How Do I Shape My Career

Many of us might have often heard the term “You become what you think of” and its eventually true as well, because everything you do in your career it shapes who and where you are. Every experience you have shapes your worldview.

The question you need keep asking yourself is: What are you today in your career that is shaping your future? Are you acquiring the right skills & knowledge of your interest in order to be masters in the future?

Your mindset is the most powerful tool and it has to build up in a way how you want your career to look like in the future. Building you mindset is you are taking in experience and learning from them.

I still remember when I used to work in a BPO during my summer breaks in college, I was always curious how the BPO business is function in India and how do you target those clients who is ready to outsource their businesses. Which eventually led me start my Sales profession right after my college and have been helping companies to secure most value out of their Technologies Investment.

We should also remember that life is uncertain, and nothing works according to the plan, so build your mindset to roll with the changes. I have also seen people taking up any job based on the salary & brand, but not considering how this job will shape my career.

The time you start your career, make enough mistakes till you turned 30. Keep innovating, learning from your mistakes and by time you hit your 40’s you should only be doing what you are good at, because there is very less probability in success when you try to do new things from the scratch.

Always look for a mentor whom you can idolize and support you while shaping your career. Look out the characteristic you want to build and the mentor who have them. Observe them closely. How do they embody the characteristics you want? Try channeling their energy when you need to draw on that strength.

I always keep mentioning in my blogs & whenever I speak with some that, always keep a reading habit because the person you will be in the next five years is based on the books that you read and the people that you hang out with.

So, What are you doing to shape your career? I’d love to hear you in the comments.

Best Way to Manage your Sales Pipeline

Managing your sales pipeline plays a major part in maximizing your sales revenue. The more control and visibility you have on your sales pipeline the more you will close the deal. However, managing a sales pipeline can be time-consuming or a tedious job. Below are some of the best ways to manage your sales pipeline.

The first step starts with filling it with quality leads, make sure to concentrate on the right deals. Keep your focus on quality rather than quantity to move your opportunity at a faster pace.

Fill your pipeline with all the prospect information for the deal you are chasing to close. For example, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your prospective business challenges or goals and all this information should be filled in your pipeline.

Use your time efficiently, most of the sales reports & administrative work can be a lot of time-consuming. You can eliminate such a time-consuming task with a sales CRM such as SalesForce.

Focus on an opportunity that is most likely to close soon. Opportunities that languish in your sales pipeline a long time are less likely to come back to life and give you a payoff.

Always review your Sales Pipeline as it is the best way to keep the deals in motion and focus on opportunities that have a high possibility of closing.

Sales technology is advancing fast to keep up with the volume and velocity of the data your leads generate. A good Customer Relationship Management suite will put you well ahead of the game in maintaining the rhythm of your follow up, lead scoring, and much more.

You don’t have to be big to sell to Big Businesses

If you running a start-up or a small business, the first thing you focus on is to increase your sales & revenue. It’s not necessary to wait for your organization to grow in order to tap big companies to sell your product/services. Selling to large enterprises will increase revenue & profile in a much faster way.

The faster way to get your foot in the door is to figure out of your own product/services addresses your prospect’s urgent and compelling needs.

You will have a lot of competition however you will have to figure out how your company is truly unique. Every small or start-up business will want to grow big and you need to illustrate what makes your company different.

As we normally do not ask to marry someone on the first date unless you are sure about it, you cannot ask a prospect to give you an order on your first connection. Develop solid relationships with your prospect. Every single time you communicate with your prospect, you make an impression.

When the prospect comes up with a question about your product, services, proposals, service terms, or anything else, you need to have the best answer. Do your research about your prospect before you make an approach.

Selling to big companies isn’t as difficult as it might seems, if you know how to approach the right connect. Understand their decision making process.

Lastly, I have been following Jill Konrathshe is a sales expert, also a frequent speaker at sales conferences and author of some of the best selling books on Sales Strategy.

Her book: Selling to Big Companies will help you discover how to

  • Target the right accounts.
  • Create Sales messaging that works.
  • Develop an effective, multi-faceted account-entry campaign.
  • Have powerful initial sales meetings that build unstoppable momentum.

How to stay connected with your prospects through Social Media

There was a time where the only means to connect or reach out to your prospects was through cold calling. The only information sales people used to have was the list of companies whom they want to do business. With the evolution of technology and Social Media platforms like LinkedIn & Twitter. Smart salespeople have learned how to network with prospects, educate them on how your company can help them grow their business, and nurture them through content.

