If you're a B2B sales rep, sales leader, or even business owner with high hopes for sales success in the new year but don't know where to start, we've got you covered.
We're sharing exactly how you can increase your company's sales performance in the new year (and quite frankly any other time)!
More specifically, we're sharing 5 steps you need to take as well as tactics and techniques you must employ in order to significantly help increase your odds of success.
By the end of this, you will know what you need to focus on to have your best year in sales ever! Moreover, if you're a hungry B2B sales rep, then you've come to the perfect place!
Why Solid B2B Sales Representatives Are Crucial For Business Success
What are your sales goals for this upcoming year?
Whether your goal is to up your LinkedIn game to increase inbound leads or come up with a strategic plan to identify decision-makers sooner, achieving those goals is of the utmost importance to overall business success.
Because... The truth is that sales is at the heart of business success.
Think about it... Want to expand your business to new markets? You need to make more sales. Want to invest in new technology but don't have the budget for it yet? You need to make more sales.
Therefore, if you as a sales representative aren't in tip-top shape, you can completely forget about not just sales success, but overall business success.
And by B2B sales representatives, we mean people will all different sales-related titles, including:
- Sales development representatives
- Business development representatives
- Sales executives, account executives, and sales managers
- CEOs and business leaders
Regardless of what your definition of business success is, odds are that sales is central to you achieving it.
Sales Is the Heart of Business Growth
More often than not, CEOs, sales leaders, and sales reps define business success at least in part to business growth. The more people they can help with their solution, the better!
It should come as no surprise that business growth is driven by sales! Whether your idea of business growth is increasing market penetration, expanding to new markets, or selling new products, it all comes back to increasing sales quotas.
So... If business growth is a goal of yours (as it should be because the more people you can make a positive impact on the better), then just know that sales reps need to be on top of their game to help make it happen!
You might have the best product or service ever, but you will never grow if you aren’t able to sell it to the right people.
Step 1: Have Killer Confidence In Your Deliverable
Believe it or not, but it takes a certain level of morality to be a sales professional.
Because, being in a sales role is about promoting the high value of your product or service. And, that high value comes from being able to effectively solve a specific customer problem in better fashion than your competition.
Therefore, in order to be a sales pro, you need to have full confidence that your deliverable will certainly help solve your customers' pain points. Unless you have that kind of confidence, then you are behaving immorally by promoting something that doesn’t hold the value you say it does.
Think of it like this... Would you like it if a sales rep told you that they held the solution to your problem only for you to realize that they were empty promises? Wouldn't you feel seriously jipped by that person?
If you're like 99.9% of people, then of course you'd feel jipped by that sales rep!
Bottom line: You must be totally confident that your product or service will provide value to your customers. Unless you have that, you've sunk to the level of an immoral sales rep.
Why Do Sales Reps Have a Bad Reputation?
Unfortunately, sales pros don't necessarily have the best reputation in the world. And, even more unfortunately, we totally understand why.
When you consider the high number of the sales representatives out there who will literally sell products and services of poor quality to anyone they can find regardless of whether or not they are a quality lead, it makes sense!
Potential customers hate feeling like they are just another number and that they really aren't cared about.
Again, being a sales rep comes with being a moral person! If you are selling a crummy product or service to somebody who doesn't need it, then do you care about them or just yourself?
Don't be the reason why sales representatives get a bad rep!
You Must Believe In the Value You Bring to the Table
If you want to level-up in sales, the first thing you need to do is be confident in the value of your product or service. You must believe that what you bring to the table will certainly help solve your prospect's problems.
Not only that, but you must believe that your product or service will produce better and faster results than that of your competition.
Let's put it like this: If you were in your prospect's shoes and knew what you know now, would you buy your product or service?
If your answer is 'no', then you seriously need to consider your intentions as a sales professional.
At the end of the day, the best sales reps become the best by truly believing in the value they bring to the table. Having that belief alone creates the upward trajectory of their sales performance.
Become An Expert In Your Value
Once you establish that you have confidence in the value you bring to the table, become an expert in your product or service.
Get into the nitty gritty of it to build up your confidence even more.
As a result, when it comes time to makes sales calls and pitches, you will:
- Be ready to answer all your prospect's questions
- Appear even more confident in your value and your deliverable’s value
Whether you believe it or not, potential new customers can sense your level of confidence, and they only want to buy from highly confident people!
