Selling Points: 5 Factors that Fire Up Sales Success

First up, a follow-up: have some of those high-achieving habits taken hold?

We refer, of course, to our previous post, which you will recall identified the key habits of high flyers. Well, stand by for a second look at the secrets of success – but this week, we’re getting even more specific. Our specialist subject? Sales – and the essential behaviours that will boost them.

Optimum sales performance is, of course, a critical component of an organisation’s success – so much so that we now provide a separate programme, salesPEP, which focuses on this very issue (and since we’re on the topic of sales, you have to admire that nifty piece of product placement). So salespeople, this post is especially for you. We’ve observed that top sales performers tend to have a few habits in common – and we’ve helpfully collated these below. Read on, then, for a breakdown of the five factors that keep the best salespeople well ahead of the rest of the pack:

1. They’re not in the office.

Obviously, we’re not talking absenteeism – rather, this is about customer-facing time. “The most effective salespeople we see are the ones who are not always working in the office,” notes PEPworldwide managing director Kathryn Anda. “That’s the bottom line: they’re focused on being in front of the customer and not in front of the computer.” Within reason, of course: a certain amount of admin is inescapable. They just don’t let it take over. “They tend to schedule maybe one day a week in the office for planning or looking for new business,” explains Anda. “The point is that for the other four days of the week they’re out seeing clients.”

2. They’re tech-savvy.

Top salespeople know that the more efficient they are, the faster they’ll be freed from the office – and they leverage tools and technology to achieve this. “Successful salespeople are disciplined about loading information into their CRM system immediately after a meeting or call,” explains Anda. “They don’t rely on memory; they use the tools they’ve been given to record data in the most efficient way.” They know their way around other time-saving tools like Outlook and OneNote, too. Minimising admin = maximising sales. Commit that formula to memory.

3. They plan ahead.

Super sales performers stay at least one step ahead, says Anda. “They’re skilled at maintaining momentum,” she explains. “They ensure that there are agreements on what the next actions will be – whether it’s what they’re going to do for the client or what they may need the client to do. They’re always focused on the next part of the process.”

Successful salespeople don’t rely on memory; they use the tools they’ve been given to record data in the most efficient way.

4. They know their targets.

Top salespeople manage their metrics: they know exactly where they’re at in terms of sales targets, sales to date, opportunities and ROI. As a result, they have a clear understanding of why and where they’re particularly successful and are able to quickly identify areas for improvement. “As with any role, clarity is key for high-achieving salespeople,” explains Anda. “They know their targets but, more importantly, they know how they’re going to achieve them.”

5. They know their customer.

High-performing salespeople do their homework. They take time to build successful relationships and to understand the political landscape of a company – who the influencers are, who makes the decisions and, most importantly, who signs the cheques. In other words, “They play the long game,” says Anda. Because repeat business trumps a quick sale.

Now, these habits aren’t much of a hard sell, are they? No doubt you’ll be relieved to realise that, once again, there’s no prescriptive process for sure-fire sales success. Rather, it’s a familiar pitch: clarity. Efficiency. A future-focused mindset. Above all, what these and the tips in our previous post constitute is a timely reminder that the basis of success – whether in sales or in a more general context – is simply to do the right things, at the right time, in the right way.