“The structure of the daily habits of successful salespeople matters far more than any one secret strategy”, argues sales strategist Marc Wayshak. “Superstar salespeople are doing little things over and over each day in order to close massive sales and close more sales than the average salesperson”.
Field sales outcomes are very much connected to personal habits we’ve acquired over time. One could argue that all sales reps operate on autopilot and that sales success is directly related to their daily routines.
Thankfully, sales habits aren’t set in stone. Healthy habits can be adopted and there are brilliant sales tools out there to help you with this process.
What we know about successful sales reps are that they…
Remain quick to listen and slow to speak. Ask the right questions. Invite positive criticism. Listen.
Teachable reps recognise advice from clients and sales coaches as valuable tools, necessary to adapt to change and to navigate past obstacles in the field. They are prepared for client objections, remain open to sympathise with the difficulties clients face and willing to move forward accordingly.
Staying on top of things and knowing how to respond to new challenges and opportunities requires more than just listening to those around you. Organise your day and make time to learn from industry leaders and people who bring a fresh, outside perspective to the one you’re operating in.
Forward thinking reps know that learning is supposed to be an activity of leisure. They think of it as a time of refreshing, during which they can relax and enjoy bursts of creativity as they open their minds to diverse thoughts and perspectives.
Download an audio book. Set up a themed pod cast playlist for the week on Sunday afternoons. Turn your car into a mobile market place of ideas.
It’s always tempting to hoard your own good ideas, but it is certainly no way of getting ahead. Sharing ideas is the flipside of listening to and learning from others.
Growth-minded reps share their great insights with the whole company and contribute towards improved coordination between the various departments involved in growing sales.
Read: 5 reasons sales reps should share their ideas more freely
Time spent on research and preparation saves time and energy in the long run. Preparation enables you to run into problems before they occur, providing you with solutions for when they do.
Prepared reps who do their research are not only able to anticipate and respond to client needs but adds value by becoming resources to others. Both clients and colleagues will turn to them as trusted sources of information during decision-making processes.
Multi-tasking can easily be confused with ‘getting lots done’. It is unfortunately often also a symptom of the failure to prioritise. Playing catch-up instead of being ahead of the game.
Successful reps are organised and focussed. They understand who they are selling to, they operate according to a strategic purpose, setting and monitoring their goals accordingly. The ability to create task lists keeps them on track and ensures they get the right things done at the right time.
6. Value Time
Time is arguably our most valuable resource. It is certainly the most equally distributed resource. But because our days are structured differently, its true value lies in our ability to use it wisely.
Productive reps make even a little time count a lot. Quality time with clients remains their main reason for managing their time effectively and valuing time in the way they do. They free themselves up to be present and attentive when they visit clients.
7. Reduce Admin
Admin is a major disruptor of quality time with clients. Admin tasks are responsible for 15% of sales rep ineffectiveness and contributes to the nearly two-thirds of time spent on non-revenue generating activities. Less than 18% of time is applied in Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
Effective reps know how to avoid spending too much time in spreadsheets and how to untangle themselves from unnecessary paperwork.
8. Map routes
Sales productivity is linked to effective route planning.
“The best salespeople map or grid their territory… plan their appointments and calls each day, within the grid, thus reducing wasted drive time. The key is leveraging the CRM to run call lists by geography-based attributes.” – Jeb Blount, CEO of SalesGravy.com
Read: How GPS tracking is changing the sales playing field, for the better
9. Cultivate Healthy Habits
Move around. Take breaks. Sleep enough.
Regardless of how well-read and well-prepared someone might be, they are ultimately dependent on their own bodies for efficiency.
Sharp-minded reps realise that sitting all day, whether in an office or a car, negatively effects their postures and moods. They stand to take calls, take breaks in between tasks and move around strategically to clear their minds and de-stress their bodies.
Being present and positive on the job requires proper sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night in order to function optimally.
10. Keep Promises
Trust is central to all healthy relationships. Promise-keeping is the habit by which we show ourselves to others as trustworthy. We show ourselves as people who others can count on.
Trustworthy reps are relationship-driven. They remember to follow-up conversations, make realistic promises and remain transparent throughout the delivery process.
Keeping promises are sometimes subject to circumstances beyond our reach. But as Marc Wayshak would remind, incorporating habits like all the above mentioned into your daily routine will surely make promise-keeping a lot easier.
You probably noticed that many of these habits are interdependent. Cultivating any one of them would make adopting others into your routine so much easier. Which one would you most like to add to your daily routine?