Step 2: Get the Basic Sales Skills Down
There are a few staple sales skills that every sales team member needs to know in order to be successful.
When a sales opportunity arises, you need to be ready to face it head-on with the skills necessary to tackle it.
Some of the most important skills you need to know include:
- Cold outreach - cold calls and emails
- Relationship building
Not only that, but these skills aren't often taught the incorrect way!
That being said, learn the necessary skills (or unlearn the incorrect ones you've been taught) to achieve the heights of sales success.
Do Your Homework, Learn the Skills
If you were a professional basketball player, you'd need to have the foundational basketball skills down to a T, including dribbling, passing, and shooting, in order to be successful. Unless you’re top-notch in those skills, you wouldn’t expect to win countless games.
Similarly in sales, you can't expect to win sales deals if you don't possess the foundational sales skills.
What are the foundational skills in B2B sales?
Well, they're the skills that play into the most important aspects of B2B sales success, including generating the right leads and building long-term customer relationships just to name two.
For complete guidance on the necessary skills to generate ideal leads, check out our guide to the single-best, can't fail tactic for sales calls and emails.
For complete guidance on the necessary skills to build amazing customer relationships, check out our complete guide to building and fostering new relationships during the sales cycle.
Become An Expert In Your Step of the Sales Process
More often than not, medium to large size companies have several sales team members. Typically, those teams divide up the steps of the process amongst team members. For example, whoever is best at lead generation will cover that, while whoever is best at closing will cover that.
Depending on which step you're in charge of... You must become an expert at it! Focus on developing the specific skills most commonly utilized at that step.
On the other hand, if you are a sales team of one or even two, there is nobody to divide up the steps of the sales pipeline with. Therefore, you have to become an expert in each step of the process, because… who else is there to be the expert?
While having to manage every step of the sales process is certainly challenging, think of it as an opportunity for more sales experience. The more experience you have, the stronger sales rep you become!
Step 3: Develop an Authentic Personal Brand
While we don't always like to admit it to ourselves, first impressions seriously matter in business-to-business sales.
Therefore, salespeople must be exceedingly aware of how they portray themselves during every sales encounter, particularly the earliest ones in the process.
What is the best way to make a positive impression in sales?
When a potential new customer encounters you, they need to get a sense that they are meeting a genuine, authentic person right off the bat. By authentic, we mean someone who has a personality of their own and is unlike anyone you have never met before.
Authenticity is so important because it helps you develop your own personal brand.
While you are not the thing being sold, you are the vehicle that drives the sale. Customers don't want to go for a ride in a car that they can get anywhere else! Rather, they want to ride in a car that will not just get them from point A to point B, but will make them feel special during the ride.
Furthermore, develop your own personal brand by showing off what makes you authentic. In the end, that personal brand will make you memorable, come across as genuine to potential customers, and ultimately drive sales forward.
Become a Walking Billboard
If there was one thing that you wanted to be remembered for, what would it be?
Would it be your kindness, hard-working nature, or leadership skills?
Whatever it is, hone in on that to develop your personal brand, and then spew it everywhere!
Seriously, base your personal brand on the person who you want to be remembered for! Once you know who that person is, then live it out and act as if you are them.
Consider yourself a walking billboard for your own brand in which everything you do and say aligns with your most authentic self.
Embody the Spirit of Your Company
Not only does your personal brand need to reflect your authentic self, but it also must embody the spirit of your own company.
Moreover, try to align your personal brand with the brand of your company. That way, when people think of you, they will also think of your company.
Now, you might be asking... How can I embody the spirit of my company?
Go back to your B2B sales strategy and reflect on the brand message. For the most part, the brand message will give you a realistic feel for the spirit of your company.
Step 4: Just Be Your Natural Self
Speaking of developing a personal brand... When doing so, remember that it should reflect your authentic self, not some fabricated version of yourself.
For example, if you are an introverted person and want to be remembered for how well you listen to others, then don't try to develop a brand that is overly extroverted and about how funny you are.
Again, a personal brand is about putting a spotlight on the factors that are unique to you. It’s about putting a spotlight on factors that are natural to you. In no way is it about trying to be something you are not.
