8 Shortcuts All Salespeople Should Know

Whether you’ve been in sales for a while or are new to the profession, you probably realize it’s not a job for the faint of heart. Sales is a demanding role, and it can take lots of sustained effort over a long period of time to get results, though good results will often come with a commensurate paycheck -- top performers tend to do really well.

While there’s no way to make sales effortless, there are ways to work more efficiently. Everyone knows that if you can work smarter, you should, and if you can maximize your efforts, you should never hesitate to try new things.

So what are some things salespeople can do to make the most of their efforts?

We’ve put together the following list. While these aren’t “hacks” per se, these shortcuts can help channel your efforts more effectively, and help you close more deals with some (slight) modifications to your approach.

Here are eight shortcuts all salespeople should be using:

1. Never wait to qualify

Building rapport is important, but leads should always be qualified as soon as possible. This is the best opportunity you have to ensure you’re not wasting your time -- spending hours talking to someone who isn’t a fit for your product is one of the worst ways to use your most precious resource. Qualify early, and, if it’s not a fit, move on quickly.

2. Always keep communications simple

While it might be tempting to get into the weeds explaining every minutia to your prospects from day one, you’d be hard pressed to find people with the time (or patience) to comb through long, complicated emails. This is why, when you’re early in the process, you should make sure your communications are easy to understand. A good rule of thumb is to keep emails at a third grade reading level. This will ensure you don’t lose anybody because of complexity, and will help pave the way for a more in-depth discussion in the future. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time for details later.

3. Mirror the prospect

Mirroring is a popular and easy way to build rapport, and is taught by some of the best sales trainers on the planet. Mirroring is when you adopt the prospect’s communication style (without going overboard, of course). For instance, if a prospect talks slowly, you should slow down your speaking cadence as well. Or if they are high-energy, try to match their enthusiasm. You shouldn’t overdo it, especially if it doesn’t feel natural, but mirroring is an easy way to make people feel more comfortable with you.

4. Focus overwhelmingly on what moves the needle

There are plenty of activities that salespeople are required to do, but only a handful of those are actually impactful. Usually, it’s things like prospecting and moving deals down the pipeline that bear fruit, so one of the best things you can do for your commission check is to prioritize those things well above everything else. Focus on what matters, prioritize it, and don’t let anything else get in the way.

5. Sell something you believe in

This is one of the best shortcuts to sales success, but it’s one that too many salespeople neglect to follow. Sales is difficult, but when you don’t believe in the product, it’s far worse. Mustering enthusiasm if you don’t think that what you’re selling provides value is almost impossible, yet huge swaths of salespeople do it every day. Once you sell a product you love, or one that you’re convinced helps people, you’ll no longer have to talk yourself into believing in what you do.

6. Communicate the way the prospect wants you to

Too many of us try to fit a square peg in a round hole by expecting prospects to use our preferred communication methods, whether that be email, zoom, or the phone. The real shortcut, however, is to use the method the prospect prefers, since it will make them feel comfortable and give you (as a salesperson speaking to someone who is comfortable) an advantage. If they want to chat on the phone, chat on the phone. But if they prefer to communicate by text -- give that a shot too.

7. Networking works

Many salespeople roll their eyes when you talk about networking, as they picture stuffy local events filled with people who have nothing to do with their industry. The truth, however, is that networking works, and that it isn’t limited to Chamber of Commerce meet-ups at the local function hall. You can network online, you can look up industry events, or you can start creating your own industry-specific content which will almost certainly get noticed by others playing in the same sandbox. The only thing you shouldn’t do is neglect networking altogether.

8. An easier way to use Salesforce

Updating the CRM can be a slog, and sales reps see little return for the hours they spend updating Salesforce. There is, however, a shortcut available that can save over five hours of Salesforce work every week: Dooly, which allows you keep every note in one place, smart syncs to Salesforce, and allows you to update multiple deals quickly. Whether you’re someone who takes extensive notes, or a person who likes to keep it simple, Dooly can make you more efficient, which means more time spent selling and making money.

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