Effective B2B sales reps, sales managers, and owners of B2B companies are effective because they recognize their strengths and weaknesses.
More specifically, they know which strengths they can capitalize on and which weaknesses they need to fix because they are dragging them down.
To get you in the league of top-level sales professionals, we're sharing this assessment so that you can get a clear idea of what is and isn't going well for you.
This assessment considers the most important factors for B2B sales success, including relationships, lead generation, and having control of the sales process.
Whatever sales role you're in, this assessment will help you become your best self. You're the only one who can control your sales density, so will you step up to the plate and improve yourself?
1. You Take Advantage of the Best Sales Opportunities
Believe it or not, but most salespeople don't take advantage of the best selling opportunities. By the best selling opportunities, we're talking about the best times to sell. Because, let's be honest, timing can either be your best friend or biggest enemy!
Do you know what the best selling opportunities are? The top sales professionals do!
You Know What the Best Times to Sell Are
The best times to sell are often the least obvious times to sell!
That being said, the best times to sell include:
- Right before the holiday season
- Right before the end of a fiscal quarter
- Right before the seasons change
What makes these time frames so beneficial for selling?
They're beneficial because it's within these time frames that companies are on a limited time budget to try and solve their problems.
Therefore, if you're able to jump in and provide them with a quick solution, your odds of making the sale are much greater!
You Jump In When Everyone Else Jumps Out
Not only are the best times to sell usually the least obvious ones, but they're also times when so many other sales reps give up on their chances!
They make excuses like... 'It's the holiday season and everyone is too busy right now’ or 'Summer is about to start and nobody will answer their email'.
However, those are simply excuses!
But, while your competitors are making excuses and pulling themselves out of the game, you can jump in the game! You can take advantage of the fact that your competitors are leaving you with the perfect opportunity to step in and make a sale.
Bottom line: When everyone else is quitting the game, there's a good chance that it's the perfect opportunity for you to jump in.
2. You’ve Got Your Personal Brand Down
When you walk into a sales meeting or even hop on a sales call, do your potential customers really get a sense of who you are as a person?
Are they able to say that you're an authentic person who stands out from the rest of your sales team and competitors?
If so, then odds are you've nailed your personal brand!
To be a successful sales rep, you need to hone in on both your company's brand AND your own personal brand.
You Project Your Brand at Every Sales Encounter
What makes a personal brand so important in sales?
Whenever you walk into a sales encounter, you are acting as the face of your company. So, everything you say and do doesn't just reflect back on you as a person, but your company as well.
Therefore, you need to do two things:
- Develop an authentic personal brand
- Project that brand at every sales encounter
The more original your brand is and the more your project it, the more memorable you become. And, the more memorable you are as a sales rep to the B2B buyers, the greater the odds you close a deal on them!
Your Personal Brand Aligns With Your B2B Sales Strategy
As me mentioned, your personal brand reflects back on your company.
Therefore, it's important that you as a B2B sales rep align your personal brand with the branding of your company.
For example if your company is all about simplicity and positive energy but you walk into every meeting very stoically and never smile, then there's a clear mismatch of branding going on.
When developing your personal brand, keep in mind that it should align with and embody the spirit of your company as outlined in the brand message of your B2B sales strategy!
3. Uncovering Pain Points Is a Piece of Cake
One of the major keys of the business-to-business sales process is uncovering potential customer's pain points.
By uncovering pain points, we mean that you need to identify:
- What the customer's needs are on a tactical level
- How they want them solved (their emotional needs)
- When they want them solved by
- What’s causing the problem
If you can confidently walk out of your initial sales meetings knowing these key points, then closing deals should be a piece of cake for you!
You Ask Plenty of the Right Questions
Now, you might be asking yourself... How can a salesperson easily uncover these key points in less time?
Believe it or not, but simply asking more direct questions during the sales process can make the biggest difference in your outcomes. Because, the more information you gather on your prospects, the deeper you dig into the nitty gritty of their problems.
That being said, try to do less talking and more listening during the sales cycle. And, when you are talking, have it be because you're asking questions.
The more information you gather, the better!
Dig Beneath the Surface
How many times has somebody asked you 'How are you doing' and you responded with 'fine' knowing that you weren't really doing fine.
For whatever reason, many of us either don't tell the truth or the whole truth when asked questions.
