Success in the world of sales jobs often has companies and their employees focusing online on having a sales mind-set to make the business successful. However, from someone who has been in B2B sales it is just as important, if not more important to build a culture of services into the sales team.

Tips to succeed in sales.

This can be the difference between a successful business over the short-term and creating a long-term successful sales business model.  Rather than having just a sales mind-set, companies should have a services cultural mind-set built into the entire organisation; it can make a business both now and future proof.

Confessions of a professional salesperson.

These insights can be construed as confessions because often the truth in sales jobs is not always revealed when it comes to perceptions like salespeople thinking they own their customers, only being concerned with commission, having short attention spans, and/or always wanting what a product does not have.

1: train soft skills.

All employees from the top to the bottom need to be trained on basic aspects like having a smart appearance, keeping good hygiene, proper ways of speaking and use of body language, time commitment, and responding to problems in a timely manner.  There is nothing customers, or anyone for that matter, likes less than not having their telephone calls answered.  Every incoming call should be return called.  Employees should be taught that smiling while on the telephone can actually affect the way they communicate and the customer on the other end will feel the attitude of the employee.  In other words, the customer will feel the smile.  More sales are lost due to poor soft skills than any other reason.  Busy times should not be an excuse for poorly treated customers.

2:  make inquiries.

The time should be taken to inquire about the customers of clients, the products of the clients, and any problems they may be dealing with.  Visiting client offices can help people in sales jobs understand how their products can be utilised by the clients.  Sales people should get used to asking questions; when they understand what it is that their clients do, they can find a better way to provide solutions to the challenges or problems of the clients.

3:  be responsive.

Taking time to inquire about a client's customers, products, services, and/or challenges and problems does not mean much if people in sales jobs do not respond.  Salespeople need to respond promptly with the solutions for the clients as well as what cannot be done so there are no unrealistic expectations. Clients who are buyers always appreciate prompt responses and will remember the positive service that was provided.  This is always important for creating good business relationships, especially when it is between buyers and salespeople.

4:  ‘no’ is inevitable.

All people in sales jobs have heard the word that salespeople never want to hear, “No”.  Potential clients may give a cursory “no” to a sales person because they tell all sales people no.  Often they do not even listen to a potential solution or suggestion that may benefit their business. This can be stressful for the salesperson, who may appreciate these tips for coping with stress in sales. When this happens the sales people need to analyse why the client may have said no and see if there are other opportunities to offer better solutions in a different way.  A “no” from a client may not be due to poor sales skills, but simply an aversion to salespeople on the whole.

5:  offer multiple products.

Good sales people always try to include additional items in a sale.  Some sales people will stop after closing an initial sale and be satisfied with that.  People in sales jobs should always be seeking opportunities to sell multiple items to each and every client.  It should be noted that it is generally easier to sell a second or third item to a client who is already a buyer, than it is to find a completely new client.

6:  the close is not just a close.

In sales the close is sometimes seen as the most important aspect of the sale, especially in consultative selling or in B2B.  However, the entire sales process, including the close only the beginning of what needs to become a lifelong relationship that is meaningful.  Look at clients as having lifetime value whether the first sale is small or large.

7:  expectations should be exceeded.

Doing business in sales jobs can become somewhat impersonal, especially in a B2B space.  It is important to remember that there is always a human being at every juncture, including meeting with clients, demonstrating products, collecting orders, and even following up with clients for payment.  Going the extra mile may involve knowing things like the birthdays and anniversaries of clients, or creating a loyalty program.  Exceed clients’ expectations by building real relationships.

8:  after the sale.

The sale is never over, even after the payment has been collected.  As stated earlier, this is only the beginning of the relationship.  Sales people who spend the time to build relationships with clients during periods, when there are no sales, can find the benefits in the future.