B2B selling has drastically shifted over the past few years. Remote working environments, buyer-driven sales processes, omnichannel selling - the list goes on. And sales and marketing alignment becomes more important than ever. Given the many changes, it’s important to hone in on some of the key traits of successful sellers.
Reaching customers is increasingly more difficult today. As is ensuring you've got the right people 'at the table' to arrive at a decision.
Old adage techniques that worked once upon a time require adjustments to effectively engage modern buyers. And salespeople still rely on marketing to get them the right content that will add value, and help take their prospects through the buying journey to a purchase.
While all of the above are important, there are still essential qualities to ensure selling success and to navigate that final 25% of the buying process.
The following infographic shows the top 7 traits of successful salespeople. That’s not to say that these are the only traits that set apart the best and brightest - but they’re definitely among the most important.
Let's talk about these Top 7 Traits...
1. They work closely with marketing.
Studies show that up to 90% of the buying process is complete before a salesperson is even called. As digital marketers become more content-oriented, your potential customers have access to more information about your company and product or service than ever before. They already know a great deal about who you are, what you do, and what your current promotions are. Being on the same page with the marketing team, including current promotions and marketing materials, is the hallmark of an excellent salesperson. It’s like the adage says, don’t work harder - work smarter.
2. They are storytellers.
Great salespeople tell a compelling story and enhance that story with relevant facts and statistics. Beginning with what’s called a "value hypothesis" helps guide the narrative while creating that story - you’ve done just as much leg work as they have to understand why your product or service is valuable to their organization. Many buyers have already done enough research to understand why they need a product or service like yours, it’s your job to help them understand why your solution is different and will truly solve their business pain.
3. They are goal-oriented and don’t rely solely on outside direction.
A good salesperson knows their customers and their audience. They learn their customer's preferences, how they like to communicate, and they build a relationship of trust. They don’t need to be told where to go or what to do, once this is established. High-performance sellers use their strong customer relationships to generate even more leads - upon which they continue to build business.
4. They ask for referrals.
Generating new leads from existing customers is an under-utilized key to success in sales. Studies show that people trust people like themselves. Who doesn’t want to walk into a sales meeting with a prospect who already knows how great you are? Or how amazing your product or company is? All you have to do is ask. Referrals are made especially easy in the digital world. As an added plus, your digital marketing team can repurpose these referrals to give your company some added credibility in marketing materials. And as easy as this sounds, only 10% of sellers bother to ask. What is there to lose?!
5. They are passionate about what they sell.
If you’ve ever been in a meeting with a salesperson who didn’t love the product they were selling, you know how unappealing that can be. How are you supposed to convince someone that they’re going to love your product or service if they aren’t sure you do?
6. They focus on solving a problem.
You've heard it time and time again... understand your customer and the business pain or problem they are trying to solve. Again, let’s think back to the value hypothesis concept - you take the time before the initial meeting to understand their pain points so that you are able to resolve those issues for them. Not only will that make their job easier, but it will also make them look like a hero inside their own organization. Who doesn’t love that? If they’re coming to you, they’ve already identified their problem and need to find a way to solve it. Use that, and work with them in finding the right solution for their needs.
7. They listen more than they speak.
If you give your prospective customer space to speak their mind, you might identify even more opportunities to help them succeed. Good listening skills make the speaker feel heard and appreciated, and that’s exactly the kind of relationship you want to have with prospective and current customers.
These traits are universal across industries. No matter what you’re selling, a great salesperson will display these. Developing them in your sales force, and in yourself, will help your product or service and in turn you, be successful.
If you have questions about other ways to improve your team’s success, contact us — we'd love to chat!