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Getting better at sales: the checklist

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Jesse Huylebroeck
Sales Representative

To become a better salesperson, sometimes all you need to do is adopt a couple of good habits and adjust your daily routine slightly. In this article, I give you 4 tips that helped help me become a more effective salesperson.

Article en français - Artikel in het Nederlands

1. Measuring means knowing

Take stock of the actions you have taken. For example, how many demonstrations have you done? How many prospects are currently in your sales funnel? How many cold calls have you made? Etc.

Let's take an example. How many demonstrations do you have to do on average before you conclude a contract? If you need 4 demonstrations before signing a contract, you can say that your rate of completed sales is about 25%.

This information is essential to help you reach your sales goal. Let's imagine that you need to sign 5 contracts of 10,000 euros to reach your quota. If you know that your sales success rate is around 25%, you will need to plan more or less 20 demonstrations before signing 5 contracts. This kind of reasoning may seem simplistic, but you will find it very useful. You may also go deeper into your analysis. How many calls does it take to schedule a demonstration? ...

This allows you to set measurable goals and work towards your own success.

2. Adopt good habits

Selling is a difficult job that often comes with stress, you won't learn that from me. To protect yourself from it, it is preferable to adopt a few good habits.

The first is to adopt an ethic of healthy living: Mens sana in corpore sano (a healthy mind in a healthy body). You only have one body, so you might as well take care of it. The recipe for a healthy lifestyle? Enough sleep, a healthy diet and sufficient exercise. The latter can also be an escape valve for stress.

All these elements will help you to adopt a positive spirit, develop your patience and put things into perspective. All these elements will help you to be more creative and find solutions to arising problems.

3. Get yourself coached

As a salesperson, you are sometimes required to perform tasks outside your comfort zone. If this is the case, don't hesitate to be coached by a more experienced colleague. He will share with you conversation techniques that he knows work.

If something doesn't work right away and you don't feel completely confident, think for yourself and be open to advice and feedback. As far as possible, you can practice with your colleagues to recreate certain situations that you want to improve (meetings or conversations). You will feel more confident afterwards.

Also try to learn at different levels. How do your other colleagues approach a certain type of message? What do they do and what do they not do when they make presentations? What questions do they ask? What are their follow-up tips? etc.

4. Grown an elephant skin?

Personally, I don't know many salespeople who have a rate of completed sales above 30 or 40%. I think the secret lies rather in the way the best salespeople deal with rejections. For us, rejection is "part of the game", but those who sell well listen well.

For example, some will interpret the answer "not now" as a refusal. Others will see it as an opportunity for the future. It's a bit like: some see the glass of water as half empty, others see it as half full. On the other hand, for those who work in several sectors of activity, the reason for a refusal may represent an opportunity in another sector of activity.

To conclude, I would say that you just have to make sure that your sales funnel is sufficiently full. The more contact you have with potential prospects, the less you will worry about rejections.

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