Starting out your Career in Sales

When I come across a lot of MBA’s graduate, they do not want to start their career with Sales. They are always on the lookout to get into Business Management or Marketing, Business Operations, etc. They always have a fear of dealing with the pressure, rejections in Sales.

The point is if you want to understand how any business functions, get into Sales. If you want to know how the revenue of a company is flowing, get into Sales. No company or organization can function without Sales and every company requires a Sales Men to get the money flowing.

Below are some of the points to keep in mind when starting with your Sales Career.

  • The first and only rule is to be very self-disciplined with your job.
  • You will face a lot of rejections while reaching out to prospects and it should not be taken personally.
  • Always know your audience whom you are targeting.
  • Follow your instinct and be a solution provider, not a salesman with your prospects.
  • Be very passionate about your job and always keep learning to improve yourself.

The more time you will spend on this career the more skills you will acquire and the more time you will face with your customers/prospects the better you will familiarize yourself with the products/services that you sell.

You will also have very good control over spoken & written communications as you will be interacting with your prospects/customers every time.

There is also a lot of commission that Salespeople earn with their job apart from their Salary. Once you start receiving this commission you will certainly have financial freedom.

The more you will sell, the more commission you will earn.

Targeting the Right Prospects for your B2B Sales

Targeting the right prospect for your B2B sales can be very challenging. You should know everything about your target prospects from their demographics and interest to their buying behaviors.

The better you understand your prospects and their pain points and motivations, the easier it will be for you to target and convert your leads into sales.

Below are some of the elements to target the right prospects:

  • The Account Development Framework: Account Development is a phone-based team focused exclusively on identifying, connecting with, and qualifying leads to generate an early-stage pipeline for the sales organization.
  • Ideal Customer Profile (ICP): A Sales executive should primarily focus that fits the ideal customer profile. The Ideal Customer Profile defines the type of accounts that the organization believes are most likely to close.
  • Buyer Persona: The target Buyer Persona describes the attributes of the individual prospects within an account that are ideal contacts in a sales process. Personas help you articulate the prospect’s pain point in their language.
  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): The MQL definition combines the ICP and Buyer Personas to determine which leads are a higher priority for the Sales Executive to follow up. The MQL definition combines the ICP and Buyer Personas to determine which leads are a higher priority for the Sales Executive follow up. The MQL definition tells you who to reach out to next.
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): A Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is a lead that meets the organization’s definition of qualification and is ready for a conversation with sales. The SQL definition is the minimum threshold a prospect must meet to be accepted as sales qualified. You must have an answer to each of these requirements for SQL to be ready to convert to sales.

Importance of Improving your Communications Skills in Sales

People who work in sales have the ability to speak well and to convey their ideas and their solutions. Great salespeople always find their way to improve their communication skills of listening first.

Why is it Important to Improve your Communications in Sales?

To be a success in sales, you need to have the ability to gather and provide information in a way that makes your prospect want to do business with you. The way how you convey your value proposition, your pricing, even your product’s features. You should be able to get your prospects to talk to you and listen to what you have to say.

You have to be an exceptional listener, the first step to communicate well is to know that listening well is more important. Listening to your prospects without your thoughts wandering or planning your responses, is an act of caring. It builds the rapport and connection that speaking does not.

Write, rehearse, and use your scripts while communicating with your prospects. Prospects will have questions for a needs-analysis, handling problem that occurs. You should be able to communicate with your elevator pitch, objections handling skills. This will demonstrate your competency and capabilities.

Prospects and clients use words that they have attached a certain meaning. The words your prospects use brings to their mind a certain picture and certain emotions. Listen carefully for the language that your prospects and clients use and capture their word choices. Use their word choices in your communications and presentations.

The greatest ways to improve your communications in sales is to practice speaking well in front of groups and taking their feedback and suggestions in a very positive attitude and always on the lookout to improve.

Lastly, practice the art of listening by first controlling your desires to speak.

Finding the Right Sales Guru

The one common topic that most of the successful salespeople talk about is how much they owe their achievement to their mentors. Whether it’s a closing technique, following up with a potential prospect, or that little push they attribute their accomplishment, to having a guru to guide them.

