As a salesperson or sales manager, the beginning of the year is always full of hope and anticipation. You set your goals, plan out your tactics, and anxiously await the start of a new chapter. Last year is finally in the books, and now it’s time to pivot your focus and energy toward the future.
With that new focus should also come some self-reflection.
- What did you do well last year?
- What could have gone better?
- Did you leverage all of the resources available to you?
- How did your team respond to your leadership?
As you get back into the swing of things, we wanted to offer some advice to help get your sales off to a strong start this year.
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Know Your Audience
First and foremost, understand who you’re selling to from the get-go.
Market research can provide invaluable insights into the wants and needs of prospective clients — at the bare minimum, be familiar with their website. Then, be sure you’re asking the right questions when conducting discovery calls and navigating through your prospecting process. Knowing precisely who your target audience is will set you up for success with any sales ventures going forward. Moreover, it will severely reduce the time you waste pursuing opportunities that aren’t good mutual fits for your products or services.
Uncover Pain Early and Often
Do you do most of the talking on your sales calls, or do you ask a lot of questions? If you follow our other blog posts and case studies, you’ll find that we regularly talk about how often we see salespeople forgetting to ask their prospects critical questions. Without asking questions, it’s nearly impossible to uncover pain points, yet there are endless misconceptions about the topic.
This year, make sure you become an expert in questioning techniques — this is one of the most fundamental skills a Buyer Facilitator needs to have. Take the time to craft meaningful questions and give your prospects the space and time to answer them thoughtfully. You’ll be surprised at how revealing this can be.
One of the best ways to stand out and build credibility is by putting yourself in your prospects’ shoes. What do they need most? What type of value are they looking for? Ask yourself these questions, then ask them.
As you build relationships with clients and craft tailored solutions unique to each organization or industry sector, you’ll become well-versed in serving customers within that vertical. You’ll already know the answers to your most pressing questions. You’ll spend your valuable time (and theirs) investigating and uncovering pain and dedicating time to solving problems. Speaking of which…
Be a Problem Solver, Not Just a Salesperson
One of our other tips for a successful start to a new year is simple: don’t just sell; solve problems.
In other words, try to avoid taking on the traditional role of a salesperson focused only on closing deals and making money in a transactional manner. Instead, become a problem solver by asking thoughtful questions and staying one step ahead of the discussed issues. Focus on providing value and long-term solutions to your prospects, not just pushing them to buy whatever products or services you have available right now. Also, schedule regular check-in calls to see how your customers use or implement your product or service and how you can further assist.
This year, put the customer first and always strive for win-win scenarios. By proving that you genuinely understand their needs, you’ll be able to build trust with customers that will benefit both parties in the long term.
Leverage Sales Tools and Resources
While great salespeople should naturally be able to conduct a sales process without entirely relying on external support or technology, you should still consider expanding your team’s reach by leveraging modern sales tools or working with a sales consulting firm if you haven’t already. Resources such as automated lead tracking platforms or CRM software that integrate email marketing campaigns, follow-up sequences, or even task reminders into one unified workflow can take a lot of the monotonous work out of your process.
Optimizing current practices with new technologies, sales leaders, and salespeople can increase efficiency. For example, streamlining manual processes like data entry or administrative workflows not directly connected with sales efforts frees up more time for meaningful conversations with customers instead!
We’re Just Getting Started
The coming year holds many possibilities for those in sales — it’s up to us all to make the most of them! Whether you’re just starting in sales or have been at it for years — Topaz Sales Consulting is here to support you. Our mission here is simple: help our readers get off on the right foot this year so they can achieve their sales goals!
Are you looking to give your sales organization a boost? We’d love to help out! Contact us today, and let’s work together to drive your sales in the right direction. We can’t wait to hear from you!