What are the behaviours of top salespeople that guarantees results? Every company has a small group of top salespeople that people look up to and wonder how they are able to consistently hit such good numbers every month. The question all sales training teams get asked is what are the behaviours of top salespeople that guarantee results, and how can we train the other salespeople to get the same results?
Surprisingly, the behaviours of top salespeople are not difficult to identify, and are easy for everyone to adopt. You don’t need to be a particular personality type, be overly extrovert or be genetically gifted. No, the behaviours of top salespeople are more of an approach and attitude to the work of being a sales professional.
10 Behaviours Of Top Salespeople
Know The Numbers
You ask a top salesperson about their numbers and they are able to respond quickly and concisely. Top salespeople know the numbers. This can be achieved in one of two ways. They either request lots of reports from their manager or sales operations team to help them identify opportunities within their book of business, or they are those people on the team that spend time in the CRM building reports and dashboards that allow them to get that information themselves. Being organised and data driven may not seem a top priority, but this approach allows these salespeople to be focused and efficient in every other activity they do, and this shows in the results they generate.
Marketing, inside sales, sales development reps, lead generation experts… all reasons salespeople give for not prospecting. Although top salespeople also get these leads, they realise that their pipeline is their business. Would you leave the most important aspect of your business in someone else’s hands? Top salespeople realise that inbound leads may help others hit their targets, to hit the top numbers there is an additional requirement to prospect and find additional deals. One of their vehicles is referral, and after doing more successful deals than others, this can generate lots of potential leads. They also aren’t scared to pick up the phone.
Build Their Professional Network
Networking is an important part of building any business, and top salespeople realise that they have a duty to build their own brand as well as that of their company. Top salespeople will attend events, conferences and industry seminars, not with the view to sell, but instead to connect with people that have a mutual interest. These relationship joint ventures can ultimately result in introductions for the salesperson, but they are also looking for ways to arrnage crossover introductions in their network. By making introductions for others, they generate a sense for reciprocation in their network that can help lead to new opportunities.
Learn The Product
In today’s sales world, salespeople don’t need to learn their product. Prospects are often informed after having done their research. Plus the company provides technical sales engineers for the really tricky questions that come up. Whereas that might be enough for some, top salespeople realise they need to know their product in more detail. Not only does this give them additional credibility (how many times can you say “great question, let me check and get back to you”?), it also helps them identify the specific features that will ultimately win the deal. Often sales come down being able to meet a very specific requirement, and detailed understanding of the product or service is what helps the top salespeople identify these opportunities in the sales conversation.
A large part of selling is influencing and persuading people to make decisions to buy their product. There is an art and a science behind the communication patterns of a sales conversation, and top salespeople invest time in becoming better communicators. You’ll find them often talking about a new audiobook or a TED video they watched that got them thinking. There really are limitless opportunities to become a better communicator, learn more about personality types and understand human psychology, and too salespeople will all have their favourite methods.
Know Their Why
Sales can at times be a tough choice of career. When things are going well, it’s all good, but when you find yourself behind target, that is a very different story. Top salespeople often have a very clear drive and motivation why they are in that role. This sense of purpose helps keep them motivated when they need to out in extra effort, but it also shows up in sales conversations too. That purpose shows up as persistence, so when a prospect seems uncertain or says no, the top salespeople are prepared to challenge and work a little harder for the deal than others, and that is often what makes the difference between winning and losing a deal.
Not Desperate For The Deal
Top salespeople seem to have a certain sense of certainty that other salespeople are lacking. They carry themselves with a confidence and often seem ambivalent about even big deals that are on the cusp of closing. From the outside this can appear to be arrogance, but the reality is that these top performers aren’t as desperate for these deals to close. Top salespeople know that they have a pipeline full of great opportunities that mean if this one doesn’t close, there are others that will replace it, often covering their sales target with 3x or 4x of pipeline. They also know they are in control of this particular deal, understanding the decision process and how likely they are to succeed with the negotiation. Of course they want to win every deal, but they aren’t worried about this deal making or breaking their results. (Check out the article on how to get over rejection for more on this topic)
Frontload The Effort
It’s amazing to see the amount of effort that goes into selling at the end of the month or quarter. The number of deals closed in these last few days usually eclipses the effort that preceded. So if this is prime selling time, why is the top salesperson out of the office? These sales professionals have realised that the stress of the last week of the month is not conducive to a long-term career, and so do everything they can to close deals earlier in the period. Whilst others sales numbers may resemble a hockey stick curve, top salespeople prefer a more regular, linear approach to sales success.
Put In The Hours
I’ve suggested a few times that top salespeople are often seen not at work, being efficient with their effort and generally cutting corners. Whilst that may be what is visible on the surface, that is not the reality. Behind the curtains, top salespeople are putting in the effort. Sofa time becomes CRM admin time and preparing prospecting lists. Social events become opportunities to expand their network (so always carry your business cards!). Even commuting time is an opportunity to spot new leads or learn more using audiobooks. Top salespeople may not want you to think they are working hard, but I can almost guarantee they are outworking the average performers both in terms of efficiency and total effort.
Help Others Grow
Finally, top salespeople always seem to have time to help develop others. Whether it is sharing reports they use or approaches they have found make prospecting easier, these salespeople are often seen investing in others that are newer to the organisation. Now, they don’t give their time away. If you want their time, you better be invested and come to work, don’t expect to be spoon fed. Does this mean that top salespeople always want to become sales managers? Some prefer to stay in the individual contributor role, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t invested in the next generation of salespeople.
How many of these behaviours of top salespeople do you exhibit? Are there any other behaviours of top salespeople you think should be included on the list. Leave your comments below.