How to be a Good to Great Sales Rep in 2019?

Good to Great Sales Rep in 2019
Leena Fernandes

Leena Fernandes

June 23, 2019 |

Are you a good sales rep but still not out-performing your colleagues? In 2019, the internet is open and the information is everyone. How can you get ahead and become “the” sales rep of the year? This article is all about that.

how to be a good sales rep

Many consider sales reps to require the essential listening and communication skills, but we are in 2019 and as the sales industry is growing rapidly, the expectations from a sales rep grows with it simultaneously.

This article isn’t a theory to explain you ‘what makes a good sales rep’ instead it stresses more on ‘how you can work on becoming a great one’.

how to be a good sales rep_Joanie Dhillion

Joanie Dhillion, a sales strategist, speaker and mentor from timesharesalesmastery gives 3 insightful tips on how to be a good sales rep.

In her online tutorials she stated that 3 factors that teach you best on how to be a good sales rep,

‘’The first is mindsets, have a mindset that is above and beyond everyone you know. The second is gratitude, be thankful and practice gratitude everyday. The third is take your business in your own hand, you are better than anyone to close your own sales.’’

Sales representatives are the key source to convert and capture qualified leads for the business. Yet with the training they receive, there are a handful of them who actually adhere to such practice.

Common mistakes found from sales reps performances:

  • Not able to understand the product they are selling
  • Communicating like a robot to customers
  • Not targeting the right audience
  • Not serving the purpose of their job

The sales journey of a sales rep and a buyer has changed over the years. From just using cold calls to reach out to their prospects, today social media, email marketing and other techniques are rising in popularity.

how to be a good sales rep_evolution of buyer's journey

As you can see, exploring solutions and comparing vendors have seen a difference in the marketing and sales team. Today buyers expect sales reps to not just sell their brand, but to prove a point that why their solution beats their competitors.

Why being a ‘good sales rep’ is a huge deal in 2019?

Let’s understand this question with the graph statistics mentioned below:

how to be a good sales rep_graph statistics

After analysing the graph information with reference to what a sales rep indulges in on a day to day basis, we have broken down the cause of these mistakes below:

  • 12% sales reps connect with the clients
  • 25% of sales reps handle administrative tasks
  • Sales reps are losing the connection which is required when engaging with buyers.
  • Due to the lack of concentration in other tasks, sales rep leave out on the crucial factors of doing a follow up or capturing warm leads as and when they have arrived.
  • 92% of sales pros give up after the 4th call, but 80% of prospects say no four times before they say yes. (MarketingDonut). This states that your impatience triggered your follow up actions and inturn made you miss out opportunities that you actually had a chance with.
  • What do buyers want from sales pros? 69% of prospects say, “Listen to my needs.” (Hubspot). This clearly shows that the phone conversation lies more on the rehearsed talking of the scripts rather than actually listening to what your buyer needs.
  • 50% of all sales happen after the 5th contact, but most reps give up after just 2 (InsideSales). Again, the impatience and the urge to give up has cost your another potential prospect to leave.
  • Only 19% of customers trust salespeople (Hubspot). The number has just reduced your chances to convert your leads but if you continue to take a step back out of ‘assumption’ of your lead activities, the number could reduce thereafter.
  • 55% of the people making their living in sales don’t have the right skills to be successful. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you repeat your mistakes or wait for you peers to teach you. You know why those leads didn’t qualify.
  • 44 percent of salespeople give up after one “no.” (Marketing Donut). If you’re going to consider every no as a defeat, you could see your business falling apart.
  • Only 7% respond to lead in the first five minutes after a form submission. More than half don’t respond within five business days. (Drift). And you wonder why your not able to find leads. They are right there waiting for you to respond and follow up.

What does the future of sales look like for sales reps?

The future of sales rep seems less likely when compared to AI responding to buyers. However, human touch isn’t going to fade away. To make decisions, buyers will use the help of a human to make their final call.

