Our job is a rewarding one, but it’s not easy. Acquirent COO Jeff Purtell shares his own sales success strategies.
“Sales is the best job in the world.” I wrote these words in my first book, more than 6 years ago, and I still believe them to be true. But as this month’s guest blogger points out, it’s not an easy profession.
Read on for quick tips from Acquirent COO Jeff Purtell to help you keep your focus, know your value, and celebrate your success:
“’Sales is tough.’ Anyone who’s attended one of Acquirent’s 8 a.m. team meetings has heard someone on the leadership team say this.
As a professional sales rep, you have chosen a rewarding but hard career in an ever-competitive profession, with increasingly-informed customers. So what can you do to stay focused and achieve long-term, consistent success?
Here are five ways to succeed in sales:
- Stick to a schedule. It’s easy to become sidetracked by a major customer issue or to spend the day doing the more enjoyable tasks, rather than the key activities that are necessary in every job. Unfortunately, the hard tasks are usually critical for future success. But without those small immediate returns, staying motivated can be challenging. Having a set schedule, with specific tasks you can check off the list, will give you those motivational short-term wins.
- Know the value of each activity you do. Salespeople are motivated by money and fairly good with numbers, so do the math backwards. Understand what each call means in your quest for sales gold—the close—and the value of each step in between. Knowing the value of an activity makes it easy to prioritize and more motivational.
- Don’t just know the worth of your work; know your worth. Sales reps often feel they are intruding on their prospects’ time. Calculate what you make in an hour, and assign that value to your time, so that you treat your time with just as much respect as theirs. In turn, you won’t waste time with non-buyers, who placate you with lines such as, “I haven’t had a chance to review that information yet.” You’ll also focus on delivering value to your prospect or client, because everyone’s time is precious.
- Have enough deals in the hopper that losing one won’t hurt. The best way to be successful over time, and not just for a month, is to have a consistent pipeline. There will always be an ebb and flow in sales revenue, but you can flatten out the difference between peaks and valleys by paying attention to the size of your overall funnel and keeping it full of opportunities for the future. Make sure to cast a wide and promising net.
- Celebrate each win. If you don’t see every win as a big deal, all the hard work in between just seems like a chore. Treat yourself when you close a deal, and keep those rewards close at hand, as constant reminders of why you pick up the phone on a Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Sales professionals are just that—professionals. Our role drives the top-line revenue for our companies. Our successes fund other departments and enable our companies to invest in new research, additional projects, and infrastructures—while our failures fall on our shoulders. But recognizing the impact of our success, and knowing how to maintain it, makes all the difference in our work.
How do you keep yourself motivated when sales gets tough?
About the Author
Jeff Purtell is the chief operating officer at Acquirent—a Chicago-based provider of outsourced sales solutions. He has experience across a broad range of disciplines that provide a unique view and understanding of sales talent and processes. Jeff is a graduate of Bucknell University. Connect with Jeff on Google+ and the Acquirent team on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.