How to Stay connected with your prospects through Social Medial:

Most of the B2B buyers & seller are active either on LinkedIn or Twitter. Whenever you are trying to reach out a prospect always whether they active on these platforms. After you make a connect with your prospect, also try connecting or following them on Social Media.

Never try to sell once your prospects accepts your connection on social media. Always make use of nurturing your leads, educating them how your product/services will be useful to their organizations.

Create a trustworthy persona and engage your audience by joining communities. Comment on your prospects questions and their post. Write good & bad reviews and ask your prospects for ideas to improve your product/services.

Make a habit of posting on Social Media often as your prospects are always looking for new information. Also make sure you have an engaging, interesting and relevant content about your brand.

Social Selling is not only a buzz, one must know the right way to use these platforms. 94% of B2B buyers conduct some degree of research online before making a business purchase, with 55% conducting online research for at least half of their purchases.

The sales rep who uses social media on their prospecting activities tends to close more deals than those who don’t.

Psychology Tricks that will help to Sell Better

Did you know people buy with an emotional attachment. You can create that emotional trigger by understanding the psychology behind it. Remember the last time you went to buy a car for $ 25000 however you end up buying another car for $ 30000.

These are some psychology ammunition that good sales people use so you can justify your purchase. The human mind works in such a way that if you could find the correct application to cause someone’s mind to flip to your way of thinking you make the sale.

Here are some of the Psychology tricks that will help to sell better:

Its always advisable to give your prospect fewer options to choose as too many options makes it harder to make a decision. Always research your prospect beforehand so you know which products to pitch them. Learn what you can about their needs before and narrow down the type of products they’re interested in.

Learn the reduction to ridiculous art of closing sale, In this strategy it involves converting the total or monthly amounts of money into daily amounts that make the investment seem more ‘do-able.

Flaunt your experience, credibility and expertise behind your product/services. The more authoritative you are as the seller, the potential customers will trust you. Another way to build credibility is showcasing your past or current customer’s positive testimonials. You can also utilize the power of social proofs to build credibility.

Storytelling in sales does make an impact on your prospects. Sharing a customer success story is more powerful than simply listing out the benefits of your products/services. It also helps you to motivate your audience to take the desired action.

Always make sure a bonus or discount is attach whenever you quote the final price and expires after a certain period of time.

Take Control, Be Accountable, Responsible and you will find Success

Like many of us when I started my job, I followed what was being told by my boss or anyone with a higher authority title and function on how they wanted any task to be accomplished. We are used to performing within the restricted area and didn’t bother much about the outcome.

I have realized that since the day we started looking out for a job right after our 13 or 14 years of education we have become addicted to Job Titles. We have become very fascinated by those labels that describe who we are and feel pride when introducing ourselves to others as “Senior Manager in Learning and Development.” “Sales Director.” “Associate VP in Research and Development.”

After a few years in corporate, I have realized that what helps you stand out from the competition is the value that you deliver and not the position that you hold. The value derives from the skills you are great at.

The moment you stop being afraid of loss is when you start delivering more than what is expected from you. The day you start taking ownership you will realize that you are working for yourself and not for anyone else.

I believe everyone has superpowers (skills they are great at) but nobody uses them to the max. We intend to find an excuse by interpreting that my boss has not instructed to use the skills that we have, or my Job position doesn’t allow me to use that.

Once you start taking control you will realize that to increase your success and happiness at work, focused on your skills instead. That’s the best way to get yourself noted.

When you stop complaining about missing authority, you will be more focused on achieving rather than waiting for someone telling you what to do and what not. Be responsible & accountable and success will follow your way.

Best Books on Sales for non-sales people

  • Selling to Big Companies: The book is written by Jill Konrath who is an expert in complex sales strategies. She publishes one of the industry’s top sales blogs, as well as a newsletter with thousands of subscribers around the world. An in-demand speaker and workshop presenter, Jill is frequently quoted in news media nationwide.
  • Fanatical Prospecting: The book is written by Jeb Blount who is a sales acceleration specialist who helps sales organizations reach peak performance fast by optimizing talent, leveraging training to cultivate a high-performance sales culture, developing leadership and coaching skills and applying more effective organizational design.
  • The Ultimate Sales Machine: The book is written by Chet Holmes who is an acclaimed corporate trainer, strategic mastermind, business growth expert and lecturer. His nearly one thousand clients have included companies like Pacific Bell, NBC, Citibank, Warner Bros.
  • Everybody Writes: The book is written by Ann Handley and one of my personal favorite, is a veteran of creating and managing content. She is the Chief Content Officer of Marketing Profs, a training and education company with the largest community of marketers in its category.
  • The New Rules of Marketing & PR: The book is written by David Meerman Scott who is the author of ten books including real-time marketing and PR, the new rules of sales and service and news jacking. David’s popular blog, advisory work with fast-growing companies and speaking engagements around the world give him a singular perspective on how businesses are implementing new strategies to reach buyers directly and in real time.

