Many of us can spend years in our careers before we perfect what we do for a living. But in sales, those lessons can come too late, costing you a big chunk of your paycheck. Many sales reps can go years or even decades before realizing they could have exceeded quota earlier and avoided unnecessary gray hairs.
We want to help make sales reps’ lives easier (Dooly was designed to help sales teams sell more while working less), so we’ve put together a list of five secret lessons that salespeople should learn and internalize as early as possible. While they won’t make you a top seller overnight, these secrets can help shift your mindset and make an otherwise stressful role a whole lot easier.
Here are five secrets that many sales reps learn far too late in their careers:
1. Self-belief is a lot more important than you might think
Henry Ford once said, “Whether you believe you can, or believe you can’t, you’re right.” It’s a popular quote, and in sales, it’s absolutely true. The profession involves so much uncertainty and rejection that anyone who doesn’t truly believe they’re capable of rising to the top of their field doesn’t stand a chance. Sales reps not only need to believe in themselves, they need to understand that they need to believe in themselves. Sales is not just a game of numbers, it’s a mind-game too — an internal one.
2. Customers care about benefits, not about features
This mindset shift is one of the most challenging for any sales rep who isn’t a prodigy. Prospects care about what the product can do for them, not about the technical aspects of the product itself (with a few exceptions). It’s critically important to remember this, because once you understand that you should focus on the prospect’s needs, it will change the entire paradigm of how you sell. Therefore, it’s not just a lesson unto itself, it’s a much broader shift in a salesperson’s thinking.
3. It’s a sprint, and a marathon
Oftentimes, salespeople either take too narrow an approach, or one that’s too long-term. Some reps are only focused on the short term, and make rash decisions that don’t support their long-term career prospects. On the flip side, some reps think they have years to figure things out, and don’t put as much effort as they should into focusing on this month or this quarter. The truth is that sales is both a sprint and a marathon. You have to hustle to close as many deals as possible, while taking the longer-term view of your career goals, with an eye toward spending decades in the profession. You shouldn’t lean too far in one direction over the other — a balanced approach is always the right one.
4. You have to constantly evolve
While you might get to a point where you feel like you’ve mastered the art of sales (or management), the truth is that you should never, ever stop learning, and that the things that might have gotten you to a position you wanted aren’t necessarily the same things that will get you to the next level, as outlined by this very relevant book. In order to gain and maintain success, you must constantly evolve, especially with the rapid pace of change that today’s technologies are ushering in. If you think you know everything you need to know, then you’re likely setting yourself up for failure.
5. If you don’t enjoy the journey, then it’s not worth it
While you might be able to make a lot of money without enjoying what you do, at the end of the day, it won’t be enough. Sales is tough and stressful, but it’s also fun, exciting, and allows you to experience things you couldn’t experience in any other role. That’s why it’s so important to enjoy the ride, even though it will probably have as many downs as it has ups. Learn to appreciate the highs and lows, and you’ll be less stressed, more fulfilled, and be more satisfied overall. You have a choice: embrace it, or suffer through it. But only one of the choices leads to a happier, healthier career.
We’ve noticed top performers are often the earliest adopters of Dooly and other AI sales process tools. That’s because they tend to take their time more seriously and do everything they can to protect it, so they’re only focusing on activities that make them money. Don’t wait until you’re at the end of your career to make your job better. See Dooly in action.
Join the thousands of top-performing AEs who use Dooly every day to stay more organized, instantly update their pipeline, and spend more time selling instead of mindless admin work. Try Dooly free, no credit card required. Or, Request a demo to speak with a Dooly product expert right now.