While there are some people who go into sales and have almost immediate success, for most people, it’s a longer road, and it can take many years before they develop the skills and confidence to truly perform at their highest level.
Sales is a complicated role, and there are many variables that can dictate whether or not someone succeeds, and whether or not a particular deal gets closed won or closed lost.
There are, however, too many reps who give up on sales because they don’t see immediate (or even longer-term) success. It’s a profession with a very high churn rate, and many of the people who leave have everything they need in order to succeed, they’re just forgetting to approach sales in a formulaic way, and are instead winging it, hoping that things come together without taking a proactive approach.
We want to help reps close more deals (Dooly was designed to improve your sales performance), so we’ve put together a list of the most common things sales reps forget to do. So before you throw in the towel or convince yourself that you suck at sales, try doing the following six things:
Even though most reps know that listening is the name of the game in sales, too many of us forget this key fact when we get into an actual conversation with a prospect. We’re energized, excited, and want to share our knowledge, so we talk, talk, talk, forgetting that it’s not about conveying what we know, it’s about trying to understand how to earn the prospect’s business.
Learn to stay quiet long enough for the prospect to tell you everything you need to know, and you’ll see your close rate go up — guaranteed.
2. Build pipeline (at all times)
One of the hardest things to do in sales is to keep your foot on the gas even after you’ve just closed a hard-earned deal. Too many of us like to relax and take a step back after we’ve filled our pipeline, but that is always a mistake.
The best reps keep their foot on the gas no matter what, prospecting immediately after closing a deal, and prospecting every single day.
There’s simply no way to become a top performer without a pipeline that’s constantly full, and there’s no way to keep a pipeline constantly full without prioritizing it every. single. day.
3. Ask questions
A conversation with a prospect is unlikely to get to closed-won if you don’t ask questions, lots of them.
Your job is not only to learn everything you can about the prospect’s situation, it’s to get them talking about their problems, about their goals, and about themselves in general. The best way to do this is by asking open-ended questions, and then taking a step back and listening to their answers without interrupting them a single time.
If you ask the right questions and pay close attention, the prospect will tell you everything you need to know to close their deal.
4. Walk away
Lots of reps hold on to every deal for dear life, thinking that if they let a prospect go, they’ll never find another one ever again. This type of mentality can hold reps back, because it wastes time, and prevents you from filling your pipeline with new potential business.
Of course, you should try to close every deal you can, but there will frequently be prospects who you can move on from, whether it’s because they’re not truly in need of your product, or because they’ve shown that they’re not really interested in working with you.
Try not to get bogged down in a scarcity mindset. There are plenty of potential customers out there, you just need to be willing to do the work to find them.
5. Learn and apply
Another common mistake salespeople make is assuming they already know everything, and that their company’s training (if they’re lucky enough to even get any) is sufficient to last them the rest of their career.
In reality, sales requires education, and those who take their jobs and goals seriously will constantly try to improve by learning about their craft.
But it’s not enough to just learn. You also need to consciously apply what you’ve learned and put it into practice. This is where the rubber meets the road, and where the real professionals are separated from everybody else.
6. Sell a product you believe in
This is perhaps one of the best things a salesperson can do for their career, but it also happens to be an afterthought for many reps.
Sales is difficult, but it becomes much easier when you have a natural passion for what you’re selling, and when you truly believe that the product adds value and makes a difference in your prospect’s life. When you sell something you believe in, you don’t need to fake sincerity or enthusiasm, it will just come naturally, and that’s something that no amount of sales training or expertise can buy.
If possible, sell a product you believe in. And at a minimum, try to avoid selling one that you don’t believe in.
Besides following the above tips, top performers use the best sales tools available. In fact, we’ve noticed they 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 quit your sales career to make your job better without trying these tools. 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.