When some people imagine sales, they think it’s like the film The Wolf of Wall Street, where people with sharp elbows will do whatever it takes to make the sale. You as a salesperson know this is far from the truth. You don’t have to be a wolf to be a premier salesperson. In fact, you should often be the opposite.

The Internet has shifted the balance of power; sellers no longer control information. It is now far easier for buyers to find a vendor who looks a lot like yours to sell to them what they need if they don’t believe you are treating them fairly.

During the last two decades, it has become increasingly important for salespeople to transition from being ‘product pushers’ to ‘insight providers’ adding value to the buyers’ business.

Your organization will lose out on customers if your salespeople are acting like walking and talking sales brochures, trying to tell people why you are superior to your competitors’.

Modern sales is about creating relationships with potential customers. It’s about asking questions, education and providing tailored value to every prospect. To do this, there's plenty of fish (I mean sales tools) in the sea to help you. In our latest ebook, The Best Sales Tools & Technologies 2018, we list 100+ vendors that you as a salesperson should be familiar with. 

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4 must-knows to become a mindful salesperson 

1. Qualify every lead before reaching out to make sure you focus on the right accounts for your business 

The headline above could just as well have read “define your Ideal Customer Profile and sell only to companies matching it to the T” or “never underestimate the importance of careful sales prospecting and lead qualification”. Point being, don’t waste precious time reaching out to companies that will never buy from you because your offer is completely irrelevant to them. 

It’s challenging to get in touch with decision makers, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to stand out from your competitors with feature offers and pricing models. Chances are your average B2B sale today requires more resources than it did, say, 10 years ago. Especially if you work with the high-touch Account-Based Sales model. Therefore, salespeople have to make sure they’re spending their time and efforts on those companies that are most likely to turn into customers now – and those companies only. 

And keep in mind that you can’t cram sales prospecting, it must be a daily discipline. It might not come naturally for you to block out time every day for this activity, but it’s well worth doing.

HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP YOU IMPROVE: 
The art of finding the right companies to go after and the right time to reach out is, as you're likely to know, what's referred to as sales prospecting. Sales Intelligence and Sales Prospecting platforms that collect myriads of data from millions sources every day can help you do this successfully at a scale. This type of technology allows you to do extremely detailed company searches and track buying signals from your target accounts.

2. Tailor your message and offering to each prospect 

A generic pitch doesn’t cut it in today’s hyper-competitive sales landscape. Use the findings from your sales qualification work to personalize your message.

Far from every prospect is interested in every detail about your product or service. Show only what's relevant for the company you're currently talking to.  

The person on the other side of the line will hear if you’re reading from a script. This shows that you’ve not invested your time into trying to understand their business, so why should they spend their time listening to you telling them about yours?

HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP YOU IMPROVE: 
One trend we've seen in 2018 is that Customer Service software is being used beyond their traditional use case. One example of this is that several platforms allow users to greet website visitors with personalized messages when the prospect has clicked through an email.

3. Remember: You have two ears and only one month for a reason

Is there a better way to get somebody’s attention if not by asking questions about their needs? Unfortunately, that’s the part when most of the salespeople get things wrong.

Gong.io found that the average B2B sales rep speaks 65–75% of the total time on the call. While many sales reps would try to explain this away as a normal breakdown for a call that’s being run by the rep, it’s easy to see why this is a problem if you focus on the value of a call. Instead of being oh-so-excited that somebody is interested in your product and try to tell them ALL about it, focus less on your product and more on the potential customer’s needs and how you can meet them. That will help you establish if your prospect and company are a good fit.

HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP YOU IMPROVE:
Sales conversation intelligence softwares can pull out key pieces of your conversations and gives you insights about the conversation. This type of artificial intelligence-powered apps help you quickly see what topics you covered in a call, what competitors you mentioned and hone the talk-to-listen ration.

4. Don’t make a sale just for the sake of it

I understand, your boss is breathing down your neck, pushing you to reach a tough sales quota. It’s tempting to try to make every sale possible, no matter if it’s to an organization that will gain significant value out of your product or service or not. Needless to say, this attitude does NOT build a solid sales career nor a long-term successful sales organization.

We’re living in the age of empowered customers. Consumers who share their negative customer experience on social media are reaching wider audiences every day. There are numerous review sites too. A dissatisfied customer that feels like she was promised more than she got when she signed a deal with you is not just likely to cost your company more than she paid as she’s likely to require plenty of time from your customer support team. The malcontent can also seriously damage your brand when she shares her anger and frustration online.

HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP YOU IMPROVE: 
As mentioned above, Sales Intelligence and Sales Prospecting platforms can help you find the right companies to go after.

Another type of useful technology is Sales Analytics software. Platforms falling into this category are used to gain visibility into sales activities to locate both high-performing and struggling salespeople, products or campaigns, and forecast sales results. This type of tools allow you to get a granular view, breaking down sales into comprehensible pieces when reviewing what’s working and fixing what is not. If you mont after month feel they have to cram in that only sale on the last of every month or see most of your customers churn after the first contract period, using insights from Sales Analytics software can help you improve your game.

Some final words of visdom

Modern sales is far more about listening than talking. You need to be a genuine problem solver and provide the right insights to your prospect when they are doing their due diligence.

New sales tools that aim to help salespeople sell smarter and deliver a more personalized treatment to every account go to market every day. According to LinkedIn's State of Sales 2017 report, "90% of sales professionals report that sales technology is either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ for closing deals”.

By forming a powerful sales technology stack, you can become a more mindful and successful sales person. 

Topics: B2B Sales

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