Which means that if sales reps manage to switch their play, they will be able to fit in the futuristic sales market.

how to be a good sales rep_future of sales

Source: linkedin

How does the future of a sales rep look like

Mark taylor, an executive director who is deeply involved in the B2B sector stated in his article:

‘’Today’s B2B selling environment is changing and it’s vital for organisations to adapt sales to stay relevant to evolving customer expectations. While the environmental shifts driving this are increasingly apparent, understanding what the ‘rep of the future’ will look like is far less clear for many organisations. This lack of clarity means preparing salespeople for the future is a key challenge for today’s sales leaders’’

Considering many researches available online to answer this question, we have made it easy for you to understand in just 4 ways:

One being the obvious, keeping yourself informed from all corners.

It’s not just your sales industry which is fluctuating, it’s your buyers tastes as well. Being watchful of the type of sales approaches they wish to be communicated in and what are the strategies you can implement, can be helpful to adapt such flexible situations.

The next one lays its importance in learning and grasping the right sales education. While you are busy monitoring your buyers actions, it would be a failure if your sales techniques didn’t match accordingly.

Educating yourself about the sales industry right from its importance to its impact in the near future, gives you an insight on how to prepare yourself with the flow.

The third one is another well known factor in your sales book. Having real meaningful conversations. The concept behind this process isn’t just to dial the number and vomit your mugged sales pitches, instead use it as a tool to create long term relationships.

As I had mentioned earlier, despite the sales industry growing digital, even you would agree when I say that you would always consider the advice of a real human.

Humans have the ability to win trusts and build better relationships with time, when you’re able to satisfy your buyers expectations in this way,  human touch will never fade away.

Lastly, the most crucial pointer, understanding your product. This may seem an obvious answer, but do you really know your product that well?

The way buyers find out about your product has changed. Today referrals, social media, word of mouth has all played a role in your buyers purchasing decision. If you’re going to tell them the same thing they have already researched, you are just wasting theirs and your time.

Convey the purpose of your product.

For instance, your product sells live chat software. Now your buyer will not like to hear the meaning of live chat or why it is in demand. They want to know more about how they can receive leads or how it can make an impact on their bounce rate.

In ten years from now, the online world will be the reviewer, solution provider and wikipedia for your buyers. How will your traits help to assist your buyers?

Here are 10 actionable points to quickly start being a great sales in 2019 so that you can compare “normal sales rep” to “great sales rep

Here is where the twist happens.

Unlike other articles on this topic, we have created a different structure to make you understand the 11 ways you can work on being a good sales rep.

The theory will be divided into 2 categories, where we will speak the difference between how a normal sales rep acts and how a good sales rep should act.

The purpose here is not teach you but to rather make you understand and improvise on your actions.

Let’s begin.

1 .Empathy

Normal sales rep

Due to their eagerness of completing a call or to achieve their target, such sales reps fail to understand the motives of their actions.

Since they treat it as a normal sales job, they fail to get their buyers on the same page as them. As they cannot understand what their buyers are actually looking for, they can’t sell them the solution at all.

“To build a long-term, successful enterprise, when you don’t close a sale, open a relationship.” – Patricia Fripp

Great sales rep

The reason why great sales reps convert their potential visitors into a lead is because they follow the principle of empathy. A state where they can understand what are the pain points of their buyers.

An article from salesforce best explains this example,

‘’Say you are in technology sales and typically focus on the pitch and sales to a VP. Are you also thinking about how the organization will make the decision at a holistic level? Take, for instance, the IT department that is going to implement your solution. Do you understand the department’s concerns around adding a new software or a way of working that could directly impact its jobs and systems? Can you extend your conversation to its members and discover where they may have hurdles? This is one way to start spreading your empathy on a broader level and, at the same time, help to alleviate objections and roadblocks down the line.’’

This in turn helps them to identify their needs more easily as well as help them to sell their solutions conveniently.

For instance, when such sales reps sell solutions, it shouldn’t just be about the selling factor, that they need to understand, the other story also needs to be considered as well.

Many sales reps manage to convince the sales head or even the CEO, but there are factors which will be needed to be considered from their clients perspectives as well, which many sales reps fail to understand.

