ready reference for sales pros….quick list of top 10 sales skills for you and your teams
- Skill #1. Researching prospects and organizations prior to first contact.
Cultivate a genuine love for researching, using both primary as well as secondary sources for researching on your client, your prospect and the organization. Research empowers you to not only be prepared for the questions that you will be asked, but will also ensure client delight, when he confers with you and gets to know that you have taken the pains to know more about the industry and the organization. You are therefore better equipped to close the all important sale!
- Skill #2. Asking questions and listen more than you talk.
Always a classic- if you dont have listening skills, then invest in this skill!! Enough stress cannot be put on this skill to highlight its critical importance in a sales rep. MUST HAVE SKILL….
- Skill #3. Focusing on a few top prospects and contacting them frequently.
FOCUS has always been key to success. There are many fish ( prospects) in the sea….knowing your value prop and the offer, and matching that to the best target clientele in the business eco-system takes judgement maturity. Focus on a few prospects that are the best match for your offer and then go all out. Spend a clearly allocated time with each prospect and qualify them according to the response that you generate with first contact and then build on the engagement as it unfolds!! SIMPLE!
- Skill #4. Cultivating insider “coaches” to understand customer requirements.
YEP….you need to have superior schmoozing skills to cultivate relationships ACROSS the client’s organization. Some times grapevine is very critical to the success of your sales pitch…you never know which gem of information turns out to be of strategic importance and your decision is affected by it…wouldn’t it be better if you had prior information through your “cultivated” internal sources???
- Skill #5. Solving problems and overcoming objections as a consultant.
Be it product driven enterprises or services focused businesses, today and in the future, the long term value of your offer will only be unlocked IF you are successfully able to SELL A SOLUTION as opposed to a stand alone product or a service!! Face this reality folks…please invest in your solutions marketing and selling skills, solve your customers problems and you will have a client hooked on to engaging with you for as long as he is on the decision makers seat!!! Beats recession any day!!!
- Skill #6. Creating long-term relationships with prospects and customers.
Relationships management that endure time is an art and a science- this is from my experience. Honesty in your business engagements with your client, bringing more than the product or service to the business offer to the table, transparency in your B2B engagements are all critical attributes that will help you to establish and then maintain long term business relationships., which will hold you in good stead , especially when the going gets tough.
- Skill #7. Communicating appropriate messages (e.g. value propositions).
Communication skills, having the ability to articulate the same message ( value prop) for different audiences, without diluting the core essence of the value prop, is an art that comes from creativity and hard skills combined. If you are not inherently creative, I encourage you to take classes in creative writing, or go back to school and learn communication, work for some time in advertising, or just paint, cook….on form of creativity translates into other forms of creativity- and here we are talking of communication skills!!
- Skill #8. Recognizing when the prospect is ready to buy.
JUDGEMENT MATURITY….this cannot be taught, but
- Skill #9. Knowing how to close the sale when the time is right.\
Refer to skill # 8….
- Skill #10. Getting referrals and then following up on them.
REFERRALS are crucial to your success today, especially in the B2B space. In Solutions sales, strong references may mean the difference between success and failure in closing, large ticket deals, AND getting referrals is also an ART!!
So what are you guys waiting for..go get ’em Tiger!!