Things like reading industry news and taking classes and seminars to learn the latest selling tips and techniques are definitely valuable, but they should be done in addition to your core sales efforts and not instead.
As a sales representative, it’s important to be on top of your game.
Last month’s success doesn’t transfer to now so top sales reps always have their eye on the prize.
Every choice you make will impact your success as a sales rep. When thinking about best practices for sales reps, it generally boils down to not only maximizing the time you have to sell but being smart about how you use that time to get more sales.
Research has shown that the top 10% and even top 1% of sales reps that consistently hit 101% of their quotas often have quite a few best practices for sales reps in common.
Best Practices for Sales Reps
1. Top sales reps self-manage their time well
Everyone has the same amount of time in a day, so for top sales reps, it’s about how they use it.
Top sales reps are extremely efficient when it comes to how they spend their time.
On average, sales reps spend 53% of their time on ‘core’ selling activities while nearly half their time is spent on administrative tasks, meetings, and continuing education.
While top sales reps only spend about one hour more per week on core selling activities, they use the time they have more efficiently by qualifying leads, reducing the time they spend on list building and account research, and scheduling time for prospecting.
The best sales reps are constantly pushing for that next sale, even when that means disqualifying leads.
Time is better spent on leads that are likely to purchase than chasing dead ends.
This leads us to the next in the list of best practices for sales reps.
2. Top sales reps aren’t afraid to walk away from leads that won’t convert
Spending time on leads that ultimately won’t buy not only takes time away from your limited day, but it also takes time away from customers that will buy.
While it might seem like being persistent is a good thing, disqualifying leads is an important step in the sales process.
When you spend most of your core selling time focusing on lead generation and enhancing your sales pipeline by working with those who will convert, you are more likely to reach your quotas.
3. Top sales reps bring in their own leads
Top sales reps aren’t afraid to look for sales opportunities in any situation.
Sometimes your children’s birthday party might spark a conversation with a fellow parent who needs something you can help them with.
Some research has suggested that marketing only pulls in about 30% of leads with sales reps left to prospect the rest.
This doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task, schedule time to do this each week or each day instead of backloading it at the end of your month.
Sometimes prospecting can be a long game.
Someone you reached out to a few weeks ago will suddenly be in the market to buy, so you will never know when your prospecting will pay off.
4. Top sales reps use software to reduce their workload
One of the wonderful things about living today is that often software can do the heavy lifting for us.
Top sales reps use data and productivity tools 30% more often than average sales reps.
This is one of the best practices for sales reps because it can help free up precious core selling time.
One great option for reducing the amount of time spent on list building is to start using a platform like Growbots.
Growbots increases the number of leads you can contact in a day, which makes you a more effective sales rep.
5. Top sales reps spend less time reading and more time doing
Research has found that top sales reps spend almost two hours less time per week on keeping up with industry news and content.
While it is important to know the product or service that you’re selling, staying in tune with leads’ pain points and needs is more important for most sales reps than industry news.
Reading up on current events is an easy trap to fall into because it feels productive, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t take you any nearer to closing a deal than other administrative tasks.
6. Top sales reps use the basics consistently
Sometimes the best practices for sales reps and team selling are the basic ones that are easy to overlook.
This can include setting an agenda, planning your day, scheduling time for prospecting throughout the week, and limiting the next steps for unqualified leads.
These small steps can show big changes over a week or month.
Doing the basics consistently can step you apart from your fellow sales reps and give you an edge.
7. Top sales reps make relentless discoveries
Such an approach is often used by effective salespeople, as it contributes a lot to make your sales pitch more relevant.
In addition, it also helps DQ early for poor problem-product fit.
The core benefit of relentless discoveries for your sales goals is that you learn how to dig deeper when touching on the pain points.
With a “surface level pain”, you can’t hit the target, so the outcome more likely won’t be satisfied.
One of the key best sales tips is the real answer is typically hidden behind 3-5 “why’s”.
If you aim to become a top-performing sales rep, move step-by-step when searching for answers to find the prospect’s pain points and complete a sales deal.
Don’t stop after reaching the first checkpoint, always discover more and dive deeper!
Follow up that practice to enhance your inbound sales strategy and get more deals.
8. Top sales reps are versatile people
Look at the people you often contact and try to determine those who are always in the spotlight, easily get along with others, know what to say at the right time, and their advice is always heeded. All these persons have one thing in common and that is versatility.
Factors that unite top performing salespeople are:
- The skill to consider the object from several points of view
- The ability to feel and understand the lead’s mood
- Enthusiasm, confidence, and empathy
Effective sales presentations work with emotional intelligence first.
That’s why to create a successful sales strategy, you must be able to understand people better than themselves.
When considering sales rep best practices, one may see that many of them are about developing your personality, and there is a reason. Although people’s behavior models have different patterns, each case is individual.
The more knowledge about the world and human nature you have and the more interesting as a person you are, the higher the chances to feel the pain points and become a successful sales rep.
The versatility of thinking also plays a role. Many consider the ways how to interest prospects to call them to action.
However, a good salesperson first of all considers the situation from the prospects’ point of view, as if living their life.
Ambition, hidden desires, and lifestyle, touching these pain points, a successful sales team finds an approach that will make prospects more interested in you than you are in them.
Imagine a cranky child who doesn’t want to do what you tell him to do.
You can try to force him to act, but you are more likely to get rejected.
The best way is to lead the child to decide on his own while being imperceptible.
Perceiving his actions as his wish, the child is more likely to take the task with enthusiasm and complete it.
9. Top sales reps facilitate change
Among the best practices in sales, facilitating change is a crucial one. It includes trial closing, soliciting objections, asking for business, and being critical of the next steps.
Ignoring these factors often leads to a common mistake which is a poor sales organization when your sales pitch transforms into something more similar to running a webinar rather than a sales call.
When executing on discoveries, top performing sales reps don’t get intimidated, yet create a “constructive tension” environment during the sales call.
That’s why don’t try to be “nice” too much, as instead of building a rapport and increasing your chances of closing deals and getting more sales, you more likely will fail.
Here, the key point is to keep the focus on facilitating change.
10. Top sales reps take breaks
While a well-worn adage for sales reps is Always Be Closing, it’s important to also take breaks.
Sales reps tend to be highly motivated, success-driven people which is great – until burnout strikes.
Sales is a very up-and-down world. Some weeks, you might be closing deal after deal and other weeks, it’s a little slower.
When you hit a slump, it can feel like what you need to do is put yourself into overdrive.
While you should still keep pushing to see results, it’s important to also give yourself some time away.
Whether that’s taking a break in the middle of the day to recharge on a walk or turning your phone off after 6:30 p.m. each night for family time, know what energizes you and helps you re-center and refocus so you can come back in the top, fighting form.
You can find numerous sales person best practices that can improve your time management, enhance your soft skills, and provide you with the essential knowledge of the challenges faced by sales representatives to guarantee closing deals.
However, practices are more about understanding where you need to move than literal guidance to follow up.
Successful sales teams are not those who go with the flow, but those who create their own sales strategy based on the available tools.
To make sales best practices work for you, they must become a habit, implemented into your routine life.
If you want to start a sales career, or you are looking for qualified sales reps to join your team selling, it is helpful to learn how to hire the best sales reps.
It can help you better understand what you need to follow up on and what to be focused on to be hired or to hire a good specialist.