A sales career isn’t for the faint of heart. Working in the field can be even more demanding than operating inside the office. If you’re an outside sales representative, you’re probably a people person who thrives on the independence and schedule flexibility that are inherent elements of the job. Who wants to be stuck in an office all day every day, anyway? Wherever you’re working, it’s always helpful to brush up on your skills. No one should stop learning about their profession; even the most experienced salesperson can continue growing.
Know and Understand Your Product
This might be a ridiculous statement, but sales reps of all kinds should know the product they’re selling inside and out. Anyone can remember the brand of the product, but how about the details of its contents? Always be prepared to answer any questions a prospective customer might have. Detailed and technical information might not be readily available by doing a Google search, so they’ll need your expertise. You should be capable of explaining what the product does, how it works and convincing them why they can’t perform successfully without it. What sets your product apart from the competition?
Take Advantage of Technology
Technology is a game-changer when it comes to sales, and it’s constantly improving. As a sales rep out in the field, you can access the same information that your fellow team members see online. It also enables you to have immediate access to your customers, prospects and sales team whether you’re in the office or across the planet; the world is literally at your fingertips. With the help of the internet and current communications technology, salespeople can do their jobs more effectively and efficiently. Knowing the vast array of tools available to you is the first step to ramping up your game.
• Productivity apps help sales reps improve their productivity while being more efficient. From document storage and sharing tools to task management and routing software, you can probably find what you need to help you complete your day-to-day responsibilities, and then some.
• Email tracking software is simple yet very useful. When it’s integrated with an email client, it will track when the email recipient opens the email you sent them or clicks on a link in that email.
• Social selling software is exceptionally beneficial for salespeople when building relationships with potential customers on social media sites. Social listening and publishing software isn’t necessary but can significantly increase efficiency by publishing and monitoring multiple social networks.
• Customer relationship management can benefit sales reps and their team by helping them record, reference and report their interactions with prospects (both past and present) and established customers. Everyone who speaks with the customer can make notes on what went on in the communication. Other team members can access it, so they’re up-to-date next time they communicate with the customer.
• Appointment and scheduling tools integrate with salespeople’s calendars (e.g., Google or Office 365) so that prospects and customers can make appointments based on the availability of the rep. It avoids the annoyance of playing phone tag and trying to spend time coordinating people’s schedules.
These are only a few of the available tools to assist you in meeting your career goals. Once you choose some, make sure you and your sales team are proficient in their use so that you can reap the most benefits from their services.
Retain Your Customers
After the sale, the last thing you want to do is forget your customer. Be sure to maintain a relationship with your customers long-term. This connection will ensure that the product they purchase meets their expectations and ensures that they return to you for another purchase later. They’ll appreciate not being forgotten right after the sale. Also, be sure to communicate with your company’s other departments and make sure they’re treating them well. When customers get top-notch support, they’ll come back for more. They may also recommend you to their friends and give you good leads. Prioritize the needs of your customers, and there’s a good chance they’ll be loyal to you and your company.
Don’t make your prospective customers wait around for a quote. They’re often ready to make a decision as soon as possible. You don’t want them to choose another brand that’s moving faster. They should have a copy of all the information related to the sale, including the price quote, product details and other important information. Make sure to include your direct contact information, such as your cell phone number and email. If they have to go through different people and play phone tag to reach you, they’re likely to take their business elsewhere.
Secure Contact Information
Whenever a prospective customer contacts you, make sure you gather and save all of their contact information. You should keep it easily accessible so you can get your hands on it at a moment’s notice if and when you need it.
When you use analytics, you get a full view of how your sales team is performing. Analytics will show who made the most sales and what product was the biggest seller, among other kinds of data. Some can forecast the trajectory of your sales game, both short-term and long-term. Looking at the big picture can help you and your sales team upgrade your operations for better performance. You might be trying to sell a product that isn’t needed much, or you might be targeting the wrong audience when advertising. You might even be in the wrong market for the product that you’re trying to sell. Regularly taking a good look at your analytics will tell you what you need to know.
Salespeople depend on coaching and personal mentorship for consistently performing well and improving their game. As a more experienced sales rep, you have first-hand knowledge that is invaluable to people who are new to the profession. You can also motivate them with positive reinforcement, push them to achieve bigger goals and coach them through the process. Personal mentoring can be more helpful than anything for a salesperson. It can also benefit the mentor by brushing up on their skills.
Setting lofty goals for yourself can be daunting and may sometimes even seem impossible. However, you may surprise yourself. If you don’t quite meet the goal, you’ll probably get a lot closer than you initially imagined. Meeting and elevating goals will give you the confidence to keep striving. For one thing, meeting bigger goals means keeping a fatter wallet. It’ll also teach you to do better, more in-depth planning. Furthermore, it will teach you to be more proactive and organized. You’ll get to the point where you don’t feel as overwhelmed and you’ll come to expect better performance from yourself.
Take Care of Your Customers
When you go out on a sales call, instead of only making a sale, think of it as providing these prospects with something they need. This approach will show that you value them and care about their needs. After all, it’s called sales, but it’s not always only about making the sale. If you can provide what they’re looking for and take care of them with consistency, you can generate a loyal customer base.
A dedicated salesperson naturally strives to achieve bigger and better things. With all the competition out there, having the right sales tools and knowledge will meet and exceed your quotas and while filling your wallet.