What are the traits of a Successful Sales Person?

If you ask a Successful Sales Person, “What makes them stand out from the average Sales Rep?” Most likely you will not get an accurate answer or may be no answer at all because most of them are doing what comes naturally. Being successful in sales is a result of skill and practice, like any other skills great selling techniques cannot be acquired in a day.

To be successful in sales you will need to keep upgrading your skills, practice them regularly and grow incrementally with each experience.

Listening Skills: This is one of the most important skills sales people needs to keep working on it. Successful sales people will always listen to understand rather than to reply the prospects questions.

Being Empathy: Its a great way to anticipate what the prospects wants. Successful sales people will know how to feel what their prospects feel. By getting into their skin they will be able to successfully sell their products/services.

A Hunter Mindset: They will always be excited to hunt for the big fish. They will prepare endlessly and wade through lot of information, contacts and leads in order to put themselves in a position to land as many big accounts as possible.

Being Disciplined: Successful sales people will be very disciplined & consistent with follow-ups on potential clients. Even coming to office & completing their activities on time.

Confidence: Believing in the product or service they are selling is essential. That comes across as a confidence that’s infectious and makes customers want to buy more.

Communication Skills: Its also one of most important skill. People who excel here know how to stay away from jargon and hard to understand concepts.

Passion: A successful sales people will be very passionate about their profession. They will do whatever it takes to master in their profession.

Why You Should Focus on Improving Successful Salesman

Most of the organization may already have a one or two very successful salesman working for them. They are the one’s who hit their quota most of the time, earn their prospect’s trust & respect. They have made themselves an asset to the company. However it’s also very important for an organization to focus on improving their Successful Salesman.

You may also find that organization often makes it difficult for them to meet their quotas, requiring them to do lot of administrative work or not providing with mobile tools. So, what can an organization do to better support and free up their sales people, so that they can close more sales?

In any organisation sales plays a pivotal role in success of a business. The role of a salesman is to bridge the gap between the potential customer’s needs and the products/services that the organisation offers that can fulfill their needs.

Sales people plays an important role in building the loyalty and trust between customers and business. They are the ones who interact with potential prospects/customers and help a business to grow.

They will bring an organization a range of values which cannot be replaced by any alternative marketing methods. A successful salesman will be passionate about their product/services and be able to explain how it will benefit the client.

A good salesperson can easily cover their costs and add to a company’s bottom line within 6 months of being hired; something which is unlikely to be true of any other position within a company. Successful companies are still very aware of this.

Successful salespeople are those that not only make the sale, but create a long-lasting impact on the customer. Long term customer relationships lead to repeat custom, referrals and increase the brand’s reputation by word of mouth.

How to prospect effectively in B2B Sales

The most crucial part in any sales environment is leads, whether you work for service/product based organization or working for your own business you will find a salesperson always lookout for new leads. Since I have been in B2B sales from the last seven years, I would describe some of the techniques on

The first thing to start with is to understand you prospect data whether you have the right audience, contacts information to target. Make sure to spent enough amount of time to gather all the information about the accounts you are targeting, whether they are the right choice for the service/product you are offering or the business that you want to pitch.

You have to be consistent, that means start setting aside your time and energy to prospect each and everyday. Write a weekly plan making time to prospect everyday. It’s best to get this done the first 3–4 hours when you start you day.

If anyone tells you cold calling doesn’t work these days, asked them to build a effective sales pipeline in a time frame of 90 days and I am sure they will fail on that. No matter if we have AI or Bots will optimize our work processes, one thing that will never change is “People buy from People”

Used every method to reach out to your prospect, whether its email marketing, inbound marketing, networking, trade shows and conferences, direct mail, social networking, or referrals. You should include all of these tools in your arsenal.

Nurture your relationship over time, some of the best deals to close will take long time and you have to be consistent in nurturing these relationships and it will open new opportunity for you over time.