6 Pillars to Sales Success
Throughout the years, I've read over 100 developmental books and spent hours and hours pouring over material to refine my sales craft to gain insight to serve others. In addition, I serve a team of sales recruiters at SecureVision, who interview 1,000's of the best sales professionals each year. We've picked up a few insights along the way and we used these fundamentals to manifest 714% year over year growth in 2017.
Like any complex craft, consultative sales can not be boiled down to 1 key.
I constantly listen to, watch, and read about the best sales people in the world and obsessively study their habits to determine what makes them great. To articulate these points most effectively, I closely reference thought leaders whose successes are most inline with sales success, who I consider to be my mentors.
The following points can be found in numerous books and seminars by Tony Robbins, Norman Vincent Peale, Napoleon Hill, Wayne Dyer, Thoreau, Ken Blanchard, and many other thought-awareness leaders.
1. Never Put Your Career or Success into Anyone Else's Hands
If you need more pipeline, the best person to go get it is you. In tandem to being a team player, look at your position as your own business - write a business plan - outline the entire life cycle to fully understand the required activity and pipeline to fulfill your potential. Look at your business lifecycle as if you were a mechanic working on a car. If a car part is broken what does a mechanic do? A mechanic does not think he is broken - he simple fixes the part so the car runs smoothly. Be objective, slightly detached as if watching yourself work from the other side of the room (be your own manager), shine light on every part of the process, so there is no mystery left to success.
2. Focus on Resourcefulness Not Resources
When we are determined enough, creative enough, energetic enough, we find the solution and obtain required resources. There is always a way to spend money and time on other resources that claim to provide a short cut to success; avoid this trap. There are a lot of great tools out there but they are not a cure-all. Nothing can replace the resourceful individual.
3. Don't Settle • Don't Sell Yourself Short • Expect the Best and Get It
Completing your work has nothing to do with the time spent - that's an antiquated approach. The job is done when it's completed. Hold yourself accountable. We don't always get what we want but we do get what we tolerate. Being a sell out = selling yourself short.
4. Measure, Refine Activity and Re-measure
This is a must if you want to consistently exceed your quotas and, more importantly, fulfill your potential. If you have not read Keith J. Cunningham's book, The Ultimate Blueprint for an Insanely Successful Business, buy it today. One of my favorite quotes from Keith;
"If you can't read the scoreboard, you don't know the score". - Keith J. Cunningham
Measuring your results, followed by taking that data and turning it into meaningful insights so that you can change your activity and achieve better results is fundamental to consistent success.
If you notice that there is a lot of volatility in your performance, ask yourself, " Do I understand why?" If you don't know, you need to find out what measurements are used in your industry as a base line and what those data points mean in relation to potential areas of improvement.
Ignorance is not bliss. In sales, ignorance leads to underperformance and frustration.
This process is simply the fastest way to exceed your quota and most importantly fulfill your potential.
5. Be the Go-To Problem Solver for Your Clients
You may not know everything about your industry or your clients' challenges, pain points, and opportunities when you first start. What is most important is that you become obsessed with solving their problems - regardless of if you will get paid to do it. Providing the service that directly correlates to how your business gets paid is only one way of potentially thousands of ways you can add value for your clients.
For instance, if you sell a platform solution to marketing execs, it is vital to uncover every pain point and challenge they face. Even if some of them are unrelated to your product, find solutions and advise them on best practices.
By positioning yourself as an expert and a problem solver, you build customer trust. And ultimately, when the time comes to purchase your product or service, the choice will be easy for your client.
If you have not read, They Ask, You Answer, by Marcus Sheridan - buy it today. It covers this topic in depth and I consider it a must read for sales and marketing professionals.
6. Experienced Advisors Provide an Objective Baseline for Clients
As an advisor, there is only one objective- to advise your client how to be as successful as possible as soon as possible. Always tell your clients the full truth even if you know it's not what they want to hear. Don't be a "Yes Man" or "Yes Woman". Clients can't trust a Yes Man.
Many times, junior reps and advisors have a hard time with this. They fear that if they tell their clients what they need to hear that the client will dump them for a Yes Man - do not fear this, it won't happen. You need to trust that your clients can differentiate between advice that serves the advisor's self-interest or the client's best-interest.
Where are you on your sales journey? Try implementing these six pillars to sales success to meet and exceed your goals.
Rock and Roll!