20 May 5 Top Sales Skills Needed to Capitalize on the Recovery
How quickly life can change! This pandemic has changed the way you work and live. It has changed the level and type of support your salespeople need from you. Like business leaders across the globe, you had to adapt to managing remote workers. Some of my clients say they are still overcoming transition pains and need help. How are you coping?
On May 29th, I’m delivering a keynote address at the Economic Times Sales Strategy Virtual Summit 2020 – Navigating the New Normal. The summit is an annual initiative of the Times of India Group. This year, they bring together visionary industry leaders to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by sales leaders and business owners across the globe.
In preparing for the Summit, here’s my answer to one of the questions the organizers asked –
What are the top 5 sales skills you want to enhance to be future-ready?
- Energize Hopes, Dreams, and Goals
In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, salespeople might find the idea of goalsetting overwhelming. However, short, mid, and long-term goals are more important than ever. Our hopes, dreams, and goals give us the energy to keep moving forward in the face of overwhelming odds. Here’s how you can make the process less painful:
- Identify professional and personal long-term goals and long-term aspirations. Then draft a plan on how to achieve them.
- Document potential three-, five-, and ten-year milestones. It is important that goals become small, manageable steps. Each small goal they achieve will build their confidence and motivate them to persevere.
- To help them energize their dreams, brainstorm short-term objectives that must be met in order to achieve each of their long-term goals.
- Annual goals, and 30-, 90-, and 180-day goals must also align with the company’s goals.
- Translate short-term goals into monthly, weekly, and daily activity plans.
Ensure they are S.M.A.R.T. goals. There are many great resources to help guide you on this journey. You can get my free eBook, Energize Your Dreams, by sending me an email to Danita@DanitaBye.com with Energize Your Dreams in the subject line, and I will send it to you.
- Improve Questioning Strategies
What is one of the most important keys to being successful in our rapidly shifting sales culture? Your salespeople need to ask the right questions at the right time in the right way to the right person. By doing this, you will see benefits like these:
- A salesperson who earns the reputation of being a trusted resource uncovers the root problem through deep discovery.
- Extensive questioning moves closer to understanding the real need(s) of the prospect.
- By pitching your product or service only when you know exactly what the issue is, your prospect is assured that you have a solution.
Always think in terms of long-term, win-win relationships—that is, what’s good for the company and what’s good for the client.
- Differentiate Yourself and Your Offering
Providing a prospect with too much technical wizardry early in the sales process always backfires. Why? First, everyone’s doing it. Next, the real benefits to the client will be drowned out in a fog of irrelevant information. What’s the solution?
- Differentiate yourself and your offering by asking powerful questions that go as wide and deep as possible.
- Discuss all aspects of the prospect’s issues, opportunities, implications, the people they affect, and potential outcomes.
When you help your prospect get clarity about the real need, you differentiate yourself as a trusted advisor and a creative problem solver.
- Activate Listening Skills
Listening well requires setting aside our egos and agendas. It requires us to be vulnerable and courageous. The payoffs are worth it. Listening ensures relevance, improves cooperation, deepens relationships, and boosts productivity.
Many of us spend 80% of the time talking. We’re so set on promoting our point of view. In the process, we only spend 20% of the time listening to what our prospect or client has to say. What might happen if we swop our listening ratios? Research shows that we’re perceived as the following when the prospect/client talks 80 percent of the time:
- More professional
- More knowledgeable
- More competent
- More trustworthy
Becoming a trusted resource is a competitive advantage in today’s hyper-competitive business climate. Sales professionals who are trusted naturally by their prospects and clients, immediately differentiate themselves from the competitors.
- Become Rejection Proof
Many salespeople struggle to recover from hearing the dreaded “No.” Unfortunately, that word is inevitable in the world of sales. In a slow economy, the number of “No’s” might go sky-high. So, estimate the number of “no’s” that you may need to hear before getting to a “yes.” Armed with that info, track and celebrate every single “no.” See “No” as a signpost telling you that you’re getting closer to your goal.
How has the pandemic changed the way you work and live? Have you been successful in managing your remote salespeople?
Ramp up your coaching by energizing the hopes, dreams, and goals of your salespeople. By improving their questioning strategies, they will set themselves up as trusted resources. In this way, your BDR will be viewed as a trusted advisor and a creative problem solver. You will also reap the benefits of their improved listening skills – relationships deepen, and productivity is boosted. And finally, you can use your experience to teach them how the dreaded “No” they are bound to encounter, can be turned into a steppingstone on their success journey.
Gain the competitive edge by joining me for the virtual summit Navigating the New Normal on May, 29 at 9:30 pm Central. Register here: bit.ly/VirtualSalesStrategySummit