Not every successful salesperson is a perfect guru for you, though. You need to find someone whom you admire who is successful, a good listener, and positive. Below are some of the tips to help you find the right Sales Guru:

  • What is that you want in a guru: Find someone who will guide you, help you overcome a particularly difficult challenge you are facing. Think about what is that you are hoping to gain from the relationship with your guru. What personal or business challenges are you hoping to overcome? Maybe you see yourself following a similar career path as your Sales Guru and want to know how s/he got there.
  • Look for someone who is successful & a good listener: Look for a guru who listens to understand and not to give a reply. S/he should understand you and offer a sounding board for the sales & career issues you are facing. Look for a guru with proven sales success, experience overcoming challenges, and achieving goals that are similar to your own.

A Sales Guru can catapult your success and once you start looking, you’ll notice potential candidates all around you. Set an appointment to talk over coffee. You might be surprised at how open they are to help, and just how much you’ll gain from the experience!

Follow your GPS system to achieve your Goals

If you land in a new town in some state you are not familiar with without GPS and a map, it’s highly unlikely that you would be able to find your way to destination. Why? Because you would not have a plan a map or direction.

The achievement of our goals is like setting the destination on your GPS system. The GPS system needs only two coordinates to give direction to your goals.

  1. Where are you.
  2. Where are you going.

Below are some of the steps which you can follow to activate your GPS system:

  • Pin your destination in your GPS system: What does that mean? Let’s say for an example you need to loose weight, look fit & fine. The first step is picture yourself in the position which you want to see and then identify why you want to achieve it. Is it because you want to live a healthy live? Is it because you want to enhance your self esteem? The most power technique to achieve your goal is to identify the reason behind achieving it to begin with.
  • Be fully committed to your Goals: Always be honest to yourself, are you willing to sacrifice other things in order to achieve your goals? Are you willing to work on your goals no matter any situation come across you? So be fully committed to your goals because that’s necessary in order to achieve them.
  • Clearly articulate your Goals: Take time to clearly articulate your goals and exactly what is you want to achieve. Be as specific as possible when you are writing down your goals. Don’t write down a goal “to be successful” — no one knows what that means including yourself. Instead write down, “I want to be making hundred thousand dollars a year within 12 months from now.”

Importance of building your Personal Brand

You probably hear the word “Brand” several times. It’s the most common subject you will hear from Marketers, Entrepreneur, Business Person and for good reason. We already know building a well recognized Business Brand adds tremendous value and can create a significant competitive advantage.

Why is it Important to build your Personal Brand?

Personal Brand refers to the process of establishing your public persona for your target audience. Creating a personal brand is a vivid indication of the best you have to offer – the performance, contributions, and value your next employer can expect from you.

A Personal Brand can be much more than just self promoting. It can be a exercise in establishing confidence, credibility and courage as well as help you define priorities and focus on those aspects of your life you enjoy most.

Building your own Personal Brand, regardless of your profession, can add tremendous value to your life. It is also important to understand everyone has a personal brand whether you have one or not. It is defined by everything you do, from what you wear to how you compose emails to how you conduct yourself on the phone.

How do you build your Personal Brand? Firstly, you will have to have a deep understanding about yourself. You need to be authentic and honest, as you will ultimately need to live up to it.

Begin with answering a simple progression of questions, both personally and professionally.

  • What are your core values?
  • What are your interest and passions?
  • What motivates you?
  • What makes you happy?

Once you have identified the answers for these questions, it is time to write a personal vision statement. This statement should be bold and true to you. Remember that it will most likely only ever be seen by you and will evolve over time, so don’t worry too much about what it looks or sounds like.

Developing Passion in your Life

After 8+ years of relevant experience in Sales & Marketing, I am still trying to figure out does the real purpose of passion is to become a subject matter expertise in your profession or do something that really drives you crazy or really happy of doing something.

If we talk about any professional in an organisation or any field, there are four types of people you will likely come across or you may be one of them, one because of family, two they have a degree of their profession, three because they feel the call, four only for the money.

Your passion is develop according to the environment you have been brought up and also depends with the type of people you hang around, start a habit to learn more about your profession and your learning habit will generate curiosity to shape things better.

You can find your passion at any point of time in your life, all of us are not born skilled with our profession and skills can be learned.

