As you already know, we at Prospect.io like to get our info right from the horse’s mouth… or from the influencer’s mouth. We’ve rounded up some of the most relevant advice we could find when it comes to stand above the competition and make it as a sales leader!

Ready? Here’s what they have to say!

1. Townsend Wardlaw (Townsend Wardlaw Consulting)

Success stories

“One of the ways I measure the effectiveness of a sales organization is by asking everyone to share stories about their best customer(s). Why did they buy? What have they accomplished as a result of working with us? If we are not intimately familiar with these success stories, how can we connect with new prospects?”

2. Lee Salz (Sales Management Strategist)

Positioning questions

“Top salespeople and sales managers know that the No. 1, most-critical skill leading to sales success is the art of query: asking questions of buyers that help them think differently about the solutions they have or could have. Listening is very important, but the right questions need to be asked so there is pertinent information to be heard. This is the information that helps a salesperson construct a sale — to build a solution for a buyer.

Positioning questions expose areas that a buyer does not perceive could be better or different. Buyers look at the product or service they have and accept performance as “industry standard.” What if you possess differentiators that can disrupt their status quo perception?”

3. Mike Duchen (Co-founder – Inside Sales Bootcamp)

On staying the course

“If you are going to be in sales for the long-haul, remember to breathe. There will definitely be ups, and definitely be downs, and everything in between. Set goals for your sales career so that you don’t measure yourself by the number of deals you closed, but by the relationships you have built and value you have added for others around you.”

4. Jennifer Gluckow (Founder and CEO – Sales in a NY Minute )

Sales are like sports

“Get ready to win. Before even stepping foot on the court, I did morning yoga and stretched my body. I’m ready. I’m flexible. What do you do prior to entering a customer’s office? Think about how great preparation could change your sale. What you do off the court before and after the game sets you up for success or failure on the court. Show up to the sale like you’re competing in a big match, ready and determined to win. What do you do every day to work your body and your mind?”

5. Nancy Nardin (Founder – Smart Selling Tools)

Growing exceptional talent

“While practice is the key to growing myelin and myelin translates to skill, not just any practice will do. What’s required to grow myelin and thus, exceptional talent, is something called deep practice.

Deep Practice involves slowing down and analyzing each step. You stop when an error occurs, practice that one skill until it is perfected, then continue. People learn by repeating, reassessing and “fixing” their skills through the use of immediate feedback and error-correction. This is far different from how most organizations grow their sales talent (or how individual salespeople tend to go about improving their skills). Neither instruction nor actual “doing” in front of real customers is enough. Relying on those methods will certainly improve your skill-set but you won’t become great because neither method involves the repetition of errors, correction, and perfection i.e. deep practice.”

6. Liz Wendling (Lead conversion and sales expert)

Selling in a way that resonates with you

“When you learn how to sell in a way that suits your style, you will be perceived as authentic. When you develop the sales skills that build trust and inspire others to make a buying decision that feels right to them, you will show up as someone who cares and has the best interests of the client in mind.

For example, you may be the most authentic CPA, dentist, attorney or financial planner on the planet; but if you lack the ability to highlight your value and expertise or you are missing the skills that build my confidence, I don’t give a rip how authentic you are.

Authenticity only gets you so far.”

7. Mike Schultz (President – RAIN Group)

Time flies

“The key to professional success is to maximize your Investment time. When you do, you will eventually gain the financial freedom and independence to enjoy more Treasured time, and do what you want when you have it. And, indeed, when you maximize your Investment time and get the most done during it, you will find yourself with more time available immediately to treasure.”

8. Dave Kurlan (CEO – Objective Management Group)

But be patient

“Patience is the most important selling skill that nobody ever talks about.  You can visualize patience on a pendulum where on one side there is an excess of patience and on the other, tremendous impatience.

When there is an excess of patience it always results in the salesperson accepting an endless number of stalls and put-offs, thereby lengthening the sales cycle, and shrinking the win rate.

When there is an excess of impatience, as we observed with the email sender, there will be a disproportionate number of prospects who become turned off, pissed off, or off-ended.

In a perfect selling world, salespeople must be able to walk the fine line between patience and impatience.  They must be able to challenge and push back on stalls and put-offs, but do so with kindness and professionalism so as not to cause a prospect to feel pressure.

We can’t call the skill Patience because that implies having too much patience.  But the correct balance of patience is the key to pipeline velocity, shorter sales cycles and higher win rates.  I call this the ability to Manage Patience.”

9. Ben Daters (VP of sales – People.ai)

Communication is essential

A great salesperson is a great communicator. In many organizations the person who makes decisions about budget isn’t the same person who’s going to be using your product on day-to-day basis. Don’t get stuck describing your company’s great pedigree, and leave the jargon at the office.

A great salesperson is someone who can take a complex concept, make it easy to understand and paint a high level vision that the prospect can’t wait to take part in. Be able to describe your product at the 50,000 foot view, 25K, 10K and 5K foot view based on who you’re talking to. If your grandma can’t understand the value of what you’re selling, you’re doing something wrong.”

10. Keith Rosen (CEO – Coachquest)

Who you are > what you do

“The value you deliver isn’t only reflected in the number of sales you make. Your value isn’t what you do, but who you are and the quality of person you have become and are continually evolving into. Who you are is consistent, who you are is a choice, who you are is something you control 100 percent. That’s why who you are is always more important than what you do.

That’s why the true definition of confidence is having an unwavering faith or belief not only in yourself but in each experience you have. And that belief is this; regardless of the situation, regardless of how bleak it may look or difficult it may be, it will all work out in the end without the evidence to support it. It’s trusting in yourself without any proof to back up your conviction.”

11. Paul Lloyd – (Sales Manager – Non Satis Ltd)

Train your cubs

“How can we expect salespeople to come into an organisation and be successful on this basis. I think possibly because of this whenever I am in a sales team leader position my approach is that I am responsible for achieving 50% of the target of the salespeople by way of support and coaching. Regular reviews and discussions around forecast and pipeline, getting involved in supporting them to succeed not challenging them to fail. I will have recruited them and put them into their position, likely as not taken them out of a secure job.  If I believed that they were the right person for the position then surely it is incumbent upon me to ensure they get everything they need to be successful. “

What do you think?

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