Therefore, when you ask prospects questions, don't necessarily take their first answer as the whole truth! Dig beneath the surface to get a more realistic and wholesome answer.
Again, the more information you gather, the better!
4. Outbound Outreach Isn’t a Painful Process
Are you one of the many sales pros out there who absolutely despises cold calling and emailing because it never seems to get anywhere?
If so, you're not alone. For many sales pros, cold outbound outreach is their most dreaded step of the sales process.
The reason they keep failing at it: They’re trying hard but not in the right way.
It's not that cold outreach doesn't work, it's just that they've been approaching it wrong this entire time!
When done correctly though, cold outreach can be the absolute best way to get new customers.
And, the best sales pros know exactly how to do it.
You’re Simply Assertive
So, what is the best way to approach cold outreach to have success?
It's by being assertive in your approach!
By assertive, we mean staying in control of and having power over the sales situation.
When it comes to cold outreach, the best way to have power in calls and emails is to use our simple, can't-fail 1-minute cold outreach tactic!
If you want to see an immediate improvement in your cold email and call success, then this one-minute tactic is for you.
Follow-Up Is a Given
In addition to being assertive, being persistent is just as important to success. By persistent, we mean making a second call or email within 24 hours of sending the previous message.
To put it simply: You can't be successful in sales without persistence.
And, no... Reaching out several times to potential leads isn't being too pushy or annoying. If they're truly annoyed, they'll let you know. But until that happens, keep going at it.
Remember, sales is about helping people... Therefore, if you're continuously reaching out to someone because you know they could use your help, you're not being annoying, you're just trying to serve them.
5. You Have Long-Term Relationships With Customers
If you have strong relationships with loyal customers, then consider yourself to be in possession of the most valuable sales asset.
When it comes down to it, if you've secured strong, long-term relationships with your customers, then you're doing a great job. Even if it's just with one customer, you're on the right track.
On the other hand, if customers regularly ditch you left and right, then you’re losing out big time.
The best B2B sales rep are those who have the best relationships!
Business Relationships Are Assets
What makes having strong B2B customer relationships so valuable?
To name just a few of the reasons, consider these:
- Loyal customers will vouch for your greatness
- Loyal customers will give you strong referrals when asked
- Loyal customers will likely re-purchase your product or services again in the future
- Loyal customers help you improve your own business
Bottom line: If you want to see your sales performance consistently grow overtime, then developing solid customer relationships is the way to do it.
You’re Professional AND Personal
Sales reps who have the strongest customer relationships, particularly with the top decision-makers, likely have them because they're both personal and professional.
By professional, we mean that they get the job done. They know what their customer's needs are and give them viable solutions!
By personal, we mean that they aren't just business partners with their customers, but they're also friends. Yep... Strong relationships in B2B business are based on many of the same principles as everyday friendships.
Strive to not just be the best product or service provider, but also a good friend to customers.
6. You’re a Lifelong Learner
Today, the business world changes at a pace faster than ever before.
Therefore, the best sales pros commit themselves to being lifelong learners in order to keep up with the pace!
By lifelong learner, we mean that they're constantly looking for knowledge through new experiences. Not only that, but they regularly make the investment in sales enablement, such as high-level sales training, to sharpen their skills.
The best pros are like sponges soaking in all the information around them! To them, every opportunity is a learning opportunity.
You Focus on Problem-Solving Over Sales Skills
Here's the thing: Having sales skills to sell products and services will only get you so far.
Instead, what you should focus on is becoming a better problem-solver.
What makes problem-solving better than simply having sales skills?
Having sales skills is great, but most people spend all their time learning new skills without ever learning how to apply those skills to real-life sales scenarios.
On the other hand, becoming a problem solver means that you know how to apply skills to everyday sales situations.
In the end, it doesn't matter how many skills you have, what matters is if you know how to turn those skills into a plan of action to get to a closed deal (AKA, problem solving!).
You Learn From the Right Sources
Not only do the best sales reps commit themselves to learning, but they know what the right information sources are.
What exactly are the right sources?
The right sources are those that:
- Help you become a better problem solver
- Are created by somebody who has achieved sales success themselves
- Empower you by giving the tools you need to become a problem solver
Let's put it this way... If everyone who picked up a sales book knew everything they needed to know to be successful in sales, there would be many more successful people in this world!
