I began a customer introduction the other day stating that I was a “recovering salesperson.” I have been in sales in one way or another for a long time and will always use the sales skills I have learned selling into the enterprise, regardless of what job role I am in. When working in a start-up like FirstRain everyone has to be a salesperson, so even as I lead Business Development, I am selling!
If you look (or if you have ever been subscribed to one of the hundreds of daily ‘sales’ newsletter), every day you can find a list of things to do to improve your sales game. Today I found this one on the Salesforce.com corporate blog: ‘10 Tips to Up Your Sales Game‘ written by Salesforce.com’s VP of Sales, Scott Keane. It got my attention because it is a list (remember the #1 top thing to do to drive blog traffic? People love lists, and just about any kind of list is bound to attract traffic. Top 10 lists, 5 things not to do, 3 reasons I love something, etc. Start with a number then take it from there).
These 10 tips are probably not new if you have been in sales for a while, but are still well worth a read for the refresher. If you follow through with these tips, they can certainly help you get more appointments, create more pipeline and close more deals.
Here at FirstRain we’ve observed that top performing sales and marketing teams deeply understand their customers’ business and their markets. For example, as we start a new client engagement that is focused on Sales we spend time up front learning about how that company sells, who they sell to and what customer intelligence will help them connect with their customer end-markets and achieve their revenue goals.
Our aim is to deliver intelligence tuned to their specific strategy, and our major account sales customers (as well as our own reps!) find that FirstRain helps them much more effectively achieve many Scott Keane’s best practices, such as …
4: Have a conversation - Who wants to sit and listen to someone talk about how great they are? The answer is “no one”, in case you’re wondering. With that in mind, don’t sell or “pitch” your product. Make conversations about the person you’re speaking with, and learn about them first, then about their company or issues.
6: Be prepared - Know who you are calling & why. You need to own the conversation and if you don’t have a reason for calling and can’t articulate the connection, any objection they give will throw you off your game
7: Be the expert - Know the industry terminology, trends, and key pain points. You want them to look to you for recommendations so make sure you can give those.
8: Do your research - Leverage internal and external resources to understand the company vision and priorities. This sets you apart from the other sales reps and allows you to build a relationship faster. They’ll look at you as a consultant and friend rather than a sales person.
9: Float like a butterfly – Be flexible like a boxer and adjust messaging based on the audience. Speak to what they care about most. For example, CEOs care about achieving growth objectives, outpacing competitors. CMOs on the other hand are concerned with pipeline generation, how to leverage social media, keeping costs as low as possible.
If you are interested in learning more about how FirstRain can deliver customer intelligence specifically tuned to your sales strategy drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org