Relationships do still matter and trust is everything.
Top veterans have unparalleled style and charm. If you
can combine their top qualities with those of the next
generation technical seller, you’ll be crushing quotas in
Be on time.
Send a handwritten thank you note.
Be fully focused. Nothing is ever the status quo,
even when you think you are dealing with
same-old, same-old. Listen with “new ears” and
intercept new selling opportunities. If you
remain “fresh”, both you and your customer will
always be looking forward to your next
Realize your role is now as a sales leader. This means shifting
your focus to leveraging the strengths of the sales team and
each individual salesperson. You have to think strategically and
strive to understand each person on the team. Great sales
managers know each person on their team is diﬀerent and,
therefore, manage accordingly to each person’s unique needs
Understand that what has allowed you to succeed in the past will
likely cause you to fail as a sales manager. Your ability to win
opportunities, your ability to close, and your ability to be valuable to
clients may be what brought you to this position, but it isn't what will
help you succeed. You aren’t the super-closer. Your primary
stakeholders are the individual members that make up your sales
team. Your role as a sales manager is a leadership role. It's now your
job to lead the sales force. It's important to remember that your new
quota is the combined quota of all the individual members of your
team. The only way you can reach your quota is by helping them
Step 1: Know what is expected of you and how you’ll be
Step 2: Communicate to your team what is expected of them
and how they’ll be measured.
Step 3: Put metrics and process in place to measure and report
Step 4: Coach like crazy so your team hits their numbers
The best salespeople are productively selfish with their time. Topproducers lock in on their goals and guard their calendars. Their time
is their own; don’t even think about trying to take it from them! They
instinctively resist distractions and interruptions from others. The
ability to focus on what needs to be done -- to close the door, to
decline incoming calls -- are all part of why they’ve been so successful
as individual contributors. That’s exactly why the transition to
manager is often so frustrating.
Become an inspirational leader because you understand what
it’s like to follow. Many sales managers are selected for this role
because they are highly productive and profitable sales people.
However, being superlative as a seller does not equate with
being a great sales manager. We all know this is hardly the way
things play out. “Sell just like me!” is not an option!
The best sales professionals I know set (and write down) goals
on a regular basis and they make sure their goals are SMART –
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. They write
down goals for each meeting they walk into, they set daily goals
and prioritize what they need to accomplish, and they all have
long term goals that revolve around where they want to be in
their personal and professional lives within a specific period of
time. Goal setting and holding yourself accountable is the best
way to self-manage and the best sales professionals do this.
Your most important job is to proactively source
qualified leads—which is something only you can do.
Top salespeople ensure they receive referral
introductions to their ideal buyers. They get every
meeting at the level that counts, because executives
will always take meetings with sales reps who've been
referred by people they know and trust.
Being a top performer is a more than just a habit. It is a way of
life with regard to how you view the sales profession. The top
performer’s lifestyle is geared around discipline, integrity and
the ability to discern. The big activity that separates top sales
performers from others is their ability to not get caught up
chasing opportunities that aren’t going anywhere. They are able
to maintain a clear level of thinking, and as a result, they are
able to focus on high-potential opportunities. Top performers
stay focused when things may not appear to be going right.
The top sales performers meticulously prepare for each sales interaction.
Each and every interaction a sales person has with a prospect carries the
requirement to provide value to the customer in return for the time they
have invested in you. This means that every customer interaction, every
contact with a prospect has to be planned to achieve a certain goal and to
lead to the required next steps.
How about good old-fashioned hard work? We talk a lot about
confidence and paying attention to the details, but being
disciplined and “putting in the time” is often overlooked. All
high performers in sales understand that if it’s a numbers game
you have to get the numbers.
There are a couple signs that indicate that a prospective client is
going to be a good fit. But the most important sign is that your
prospective client looks like what I call a “dream client.” A dream
client is a client for whom you can do breathtaking, jaw
dropping, earth shattering, and results transforming work.
Because you can create so much value for your dream clients,
they're willing to let you capture some of that value.
