick pow wow with the Kingman Lennox team we agreed on five of the ways good sales people get really good.
They Reinvent Themselves
The reason some sales people are more successful than others is they continually modify their behaviour to reach their goals. They change their thinking, make different decisions and see what impact it has and review results. They have a clear idea of what they want, seek out people who have achieved it and mirror their actions. They can move from selling drilling solutions to selling green energy solutions because they aren’t relying on long standing relationships to make sales. They adapt the products, cultures, industries. They have learned how to translate their skills, network and develop sales strategies based on knowledge brokering.
I’ve yet to meet a great sales person who wants to be a ‘Screen Sitter’ but the sales people we’re placing have adopted the technology which can help them do their jobs anytime anywhere. They don’t rely on company cultures to dictate their tech toolbox. They’ve worked out the tools they’re comfortable with.They maintain their own Linkedin profiles and stick to the etiquette. They still scan trade mags and newspapers but also use online Alert Services like Feedly and Twitter to keep tabs on their prospect companies. They’ve learned to start and maintain a relationship by email and phone, engaging their prospects with knowledge rich conversations and keeping their name out of the junk folder.
They Make Technology Work For Them
Companies are buying into marketing automation software like Marketo and Pardot, that promise to improve the quality of sales leads. Smart Sales professionals work with them and focus their energy on reaching the numbers. Sharon Drew candidly observed‘Marketing automation people are techies who just love the idea of extracting data with wizzy technology. But they are not sales people. As a result, there are some ‘features and functions’ missing. Like, how to close sales’ They manage upwards,playing an active part in setting and reviewing the lead criteria based on what gets them results. It hasn’t gone unnoticed that all Marketing Automation software companies employ sales reps – their software doesn’t bring home the bacon.
They Do Their Research
Successful B2B Sales people understand buying new solutions also involves change management. They need to get more than one person to buy into their solution or they won’t get sign off. Knowing who the main players are and where their interest lies is a foundation to the sales process. Good sales people ask a lot of questions, they scour business forums, build relationships with PA’s and secretaries, keep tabs on websites and press and know their prospects business models inside out.
They Have Fresh Approaches
Knowing the factors a company depends on for its success are the basis for the successful approaches successful B2B sales people are using. Regularly shooting off emails or calls about the benefits of your solution isn’t going to get you far. Internal influences (changes in management, mergers, acquisitions, new investors) and External Influences ( supplier changes, taxation, climate, economical) all present opportunities to connect with prospects in a current and high impact way.
Bottom line is in any industry to stay on top we all have to be constantly updating your approaches and your skills. Here are some resources to get you thinking.
We’re happy to recommend training courses to make you more marketable, just drop us a line.
Selling To Big Companies – Jill Konraith. Amazons Top 25 Sales Books four years running and a Fortune Magazine ‘must read’
The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence – Tom Peters “If you truly believe ‘excellence’ is what Tom Peters is all about, then you will buy this book, read it, learn from it and go away confirmed in your belief. Tom’s 163 tips are validated through experience again and again.” –Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Mastering The Complex Sale – Jeff Thud Your success demands an exceptional strategy and precise execution that must clearly set you apart from your competition. Jeff Thull again the envelope to give professionals a comprehensive guide to navigate and win high–stakes sales.
The Little Red Book Of Selling Jeff Gitomer If salespeople are worried about how to sell, Gitomer (The Sales Bible) believes they are missing out on the more important aspect of sales: why people buy. This, he says, is “all that matters,” and his latest book aims to demystify buying principles for salespeople.
Spin Selling Neil Rachman Rackham introduced his SPIN-selling method, where SPIN describes the whole selling process – Situation questions, Problem questions, Implication questions, Need-payoff questions. SPIN-selling provides you with a set of simple and practical techniques which have been tried in many of today’s leading companies with dramatic improvements to their sales performance.
The Sales Blog Anthony Iannarino – My goal is to make the posts actionable for the reader, giving them the ideas that will help them improve their own personal sales or those of their team, as well as a series of questions to help them implement and execute the ideas themselves.
Selling Power – Gerhard Gschwandtner Over the course of three decades, he has interviewed some of the most successful leaders and experts in sales, business, sports, entertainment, and politics, including Mary Kay Ash, Marc Benioff, Michael Dell, George Forman, Seth Godin, Jay Leno, Bill Marriott, and Colin Powell. He has trained more than 10,000 salespeople around the world and is the author of 17 sales management books.
Sharon Drew Morgans Blog Morgen has developed Buying Facilitation a scalable decision facilitation model that operates as a navigation skill to lead buyers through all of the necessary decisions, to help them bring together the appropriate Buying Decision Team, and ensure they develop and agree to whatever changes a new solution will bring.
SalesThoughtLeaders Great minds thinking alike about sales. Linda Richardson and Jonathan Farrington, two of the most respected thought leaders within the sales space have teamed up to bring you daily posts with help from friends and contributors.
Score more Sales Lori Richardson is the founder and CEO of Score More Sales. Lori is a thought leader on B2B front-line sales growth and works with (or in conjunction with) technology brands worldwide.Lori is an integral part of the expertise on selling and lead development on the web. She is active in the inside sales community, and in the local B2B tech sales + marketing community, having been in professional B2B sales roles for 20 years prior to launching Score More Sales.
We’ve got some dynamic clients in 2014 with growing businesses looking for great sales people.
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