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Sales Strategy
What Separates Great Salespeople from the Pack?
Aug 14, 2017 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

In every sales team there is that one selling star; the sales pro that always meets or exceeds their quota.  If you work in sales and want to join the top flight ranks, you probably ask yourself quite a lot, just what is it that separates great salespeople from the pack?  Is it certain innate characteristics or are they learned behaviours?

Here we take a look at what truly separates great salespeople from the pack.

Great Salespeople Commit to Higher Standards

 It may surprise you that the first attribute of a great salesperson is not a personality trait but rather a mindset. In a study by Nick Hedges, CEO of Velocify, in conjunction with Professor Steve W. Martin of USC, results showed that 50% of reps who exceeded their targets said they 'strongly agreed' that they are held accountable for hitting quotas and setting high goals, whereas only 26% of underperforming reps agreed with the statement. And this makes perfect sense. Top performers set the bar high because they like to win; they don’t work towards meeting targets because someone told them to, they do so because they want to succeed and they hold themselves accountable for their own success.

Whether or not you are driven by a desire to win or you simply have high standards for yourself, it’s a commitment to holding oneself accountable and never settling for anything but the best in terms of results that sets great salespeople apart.

Great Salespeople Are Organized and Have a Strategy

Your sales team almost definitely has an overarching strategy in place. But what about you, personally? Do you have your own systematic approach to your tasks and pipeline or do you scramble for a new idea every day when you open your CRM? Great sales pros are highly organized and strategic when it comes to every call they make, every email they send and every meeting they attend. They are always thinking big picture and carefully plan their day, week, month and quarter with their end goals in mind.

Lucky for you, effective time management and strategic planning are things that can be learned, developed and honed. Here are some of our tips on managing your time and strategic planning.

Great Salespeople are Great Listeners

 This one should come as no big surprise since much has been written on the consultative sales approach and how active listening is a vital sales skill. However, there’s a big difference between knowing something and actually putting it into practice… taking the time to employ active listening can be tough when you are under pressure to meet targets and close deals quickly. But what separates great salespeople from the pack, is that they always take the time to listen.  It all starts with being able to ask the right questions that will help them get to the heart of the prospect’s issue. Then they listen analytically to the response, rather than hearing what they want to hear or zoning out. Finally they clarify what’s been said to them and use what they’ve learned to tailor their pitch and present their product as the solution to the issue that’s been revealed to them.

Being a good listener comes naturally to some and less so to others. But investing the time to hone active listening skills will dramatically change your approach and pay dividends in the long term.

Great Salespeople Have a Sense of Purpose: To Help Their Customer

The final thing that separates great salespeople from the pack is a sense of purpose. But that purpose is not, as you might imagine, to just make money.  ALL sales pros want to make money, it goes without saying. But it seems that to be great, a sales pro needs to have the desire to help their customer by demonstrating how their product is the solution they need.

For great salespeople, the customer is always the focus of any pitch or demo, not the product. While they believe in their product, the conversation is never a lecture about how superlative their productive is. Rather, it’s about what the customer needs and how their product can help. In this way, they understand that personalization is imperative in closing a sale.

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