The best early sign that a prospect is a good fit is a
willingness of the prospect to put in a lot of work early
in the sales process. The more eﬀort a prospect puts in
early to help move the sales, the higher the probability
it’s a good fit. If prospects aren’t willing to help with
the sale early or commit to putting in much eﬀort, it’s
not a good sign. There is a direct correlation between
customer commitment to the sale and product/
A solid two-step proactive qualification process that uses less
subjective criteria to evaluate the merit of a prospect will
quickly separate the “good fits” from the “time-wasters.” In short,
step one qualifies that your product or service is a good fit for
the prospect’s requirements. Step two qualifies the prospect’s
interest through a tentative agreement that the value your
product and service will provide is worth $X to the prospect
(where X is roughly equal to your price). Qualification on these
two points is a great early sign that the prospect could be a
1. Does the prospect align with your ideal customer profile and do you
have access to the decision maker?
2. Next, is the pain real? Is the need well defined? One early sign: the
prospect has been trying to solve their problem and hasn’t come up
with the right solution.
These questions answer for ‘authority’ and ‘need’. They’re the first two steps in
the ANUM qualification model, made popular by Ken Krogue at
InsideSales.com and it’s a really helpful way to determine whether you have
a great prospect.
Take the time to identify what types of customers, verticals, and
personal attributes allow you to bring your A-game at all times.
Then identify your A-list customers whose values and
businesses align with your own requirements as a person of
A prospect is more likely to be a good fit when
it looks, smells and feels like your other clients
who receive great value from your oﬀerings.
The most eﬀective sales presentation is the one that is never
given. What this means is the salesperson knows their material
so well that they can conduct a sales call as a discussion
anchored with questions. This is a better approach than a call
that relies heavily on marketing materials, which ultimately can
oﬀer little flexibility.
Review the work you did in planning the sales call. You're going
to want to review the outcomes that you need to obtain in
order to either create or to advance an opportunity. Achieving
those outcomes almost always means creating value for your
clients at whatever stage of the buying cycle they happen to be
in. What do you need to do for your client or prospective client
to help them get the outcomes that they need from this call?
If you haven’t done the upfront work, then get your butt in
gear and at least get the bare minimums out of the way:
• Check out your contacts and companies LinkedIn page
• Check out their Twitter stream
• Preview their website
I do five things 15 minutes before a sales call:
1. Check that my presentation looks the way I expect
2. Review my notes from previous conversations
3. Open up my customer’s LinkedIn Page so that I have an
image of what they look like as I am speaking to them
4. Think about how I want them to feel during our
conversation and my ideal outcome
5. Take a deep breath!
The best sales professionals quickly review the notes they took during the
call, pull out the key information and send a summary e-mail to the client
asking them to confirm its accuracy. This shows the client you actually
listened to them during the call and confirms the accuracy of the
information to ensure you actually got all the information you thought you
If the sales call went well, the salesperson is on
the phone with their sales manager sharing the
good news. When you knock the ball out of the
park it's hard to wait to call and talk about that
with somebody who's going to appreciate
exactly what that means.
Send a recap email to the prospect outlining the
call, what was discussed, the prospect’s
commitments/deliverables, the salesperson’s
commitments/deliverables, and next steps with
Take a moment to breathe. Clear your head. Schedule out your
next steps for engaging with the prospect. When and where
and what -- the details all matter. Write it down and set a
reminder to keep you on schedule. Debrief. Do it right when
the call happens – while it’s still fresh in your mind.
One of the best ways to measure success is to
look at the close ratio with regard to the
number of leads. The salesperson who is able to
convert a high number of leads into profitable
and sustainable customers is the person you
want on your sales team.
Like sports, there are individual statistics that shed light onto the
salesperson’s individual eﬀorts. Some of the best individual sales
1. Winning %
2. Average Time to Close (ATC)
3. Average Deal Size (ADS)
Measure the things that aﬀect quota.
Activity. The best companies strive for predictable
revenue. This requires inputs (activity) and outputs
(success measurement). The only way to improve is to
understand what works and what doesn't.
Momentum is what matters. How do you measure
momentum? It starts to show up in everything that you are
doing. You get more calls back, more emails answered, and
the right people seem to be reaching out to you. You aren’t
doing much diﬀerently that you were before, but you seem to
be getting better results.