The 7 principles of B2B sales professionals
The following manifesto outlines my answers to the question: “How do you recognize great salespeople?”
Although I’ve been working with B2B sales for the past 10 years and genuinely find this area fascinating, I’m still dumbfounded every time I hear the misconstrued, negative clichés about sales professionals -- and let me tell you, they can come from both young talents and senior executives. Salespeople are often put in the same bucket as tricky, sneaky con artists who just want to get your money. And that’s plainly wrong.
I wrote this manifesto to share the values that drive my approach to B2B sales. I trust many fellow sales leaders from various industries, who strive to operate by a similar code of conduct, will share these views that guide me in delivering the highest value to my customers on a daily basis.
I will call this manifesto the 7 principles of B2B sales professionals:
The best salespeople have one thing in common -- they don’t talk much about themselves and excel at listening. They do their homework and prepare their questions. Great salespeople don’t need to explain their questions; they understand that silence can be one of the most powerful tools available to them and know when to shut up.
Great salespeople have deep empathy for their prospects; searching for ways to solve their prospects’ problems is what keeps them up at night. They don’t seek to build relationships for the sake of it, relationships happen to them naturally because they make their client’s life easier.
Great salespeople don’t celebrate when they close deals, they celebrate when they deliver value to their customers because they always think win-win. Very often, delivering on your promises means you work during the weekends or clock long office hours because you care about honoring your words. And finally, great salespeople don’t believe in quick wins, they know how toxic they are for the business.
Great salespeople will never think they are higher than their prospects and they will understand when to walk away and leave the door open for feedback. They don’t take rejections personally and want to learn from their mistakes.
FOLLOW A STRUCTURE
Great salespeople understand that sales is a number game and to deliver consistent results they need to turn their daily routine into a disciplined execution. They systemize their repeatable tasks and organise their days to focus on what brings most value to their pipeline vs. their target. Great salespeople don’t believe in excuses, they’re persistent because they believe in facts.
Great salespeople are curious by nature. They like to challenge their prospects to promote new ways of solving existing problems, but they will also constantly look for ways to improve their own sales processes and become more efficient.
Great salespeople are on the edge of technology, they understand the difference between workflows and tools and know how to leverage the data from a sales funnel to repeat their success and scale their sales efforts.
If you work in sales, no matter how senior you are, I hope you do recognize yourself in these values. Feel free to contribute and share your values in the comments!