When you find yourself doing something makes you really happy and drives you crazy, develop a learning habit about what you are doing and it will never fade away. Passion do fade away and you also loose interest in what you are doing, if you don’t upgrade yourself or keep learning and implementing in what you are doing.

Set Smarter Sales Goals to achieve your Target

You will only be able to reach your destination more accurately & timely if you have a GPS or a map handy. Likewise be it any profession, without a clear goal you won’t have a visibility of what you want to achieve and where you have to reach.

Goal setting and knowing how to set goals is important in accomplishing great things in your life. When you have a goal and a plan on how to achieve it, you can break larger intimidating aspirations into smaller, more achievable stepping stones.

Set Smarter Sales Goals to achieve your Target:

  • Always review your sales target every morning once you start your day. Analyze what is that you have achieved and how more you have to do to achieved your target.
  • Never leave your weekend without setting goals & actions for next week. Review the week gone by, how was your progress for the week and what extra you can add for the coming week.
  • Have a plan to succeed, how to break down your goals into yearly, monthly, weekly, daily.
  • Once in a month, review your progress toward your quarter & annual goals. Commit to yourself that you will do whatever it takes to achieve your target.
  • Be consistent in whatever you do to achieve your targets. Whether you do your job task in one day or small amount each day doesn’t matter. What matter is you are consistent.

If you have a plan to achieve your targets, and act on that plan everyday you will achieve your goals & targets. Without a clear goal you will loose enthusiasm and momentum and this will have maximum impact on your performance.

Setting goals will let you to have a clear objective to strive towards your Sales Targets. Setting goals that are challenging will motivate you to strive for greatness,
and in turn, drive long term success for your business.

What does it take to be a Salesman?

My first job out of college was in Sales and Customer Relations of a start up eCommerce company. Mostly I used to handle customer queries & complaints and to deal with lot of grievances from the customer end. I hated it at the beginning, but my boss explained a commission breakdown that while handling customer relations if I could up sell a alternate product as well, and I agreed to give it a whirl.

I became a pro at selling extras, I started to see my paychecks grow. Soon, I was making more than I had when I was relying on the arbitrary gratuities. However it was not a smooth and easy ride, it takes blood sweat & tears to reach a level of seeing your paychecks grow.

What it really means to work in sales?

  • You will deal with lot of rejections, handling objections to staying consistent. As per Keenan the hardest part of sales is where you need to be focused because that’s where you’re not yet good enough.
  • There will always be an awkward moment in Sales, if you come prepared there will be less awkward moment.
  • You should never stop learning as I mentioned earlier blogs as well, keep updating whether it’s choosing the right mentor, researching your clients, or reading books and blogs, stay on top of your game.
  • To become a successful Sales Leader, you have to motivate and support the people who work for you. You need to take time and understand them. Great leaders put their team first.
  • Working in Sales is not boring at all, anytime you’re working people you can expect crazy things to happen. But having a little craziness in your life is not bad at all.
  • Lastly but not the least, 3 P’s that I follow with my work i.e Passion, Persistence & Patience. It helps me to stay on top of the game.

How to build rapport with your Potential Prospects

In today’s world we hear a lot of buzz that AI, Machine Learning are transforming even in sales functions to stay ahead of the game. However one thing which will always remain is which go with an old saying “People will buy from People they like”. How to build rapport with your potential prospects

As a salesperson one should always understand no one is going to give you the order right away when you meet, speak with your prospect for the very first time. Its as simple as you cannot ask to marry someone on your first date.

In sales, building a rapport with your prospect is very important, as it inadvertently helps both the prospect and the sales rep to sort everything out. We need to have that strong relationship as it enables you to be at a level above the others as it helps in smooth communication because it allows people to be at ease.

Below are some tips to build rapport in sales:

  • As a salesperson you have to be genuine as in simple terms “Be Yourself”. Don’t try to be anything that you are not. Relax, Smile and go with a positive attitude, good things will follow.
  • Develop you listening skills, in order to build a great rapport with your prospect its important to listen what your prospect speaks because it will make easy for you to understand. Always listen to understand and to reply back to your prospects.
  • Use the prospect’s name in your sales conversation as has its own effect as they find you a bit more friendly and approachable. To have a great bond with your prospect, try using their name as it can have a great impact.
  • Be warm & friendly, approach rapport building with the intend be warm and friendly.