To put it simply: If you want to be successful, then you need to be your natural self. Prospects aren't looking for someone to put on a show for them! Instead, they're looking for someone who is genuine, knows what they're doing, and is capable of forming a strong relationship with them.
Regardless of what you read online or see other people doing, don't get it twisted... To be successful in sales, you need to be yourself.
Business Relationships Are Built on Genuine Connection
When you're trying to develop new friendships, what are some of the qualities you look for in a person?
If you’re like most, they include qualities like trustworthiness, respect, and solid communication.
Believe it or not, but business relationships are built on many of the same qualities that everyday friendships are.
That being said, approach sales encounters like you would encounters with new friends! B2B buyers don't want to have relationships with robots, but real people like you who they can see themselves being friends with.
Step 5: Do Your Job… Solve Pain Points In less Time
At the end of the day, you can do steps one through four, but if you don't solve your prospect's pain points, you're sunk.
More than that, you need to be able to solve their pain points in less time AND with higher quality than that of your competition.
Furthermore, in order to be the most successful sales rep version of yourself, your central focus should be on solving one of your potential customer’s specific problems. If you think about nothing else… think about that!
Just remember, you can be an excellent salesperson in terms of being able to close deals and win new clients. But, when push comes to shove, if you don't deliver your promises, then clients will either abandon you during the process or at their earliest convenience (and leave you with a scorned reputation).
What Is Sales All About?
Sales is about helping people solve problems by giving them the tools they need to solve them. More specifically, it's about you delivering and implementing your product or service in order to solve a specific customer pain point.
To put it more simply, sales is about service!
Again, it doesn't matter if you have the flashiest personal brand or the best selling skills if you don't know how to deliver your promises.
What does it mean to deliver on promises? It means to:
- Solve the prospect’s problems so that it reflects in their business results (the what/tactical needs)
- Solve the prospect’s problems in the way they want them solved (the how/emotional needs)
Moreover, if you promise your prospects you’ll get them results but then the results don’t manifest, then you aren't really doing your job.
Bottom line: Sales isn't about closing as many deals as possible. Instead, it's about helping as many people as possible effectively solve their problems.
Stop Talking, Start Listening
Did you know that most B2B sales reps shoot themselves in the foot?
Did you know what most B2B sales reps do the opposite of what they need to do to effectively solve their prospect’s problems?
By that, we mean that they spend the majority of the sales process talking instead of listening!
How do you expect to know what your prospects' problems are and how they want them solved if you do most of the talking?
Straight-up: You won't know!
Therefore, do yourself a simple favor by doing a little less talking during the process. Instead of talking, start asking more direct questions and then listening attentively.
By doing so, you know exactly what your customers' tactical and emotional needs are, and are on a perfect track to fulfilling your duties as a sales rep.
Empower Yourself to Become a Problem-Solver
While we did say that having selling skills is important, the truth is that they won't save you. In fact, you can have all the sales skills in the world, but it doesn't necessarily matter.
More specifically, it doesn't matter that you have selling skills if you don't know how to apply them to real-life scales scenarios. And the truth is, many salespeople have all the skills in the world but no idea how to apply them!
This begs the question... How do sales professionals learn how to apply their skills to solve problems in real sales scenarios?
What you and other sales pros need is empowerment that only comes through a full-proof sales training program. Particularly, the kind of program that teaches you how to put all of your assets to work instead of simply throwing more assets at you!
The key here is empowerment... Empowerment gives you the confidence to grab sales-related problems by the horns, control them, and solve them.
And, no... You don't need another sales enablement or leadership book that teaches you the same old stuff. Instead, you need the kind of empowerment that only comes through the top sales training programs!
Do yourself a favor and set yourself apart from the field by empowering yourself through top-level sales training.
Final Thoughts on How Sales Reps Can Kill It In 2022
We've just given you the most important information you need to achieve sales success in the new year, and quite frankly anytime!
Keep in mind that it doesn't matter whether you have a bachelor's degree in sales or are completely new to the sales game… Sales success is a simple matter of empowering yourself to apply straightforward principles that have been proven to work time-and-time again.
So, will you do what it takes to reach success in the new year? You've got everything you need... Now it's just a matter of getting to work!