Such as,

  • How will this solution impact their sales process?
  • How easy it is to adapt to this solution method?
  • Does it fit in the clients budgetary needs, if not is it worth it to expand?

Your clients are taking a risk, a risk which can shape the way their current sales process or the way they generate leads. Indulging in an empathetic solution with your clients, helps you to make things easier for them.

When you know what their ‘real’ issue is, it will not just be about the selling, it will draw you more towards helping them.

“You have to tell a story before you can sell a story.” – Beth Comstock

2. Being data smart about your customers

Normal sales rep

Normal sales reps believe that knowing the company and the business information will be enough to understand their customers. They just briefly scroll through their social media accounts and understand their buyers role or they would connect with few references to learn more about them.

When it comes to selling, these are the same reps who hesitate to speak more on their buyers since they have limited information in hand. Hence, even selling their solution doesn’t work well in the process.

Great sales rep

Great sales reps have their eyes on their buyers every movement. From tracking their social media accounts, to scrolling and learning their preferences, these reps don’t just build a one liner information about their buyers, they have pages ready.

They follow every footstep of their buyers right from the events they attend to the comments they post, conducting all these actions help such reps to sell better as they understand their buyers needs as well as carve them a solution which exceeds their expectations.

Many platforms allow you to conduct such actions, for instance let’s take an example of Mark Taylor  who is an executive director of Blackdot Consulting. We are using his LinkedIn account to study better about him https://uk.linkedin.com/in/marktaylor114?trk=author_mini-profile_image.

how to be a good sales rep_Mark Taylor
how to be a good sales rep_Mark Taylor - Linkedin

Here’s the summary of all the information you require about Mark taylors’ experience, where he works and what he actually does. This makes it easier to identify how your solution can help him.

how to be a good sales rep_Linkedin

You can easily track Mark’s activities, the people he follows, his comments on posts as well as, find any blogs written by him to understand him theory of the industry he is dealing in much better.

Even on Instagram, you easily identify which type of audience liked your post and their concerned age groups. You can even see your traffic details as well as the reactions and engagements of your online activities on your page.

how to be a good sales rep_Instagram

3. Assisting your clients round the clock

Normal sales rep

These sales reps do their routine job each day. Except for actually tapping their leads. They make their first two calls but then give up thinking that the lead isn’t interested. Inside sales stated, 50% of all sales happen after the 5th contact, but most reps give up after just 2.

Sometimes, even when the lead approaches them, they don’t revert immediately, hence a series of delay starts to form its place. Due to which they lose numerous opportunities of converting a potential lead. YesWare justifies the point, 70% of salespeople stop at one email. Yet if you send more emails, you’ve got a 25% chance to hear back.

Great sales rep

Great sales reps understand the cruciality of even a small lead. They understand that with constant follow ups and assisting their leads queries at any time can win them a chance to convert them into a potential lead. Brevit proves this point, 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting.

Hence, they are also monitoring and keeping an eye on leads and with the help of updated CRM tools available in the market.

how to be a good sales rep_Customer Relationship Manager

Forrester claims, A properly integrated CRM can provide a 245% ROI. Which means that by using updated CRM  tools such as limecall, who could actually help you to manage your buyer information more smartly alongside raising your lead conversation rates up to 3x more.

4. Qualifying only the best

Normal sales rep

These sales reps believe that just capturing and converting any lead will help them to achieve their target. Since they are working with the motive to finish their goals quicker, they fall out on identifying which prospect can yield them more benefit.

For them, it is just a cycle and the lead needs to keep coming whether it benefits the brand or not. Due to such actions, they lose out on a few clients over the years.

As michael-olguin mentions in his article,

‘’I have come to believe that new business prospecting can never stop and must be a 24/7 proposition. However, just because you are always doing it, this doesn’t mean you should compromise your approach or accept business that isn’t right for your agency. In some cases, the prospects you decide not to chase can still be a win.’’

Great sales rep

Great sales reps believe in the strategy of building a long term relationship with their clients. Which means that they are looking for a good stability for their business. Hence they take a wiser call when it comes to selecting their leads.

