Preparing as a Salesman

It’s no secret that salespeople have one of the more challenging roles within an organization. With the high level of saturation in the market driving an aggressive competitive landscape, sales reps are increasingly pressured to chase higher goals to help maintain a competitive edge. Given the position’s high turnover rate, we examined some of the top performing salespeople both within our organization as well as from some of our clients. Here is what these top performers had in common.

They know their audience. One of the most important traits of salespeople is that they must know their prospects. The demographics, psychographics and geographics are almost a given; the top performers make the effort to truly understand what is challenging them and where their needs truly lie. This way, they can see where they can really create or add value for their prospects. One more thing to keep in mind: customers’ needs and expectations are constantly changing, as does the market.

They know and believe in the value of their product. Naturally, a salesman must know as much as possible about the product they are selling, inside-out. This will assist them in closing deals as they will be able to address any customer concerns that arise. Knowing key product features, use cases, and further releases will help you sell your product as an advisor trying to address the pain points of your customer, as well as creating a business use case out of the situation.

They know who they are competing with. Chances are, there are other competitors trying to attract that same customer. Ask yourself, who are they, and how does your solution compare? What makes you stand out from them? And how does the competition position their products? As a salesman, you must be able to explain why your product is superior to the competition. One of the more common competitors today is the status quo – as we mentioned in our last blog posting, you can offer a risk assessment of what the implications of staying with the status quo are.

They know the industry in which they are competing. A salesman will almost instantaneously establish credibility if they are able to provide new insights about the customer’s business. The best performing sales reps are well aware of trends in the industry, what new developments are popping up, and where the industry is potentially heading. Stay up to date with news feeds and be vigilant about the tides of the industry.

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