Starting a career in sales is challenging, but very rewarding. You will never forget the excitement of closing your first big deal. The confidence you gain after closing each deal is unmatched. But, as we all know, getting to that place takes a lot of hard work and dedication to your company. Even after years of perfecting your sales skills, sales is never an easy career. If you’re wondering how to improve your sales skills, keep reading for 13 tips to help beginner salespeople thrive in such a competitive environment.
1. Personalize Every Step
To increase your chances of converting prospects into paying customers, you should personalize every step in your sales process. Address them by name in your emails, talk about subjects you know they’re interested in, or create a personalized interactive demo. There are a ton of different ways that you can personalize your interactions with prospects. These small acts of personalization are very easy, and they’ll make a big difference. In fact, personalizing your email campaigns is proven to increase your open rate and click through rate, which can greatly increase your ROI. But, the most important event to personalize is your actual demo. And, you can easily do this by using a demo software.
2. Use a Demo Software
There is no cookie cutter model of a software demo. All are different, and should be treated as such. A demo software is one of the best and easiest ways to personalize the demonstration of your software. There are very few demo software on the market, but I tend to lean towards Demowell for affordability and usability. With Demowell, you can create personalized interactive demo experiences for your clients. Add in their logo, employees as users, key data points, and other information that would help them envision using your software. This way, they will see the value that you bring to their company. When following up with your prospect, you can include a link to their personalized demo, so they can rewatch the demo and share with others that were unable to make the meeting. In addition, you can embed a demo walkthrough on your website or include it in your email onboarding sequence. This way, your prospects can go through a guided tour of your software to help them better understand your software.
3. Don’t Be Too Confident
It’s great to be confident as beginner salespeople. But, there is a fine line between being confident and being cocky. If you’re cocky, you can give leads a bad impression of yourself and even your company. It’s best to err on the humble side as it can be difficult to win a lead back once they have formed this opinion about you. Beginner salespeople tend to get a bad reputation for being over confident. If you think about a stereotypical “car salesman”, this is what a lot of companies may think of you before you even meet them. In this case, it’s important to build a rapport with your prospects. Building a rapport goes hand-in-hand with doing your research on your prospect’s company, pain points, and even them as an individual.
4. Do Your Research
Doing your research prior to meeting with your prospect is essential. Being familiar with not only the company you’re meeting with, but the individuals you are meeting with will help you thrive. LinkedIn is a great place to learn about both the company and the people you’re meeting with. This will also help you put a name to a face, since so much communication is done digitally these days. An example of why doing your research is so important is if you’re selling a SaaS product, but you’re meeting with someone who has a lot of technical knowledge, you might want to bring a member of your tech team along to answer any questions you might not know. But, if you don’t know the answer to their questions, it’s best to be honest.
5. Be Honest
It’s hard to say “I don’t know” in a sales meeting. It can be a defeating feeling for beginner salespeople. However, at the beginning of your career, it is normal to not know the answer to every question they may have. Far too often beginner salespeople will give an answer that they think is right, and then the client finds out that it wasn’t right. This can cost your company a deal. Instead, simply say something like, “That is a great question! I’m not 100% sure about the answer, but I can check with our tech team and send you an email first thing tomorrow morning with the answer,”. Ensure you give them a time frame that they can expect the answer. Your honesty will go far, and will improve your relationship with the prospect. But, if you don’t know the answer to multiple questions in a single meeting, that’s a good sign that you need to ask your team for more training and advice.
6. Ask for Advice
Like I mentioned before, if you’re not sure about something, it’s best to ask than to guess. If you are able to figure out the answer that’s great, but there’s no shame in asking. In addition, any salesperson, beginner or not, should talk to their peers to see how they can improve. If you struggle with a certain part of your sales pitch, then ask your peers for advice on how to improve. Practice your sales pitch with peers that you trust, and ask for their honest feedback and advice. As a salesperson, you need to have thick skin, and this can help you generate more sales. In addition, it’s also helpful to discuss common rejections that they receive so you can prepare and handle them effectively.