They take brutal decisions on choosing which prospect is better and only select those. By doing this they are helping the business to grow better as well as form stronger relations with the buyers.

“To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources — not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.” – Daniel Pink

5. Pushing obstacles forward

Normal sales rep

These are the familiar sales reps. They often sulk and break down if their buyers refuse to buy from them. They feel as though they did something wrong and let it affect their other calls for that particular day.

Due to such thinking, they allow that impact to keep growing. They don’t even think of solving an issue and create a mindset that their sales process is wrong and will only consider making minor changes to it.

Let’s understand this with an example.

Sales Rep- Hello, am I talking to Ms. Peters?

Ms. Peters- Yes, it is, Who is on the call?

Sales rep- Ms. Peters this is Sam calling from ABC Company, we have a new offer on our just launched product, would you be interested?

Ms. Peters- No thankyou (cuts the phone)

how to be a good sales rep_Dan Lok

Dan Lok, a business influencer at danlok brilliantly explains the cause for why your clients don’t want to buy from you. In his online videos, he stated what should  sales reps reflect on when their client declines to talk to them about their solution,

‘’What is the truth? Are they just being polite or do they need more time to make decisions or are they politely declining or rejecting you’’.

Great sales rep

Great sales reps roll above their problems during such situations. They understand the market conditions and the reason why their buyers say no. After every call, they go through the experience and identify the root cause for such a negative answer.

For instance in the above example, they these sales reps realised,

  • They were selling the brand instead of selling the solution.
  • They didn’t trigger Ms. Peters attention because they were exciting her with the offer rather than helping her find her needs.
  • They didn’t make an effort to understand what Ms. Peters was actually looking for.

Sales reps communicate with their peers to learn more about the tips to convert all the no to a yes. They strive to work harder and make changes which can help them to prosper further.

When they accomplish it, it looks something like this,

Sales Rep- Hello, am I talking to Ms. Peters?

Ms. Peters- Yes, it is, Who is on the call?

Sales rep- Ms. Peters this is Sam calling from ABC Company, I noticed that you were on the lookout to purchase smart laptops for your new venture.

Ms. Peters- Yes, that is true.

Sales rep- That’s great Ms Peters, because I believe that we have the laptops that you’re looking for. It fits in your budget, it is light in weight, has a good storage space and plus we even have good offers which will interest you better.

Ms Peters- I see, I am actually looking more for an office laptop model, are your laptops that way?

Sales rep- Our company has various collections to suit our customers needs. Why don’t you share me your email id and a contact number so that we can send you a brief about your choice of laptops as well as schedule a meeting at your convenient time frame?

Ms. Peters- Sure.

6. Stays Adamant

Normal sales rep

These are the sales reps who give up on every bad experience. A bad call, the buyer said no, the buyer is taking too long to convert or the buyer just hung up on the call. They are the ones who cannot accept such drawbacks.

Their positivity reduces and it reflects on their actions very well.

For instance, because they carried on the negativity it became evident in their work

  • Their tone changed when communicating with their next clients.
  • They erased few clients thinking that it may not be worth it.
  • They ignored the reason for such a call and continued repeating the mistake in their next calls too.
  • They didn’t stress much to sell their solution either.

Great sales rep

These are sales reps who understand that the process of sales has always been like this and so they mentally prepare themselves for it. They are the one who don’t give up and strive on every lead they have in their hand.

They are the positive individuals who believe in themselves and know that they just need to strive a bit more to capture the leads. They are open to learning and work around the clock to assist their leads better.

“When reps take the role of a curious student rather than an informed expert, buyers are much more inclined to engage.” – Jeff Hoffman

For them, it’s not just about selling, it’s about developing the trust and building relations.

7. Is all ears

Normal sales rep

These sales reps are similar to a robot. They just answer what the clients ask and at times they vomit what their sales pitch contains. They are in a hurry to complete the process and just get done with it.

They don’t ask their buyers what they are actually looking for and instead they do the mistake of selling the brand more than the actual solution.

