Skilled B2B field sales reps are the driving force behind every successful B2B organization. Irrespective of your industry and target audience, professional sales reps are essential to driving conversions.
They’re indispensable for your sales pipeline, and play a key role in reinforcing customer retention and loyalty. The way they interact with buyers is a key determinant of your organization’s conversion rates and revenue.
Modern technology has made the B2B sales landscape more competitive than ever. This in turn emphasizes the need for developing high-level skills beyond just in-person interaction in your sales reps. Reps also need to know how to leverage sales data to identify qualified leads and stay on top of market trends. And thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the remote work landscape birthed by it, knowledge of the most current sales technologies and digital strategies has also become an integral attribute.
B2B field sales reps must possess the right skills to drive conversions through both in-person meetings and video calls. Here are some essential skills every B2B sales rep must take on board, for managers looking to amplify their reps’ productivity:
Leverage data to conduct sales analysis
The days of relying on gut instincts to make crucial business decisions are over. Whether you’re a B2B field sales rep or a manager, you should have access to a range of data analytics, and you should be leveraging this information to make powerful data-driven decisions and optimize your sales pipeline.
Sales analysis helps B2B sales reps and managers monitor their team’s performance. With good analytics data you can easily see which specific goals have been accomplished and what factors contributed to the successes. Similarly, if your team has failed to achieve certain goals, you can evaluate what went wrong.
B2B sales analysis also helps you identify and qualify leads, as well as better understand pain points and preferences. You can even identify who will likely end up the most profitable customer accounts, and strategize accordingly. Good analytics data also helps you stay abreast of industry trends when launching a new product or overhauling business operations. This ensures that you can harness business opportunities at the right time.
For these reasons and more, it is essential for B2B field sales reps to be well-versed in the intricacies of sales analysis and reporting. Develop a firm understanding of key metrics, such as average deal size, conversion rate, churn rate, and average sales cycle length. Also, watch out for useful tools to help monitor these metrics and generate reports.
Proficiency in B2B field sales tools and technology
The digital transformation of field sales isn’t exactly a still-nascent phenomenon. According to the latest LinkedIn “State of Sales” report, 73% of sales professionals are already using sales technology to drive more conversions. Ninety-seven percent of them consider sales technology “very important” or “important” for their business.
Investment in sales technology has also grown by more than 53% in the last five years, and such technology has become even more crucial for field sales on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the past year and a half, sales reps have needed to reach out to potential buyers and nurture leads almost exclusively via digital channels.
If you want to make your mark as a B2B field sales rep in 2021, you must learn to use sales technology. From CRM and lead management platforms to sales enablement and automation tools, there are a wide array of applications to sample.
The key is identifying tools to help automate routine tasks such as data entry, follow-up, and reporting—tools like Skynamo’s mobile sales app. On Skynamo’s platform you can access customer information and product inventory details on the go, set weekly goals, and place orders from the field. It’s an indispensable tool.
Having tools such as this at your disposal will be instrumental in enhancing your productivity and performance. You’ll have more time to focus on developing new lead generation and conversion strategies. It will also give you a competitive advantage over other organizations still operating with old-school manual strategies.
If you’re a B2B field sales manager, make sure you use the digital transformation in field sales to your advantage. Identify the right tools and train your reps to use sales technology to the fullest—and use these tools yourself to monitor and improve their performance.
Develop soft skills to connect better with customers
While sales technology is crucial for modern sales reps, buyers still want a human touch. What builds your career as a field sales rep is your ability to connect and empathize with potential buyers. That’s why it is essential for B2B sales reps to cultivate their inter- and intrapersonal talents.
Start by developing excellent communication skills. Listen to recordings of conversations with customers to identify communication flaws. Develop good interviewing skills, such as asking the right questions and being a good listener to help buyers identify their struggles and needs.
Similarly, work on developing self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-regulation to improve your emotional intelligence (EQ). You need to build strong leadership qualities to wield a buyer’s perspective. It’s also as essential to make a virtue of adaptability, and be open to accepting and implementing feedback.
Expertise in customer-centric content and social media campaigns
The importance of high-quality conversion-focused content in B2B field sales cannot be emphasized enough. It’s key to nurturing potential buyers, driving conversions, and retaining customers. You must constantly engage buyers with relevant, insightful, and valuable content such as:
- blog posts
- white papers and industry reports
- case studies
Content development and creation are often billed as a marketer’s job, but sales reps can play a key role in developing customer-centric content. Since they’re constantly interacting with customers and receiving feedback, they have invaluable insights into what does and doesn’t work. Their deft touch can help build a powerful relationship with the customers.
It’s essential for modern B2B sales reps to also have a deep understanding of social media and content marketing. Understand target buyers’ needs, interests, and pain points, and develop content that will resonate with them. Clever and compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) also improve lead generation and conversions when wielded effectively.
Enhanced efficiency and productivity with Skynamo
The digital transformation of field sales has made it mandatory for sales reps to bolster and refine their tech proficiency and soft skills. It’s no longer enough to deliver a great sales pitch. Sales reps must also leverage cutting-edge technology to analyze data, generate meaningful reports, and generally improve their performance.
Skynamo offers a platform to empower reps with customer and sales data, while allowing sales managers a real-time overview of sales activities. It analyzes sales data and generates useful reports to help you improve the sales process.