7. Don’t Take Rejection Personally
Rejection is part of the job. But, that doesn’t mean that it makes it any easier. Continuously receiving rejection can bruise your ego. But, rejection can actually help you improve your sales techniques and hopefully reduce the chances of rejection with future prospects. You can use their hesitations to enforce how your company could help or how you can resolve their hesitations. But, not every company that you meet with will be the perfect fit for your company. If they didn’t convert, it’s helpful to follow up and ask for feedback from them to find out exactly what happened.
8. Ask for Feedback
Asking your prospects for feedback can be nerve wracking. But, it’s well worth the nerves in the long run. By asking for feedback, you’ll learn how you can improve your sales techniques. And, hopefully increase your chances of your prospects converting. When you’re asking for feedback, send the prospect that you’ve previously met with, but didn’t convert, an email. It’s helpful to send this email after your initial follow up to ensure all of their questions were answered. If the prospect hasn’t converted or contacted you after a few weeks, send them an email if there was anything that you could have done better. You can ask them personally, or you can send them a survey to fill out.
9. Follow Up
Following up after your sales meeting is an important step in your sales process. Every follow up email will be slightly different based on how your meeting went. If your meeting went well, and your prospect is ready to purchase, then your follow up will be different than if your prospect is not interested in your product after seeing it in use. When you are ending your meeting, you should let your prospect know when they should expect your next email and if they want you to include any more information in this email. When following up, include a summary of your meeting, clarify any questions they had, if you used a demo software, include a link to their personalized demo so they can rewatch the demo. End the email by asking them if they have any other questions and how they would like to move forward.
10. Work With Your Marketing Team
Sales and marketing teams often butt heads. But, working closely with your marketing team can benefit your sales strategy and vice versa. You can better understand your prospects and their pain points. In addition, if you’re running a new promotion or advertisement, you should be familiar with it. There’s nothing more awkward than a client asking about a promotion they saw on LinkedIn, but you have no clue what the promotion is, as well as the promotion’s terms and conditions. Your ideas can also help your marketing team, as you have direct contact with prospects. The more you work with your marketing team, the more leads they are able to generate, and therefore the more prospects you are able to talk to.
11. Active Listening
Beginner salespeople can struggle with the idea of active listening. Most of the time this isn’t due to the fact that they don’t care, but more of being nervous or having a lack of practice. Active listening essentially means that you’re listening more in-depth and you’re going to suggest a solution based on the pain points that they’ve expressed. There’s a good chance that your product will have multiple different use cases depending on the company, so you need to be looking for the right scenario that applies to their company. This can be difficult for beginner salespeople to do, but with enough practice and experience it will come naturally.
12. Keep Up-To-Date With Sales Trends
Every day there are new sales trends emerging. As a beginner salesperson, it’s important to familiarize yourself with both basic sales techniques and new sales techniques. As technology advances, we are moving further and further away from in-person sales pitches and closer to fully online pitches. Online sales pitches can lack personalization, but there are a ton of tools and resources out there that will help you learn how to make Zoom meetings feel as life-like as possible. If you’re not sure where to look for the best sales trends, subscribe to a few sales blogs, read sales books, and chat with your colleagues. Sales is a career that you never stop learning. The more you learn, the smoother your sales meetings will go. And that means closing more deals!
13. Identify the Prospect’s Pain Points
Identifying your prospect’s pain points is one of the most important tips on this list. Without knowing their pain points prior to the meeting, it’s almost impossible to prepare and deliver a successful sales pitch. You need to have a thorough understanding of their company, and how your solution is going to help them overcome their pain points. Even if you work with similar companies already, it doesn’t mean that they will be looking for the exact same solution. So, you’ll need to frame each pitch differently. It can be helpful to use the same words that they expressed their struggles with in your solution. As an example, if your prospect says “I’m having a hard time managing all of my email contacts with my current CRM, they tend to get lost,”, then you can show your CRM with a handy search function that will prevent their email contacts from getting lost. By using the same terminology, your prospect will feel as if their needs will be satisfied by using your product.
Sales is a rewarding career. As beginner salespeople, we may get discouraged from time to time with the struggles that come with this field, but once you get the hang of handling objections and gain the right amount of confidence, I’m sure your sales career will take off. If you were to only take one thing away from this article, I would suggest talking to your peers and learning how they improved their sales skills over the years and find out if they have any advice that you can take into your next sales meeting. If you’re looking to generate 10-20% more revenue, check out Demowell to enhance your sales demos. Happy selling!