The scenario would look something like this,

Sales rep- Hello, I am Paul calling from XYZ company. We provide live chat services to businesses who are looking to increase their lead generation. We have a free demo if you would like to see.

Client- Could you tell me more about your service?

Sales rep- As I had mentioned we provide live chat services for businesses. We can generate leads better. Are you interested?

Client- I am looking for more benefits rather than just a live chat service.

Sales rep- Share us your contact details and we can get in touch with you at a scheduled time.

Client- I will get back to you. (cuts the phone)

Great sales rep

Great sales reps understand the value of getting time to speak to their buyers. Hence they personalise their sales pitches to use it as a guide.

They speak when necessary and dedicate their time to listen to what their clients have to say. They are open to asking questions which helps them to learn more about their clients.

This works as an advantage since they know now what their clients are looking for, hence they can sync their solutions accordingly.

Let’s reverse the above scenario,

Sales rep- Hello, I am Paul calling from XYZ company. We are an inhouse live chat service provider that is looking to help businesses like yours to grow better.

Client- Could you tell me more about your service?

Sales rep- Sure, before we could proceed to tell you the amazing features we can provide, why don’t you tell me what your actual need is so that I can understand and suggest you the best solution to take.

Client- I am looking for something more than just a live chat service.

Sales rep- Oh that’s great, are you looking for something more relating to filtering good leads quicker?

Client- Yes, plus i also want to reduce the bounce rate.

Sales rep- That won’t be a problem because our live chat service has all that covered. Why don’t you share me your email id so that I can share with you the numbers where we helped many companies like yours to convert qualified leads.

Client- Sure.

Sales rep- Is there anything else you are looking for?

Client- No that’s all for now.

8. Sells clients needs

Normal sales rep

As mentioned earlier, normal sales reps don’t just sell their solution to their buyers, they sell their brand. They believe that if they showcase their brands accomplishments, their buyers would be more impressed.

They fail to understand that their buyers are seeking solution,hence they waste a lot of time trying to sell the wrong idea.

“If your sales have tanked, maybe the issue is not your lack of sales skills, but you are rushing the knowing and trusting aspect of the buying process.” – Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Great sales rep

Great sales reps have done their research in order to identify what needs to be sold to their buyers.

how to be a good sales rep_Victor Antonio

The best way to explain this point is through the expert himself, Victor Antonio, owner of sellingergroup, Mr. Victor, holding a 25 years of experience in the sales industry and a speaker stated on one of his sales educational video, the golden answer of how to sell the right way.

‘’If I understand the product, whom I am selling too and have a sales process, If I put all the three together, how can you not be successful in selling’’.

They don’t begin with the usual generic information of the solution. They directly jump into the problems their buyers are facing and how their solution could be their medicine.

Such reps are able to make better sales when compared to the normal sales reps. In fact the process too is faster to capture leads for a good sales rep since they waste no time.

“Sales is an outcome, not a goal. It’s a function of doing numerous things right, starting from the moment you target a potential prospect until you finalize the deal.” – Jill Konrath

9. Retaining communication for more than a minute

Normal sales rep

These sales reps fail to make it for even 10 seconds during a phone conversation. Since their sales pitches are similar to the common ones, their buyers refuse to continue another minute of their conversation with them.

Despite them trying so hard, they are not able to understand how their sales pitches should ideally be. They either copy from the internet or from their peers which again makes them the same people from the crowd.

how to be a good sales rep_Steli Efti

CEO of close.com and an online advisor on the topic of sales, Steli Efti illustrated two major reasons why clients don’t retain for more than a minute with sales reps over a call,

‘’ Not speaking loud enough and not providing space or the time to follow up on what they are trying to speak’’.

Great sales rep

Great sales reps realise that connecting with their buyers is the first step to retain with them over the phone. They understand that addressing their problems and eliminating any unnecessary talks can win them an extra minute with their buyers.

Hence they work on their sales pitches very seriously. They make it as personalized and personal so that they can create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere with their buyers on the phone.

