How To Become A Better Salesperson

(Part 2 from my last blog post, “What Makes A Great Sales Rep?”)

The competition is tough. Customers and prospects can be tough. Even our managers are tough! We all need to be consistently improving and polishing our skills to stay one step ahead and close bigger and better deals more often. If you go to Twitter or Google and do a quick search, you can find a wealth of Sales Coaches and endless resources, including this one, to help you.

I’m also striving to perform better so I set aside some time every month to track my progress. What helps me, is to start with three questions:

  1. Where am I now?
  2.  Where do I want to be?
  3.  What are the gaps?

Where am I now? Time for some honest self appraisal! Step one is to do a daily review of all the actions taken that day. It’s a simple way to take a hard honest look at what you have done. You can do this for 2 to 4 weeks. Ideally, it’s something that is done on a daily basis, but with a minimum of two weeks, a pattern starts to emerge and you have a benchmark to work from. I track activities like meetings, calls, emails, tasks, quotes, but also performance, and time management. Another thing I like to do is to record calls on a cell phone or online meeting service so I can listen to them later and critique my delivery and how well I was able to qualify an opportunity or direct the conversation.

Where do I want to be? This is the easy part. Look around and find the person in your market who is closing the most deals, and ask for their help. Look for someone who has cracked the code and found out what the best practices are for that particular solution or market or vertical. Most sales people I meet are natural helpers, and we LOVE to feel smart and important.

What are the gaps? Once I find a mentor, I try to spend a couple hours per month with them. I try to take an objective look at the skills they possess and deconstruct what makes them successful. Normally I would say that comparison is a self sabotaging exercise, but here, when used as a measure for growth, it’s essential. Once I can identify the areas I need to improve, I can create a plan for growth.

About Arlina Allen 23 Articles
Silicon Valley Native, Sales Professional, Blogger & Podcaster

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