7. You’re Taking Advantage of Easy Social Media Tactics
Social media may or may not play the biggest role in your sales and marketing strategies. But, regardless of how much of a role it plays, you can still take advantage of easy and effective social media opportunities on your personal platforms.
In fact, social media sales tactics on your personal page usually take very little time to throw together yet can be the most effective at generating inbound sales leads.
Are you using social media to take your sales game to the next level?
You’re Connected With Customers and Potential Customers on LinkedIn
First off, in order for these tactics to work, you need to be linked-up with your customers and potential customers.
Yep! You should connect with your potential customers as you're moving through the sales pipeline.
In addition to being able to use simple sales tactics, LinkedIn is a great space for you to show off a more personal side of yourself. Showing off that personal side can help enhance your customer relationships.
You Use Effective Sales Tactics
Now, what are the most effective yet easy sales tactics you can use on LinkedIn?
Two of the best include:
- Sharing case studies of your most successful customers
- Sharing your current customer's content and writing a positive caption
Perhaps the best and easiest of the two tactics is simply sharing your current customer's content and captioning it something positive for everybody to see.
By doing so, not only will that customer feel great, but prospects sitting in the sales pipeline will see that you care about your client's success!
8. You Understand the Psychology of Prospects
It's one thing to know facts about a person. BUT, it's a whole other ball game to understand how a person functions. More specifically, how they function psychologically.
In fact, professionals with the most sales experience will tell you that understanding how potential customers come to make purchasing decisions is of the utmost importance.
Because, when you know how a prospect thinks, you can create the perfect sales scenario to appeal to their psychology.
You Use Emotions to Get Signatures On Dotted Lines
Want a little insight on how your prospects function psychologically?
To put it simply... Prospects make sales decisions based on their emotions, not their logic.
Once they know the specs of your product or service, what motivates them to make a final purchasing decision is their emotions.
Therefore, it's your job as a sales rep to cater to those emotions in order to secure them as a paying customer.
9.You Get the Job Done
Do you deliver on your promises?
When you tell your new customers you're going to solve their pain point in a certain way and by a certain time, do you do it?
You can have great leads in your sales funnel, exceed profitability goals, and reach all your sales quotas, but if you don't live up to your promises, then you're shooting yourself in the foot.
Because, eventually, unkept promises catch up to you. You might make the sale, but if you don't hold up your end of the bargain, the customer will be fleeing the scene as soon as they can. On top of that, they'll likely tell others that you didn't remain accountable for your words.
If you're serious about being a top sales rep, then you just need to get the job done.
You Know What Sales Is All About
What is sales all about?
No… It's not about selling products and services and then walking away. Rather, it's about helping your B2B customers improve themselves, and the vehicle for doing that is your product or service.
In the end, the most successful sales reps are the ones who put their customer's goals first. Because, when they're serving them the best they can, the customer’s situation improves and so does the sales reps’!
Serving others first will resultantly project you forward.
You’re Accountable For Your Words
Remember when your mom used to tell you to think before speaking?
If so, just know that most people in the world are given that advice but never follow it!
In B2B sales though, your words matter. When you make promises to your customers, they're going to take them seriously.
Therefore, if you know that you can't live up to those promises or you're not sure of whether or not you can live up to them, then don't make them.
What's better is to be realistic and straight-up with customers. In the end, they'll respect you for being honest.
The next time you make a promise to a potential customer, make sure to think about it first!
10. You’re Setting Your Sales Goals High
Let's keep this last point simple... If you don't have refined sales goals, how do you know where you're going? More than that, how do you know what you want?
Here's the thing: Whatever path you dive into in life, you should dive in with purpose. Because, with purpose comes passion, and when you're passionate about something it's hard for almost anything to stand in your way.
But, as we already mentioned, you can't have a purpose unless you know what you want (AKA unless you have goals).
That being said, the best B2B sales reps set their goals high and then put in the work. Even if they don't reach the goals as soon as they want to, they still hold their heads high because they know they have helped people in the process.
If you don't already have goals set for yourself, make that the first thing you do, starting... Now!
Final Thoughts on High-Level B2B Sales Representatives
Like we mentioned above, your sales potential is all in your hands alone.
And now that you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, you can start making the necessary moves to improve yourself!
It all comes down to you... It doesn't matter whether you have the best product or service in the world, what matters is if you can sell it. Can you?