Why don’t you understand this pointer better from the personal experience of Salescripter Founder, Michael Halper,

10. Power breaks

Normal sales rep

They are constantly working without any rest. Hence their exhaustion and tiredness reflects on their communication. In order to speed up the process of them achieving their sales target, these sales reps continue to work despite realising that it’s time for them to take a break and loosen up.

Great sales rep

Great sales reps don’t treat their goals as plain numbers, they want to bring good value to what they do. They understand that sales is an exhausting process and so they indulge in taking mini breaks to rest and then pounce back on later.

This helps them to cool up and feel more relaxed and pushes them to work better once again. This is a great way of working because for a good sales rep, not showing your exhaustion and tiredness to your clients matter.

They realise that when you sound confident and positive, it strives their buyers to do the same.

A study conducted from quora, claimed,

‘’Your mind and body cannot handle the pressure of working continuously for the whole day. So, don’t even try to! Always have breaks in between your work schedule. This will help you to refresh your mind and allow you to work with your full potential. Take a power nap, have a walk, listen to music, have a tea break, meditate or talk to someone who makes you feel good.’’

11. Know the questions to every customer query

Normal sales rep

These are sales reps who just study few areas of their products. They believe that giving generic information to their buyers on the call will be enough to convert them into a sales lead.

However, they are the same people who have chances of ruining a potential sales calls since they can’t respond to any queries which the customer asks apart from what they know.

Let’s learn better with Mr. Paul’s example.

Mr Paul is on the lookout for a callback software which could provide a convenient method of communicating with his clients.

He visits John’s website who offers a similar solution. John identifies him as a warm lead and immediately gets in touch with Mr. Paul.

But before he could even dial the number he views his research data which holds only 3 things, the price, discounts and the reason for the development of his solution.

When Mr. Paul communicated with him he decided to immediately drop out, the reason being that John was unable to answer the following,

  • How his solution could help Mr Paul to engage better with his clients?
  • Why his solution is the best fit for Mr. Paul’s business?

Great sales rep

Great sales reps understands that their buyers are already informed. So they cut through the hassle of selling them briefs of their solution during their communication. They play smart by immediately addressing their buyers pain point

Let’s understand this with an example,

Sarah is looking to engage with firms who offer live chat services. Since she has a new business she wants to grasp better lead with the help of her website.

A sales rep, John who functions in the same industry communicates with her over call addressing her pain points,

‘’Hello Ms. Sarah, I see that you have just launched your business and are looking to generate good leads for your business. I have a solution which could actually help you to find your qualifies leads quicker and convert them instantly without any hassle. Starting a business and finding a lead is tough, and so our solution can help you from the baseline itself which is very crucial for your business at the moment.’’

They understand that selling their solution isn’t the root cause of the communication, they have to showcase the overall efficiency of the product.

So they begin by researching every aspect of their solution and prepare a detailed report on it to assess their clients better.

  • The report could contain
  • the reason for seeking your solution
  • how your solution can solve issues
  • what are the main benefits they are looking to retrieve
  • what their business deals in
  • what are the drawbacks of their business
  • what are they struggling with at the moment and so on.

Doing this gives sales reps an opportunity to speak and sell confidently to their buyers as well as make conversions happen easily.

As we conclude

Being normal is fine, but being good in your work is best. As we have reached the end, you have now successfully understood the 11 ways on how to be a good sales rep.

This article was able to give you insights on,

  • The future demand of a sales rep
  • Why affects a sales rep performance
  • What are the ways you can prepare yourself for the future sales industry
  • How to be a good sales rep

With the changing trends in your industry, it is important that as a sales rep to understand and relate what your buyers are seeking. To retrieve more information on how you can capture and convert leads easily, visit limecall for a detailed description.

Your buyers expect you to be a solution provider for them, as a sales rep it’s your duty to cater to their needs. Be a good sales rep, just the way they expect from you.

If you’re a sales rep, can you share any advice that we missed? Feel free to comment below.

Leena Fernandes

Leena Fernandes

A writer by choice. Leena has served her passion for writing mainly into the B2B marketplaces.