What Does It Take to Be a Sales Rep of The Future?

Let’s face it. The world of sales is evolving at an unprecedented rate.

Advances in technology have people around the world more connected than ever and the interdependent relationship between sales and marketing continues to adapt and advance.

With computers literally in the palms of our hands, gathering information is easier than ever before meaning sales reps should understand that most buyers know a lot about their product or service before that first call ever happens. As a result, educating the buyer about the product before the sale has transformed into educating the buyer on why they should consider your product over your competitors.

As you read this article, think about what do you think it takes to be a successful sales representative in an ever-changing marketplace? While excellent people skills and a million-dollar smile certainly help, a salesperson should consider the following:

The sales rep of the future should be open-minded

You can’t expect to grow as a sales professional if you can’t accept change. Having a desire to learn while adjusting to the changes around you, will take you a long way when it comes to sales. You may have made many sales in the past, but if you approach every opportunity with a cocky, narrow-minded attitude, you will struggle as a sales rep as this field continues to change.

The benefit of the consumer comes first

Buyers don’t want to be sold something; they need someone to help them make a decision that will benefit them. It can be easy to become focused on the sale, but a sales rep of the future avoids this because they are compassionate and understand the hassle of choosing from an overwhelming number of options. Yes, the consumer will probably know about your product and the basics of what it has to offer, but you as a sale rep will have the expertise to educate them even more about the product and why they need it.

Always remain professional

An unsuccessful sales rep will let their emotions play into their performance. It can be challenging to not take rejection personally, but never forget that a buyer is saying no to the product, not you.

The sales rep of the future knows that they are promoting the company they work for 24/7. Therefore, professionalism is extremely important on social media. You may think a post with little attention doesn’t matter, but once it has been posted, your name is tied to it forever. With that in mind, always consider your actions and words both on the internet and among your peers.

Know your product inside and out

Many sales reps don’t take the time to truly delve into all the pros and cons the product they have to offer. A sales rep of the future understands that this puts them at a disadvantage. Buyers are also exposed to positive and negative reviews of the product thanks to infinite resources on the Internet. Anticipating the concerns of the buyer and having a counter that addresses any worries can be accomplished by researching how your product performs in those circumstances. Stand by your product and if applicable, share personal experiences that will show the buyer that you are not just selling the product for your benefit.

Motivation is key

Lastly, the sales professional of the future is constantly looking for ways to improve. There is no room for complacency in this line of work. They have initiative, are self-starters and require little to no supervision because they are in a mindset that encourages continual success.

The Eight Most Influential Salespeople of All Time

Being a great salesperson is not easy. However, there are many notable people that have influenced sales. They were masters of innovation and creativity, and visionaries of their time. Here are the Top 8 most influential salespeople of all time:

1. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is known as the former CEO of Apple. Apple is known for mass producing computers and other technology. However, after a fallout with the previous Apple CEO John Scully, Jobs resigned and tried to begin a new project called NeXT. Jobs also funded Pixar, which produced at least 10 box office hits while Jobs was an executive producer. Jobs ended up owning 7% of Disney’s stock, and when Apple fell into bankruptcy, they bought NeXT and made Jobs the new CEO.

2. P.T. Barnum

Perhaps best known from the movie The Greatest Showman, P.T. Barnum set up his own museum, which later became the largest three-ring circus in the world. Additionally, Barnum also was the first to transport a circus by train. He also became a politician and worked to abolish slavery.

3. Mary Kay Ash

After quitting her job because she was being paid less than a man she trained, Mary Kay Ash initially set out to write a book. Instead, her notes ended up becoming a business plan for a beauty and cosmetics company geared towards direct sales by women. She would eventually make her company a sign of women’s self-sufficiency.

4. Dale Carnegie

After ending up in New York City, Dale Carnegie began offering prospective salespeople public speaking classes. Carnegie educated his followers on the importance of a perfect work-life balance and wrote the book How to Win Friends and Influence People, which instructs readers on healthy communication and teamwork techniques.

5. John H. Patterson

As the father of modern sales training, James H. Patterson was one of the first to organize sales training programs and retreats. He also looked at the sales cycle as a four-step process. These steps are: The initial approach, the proposition, the product demonstration, and the close.

6. David Ogilvy

This legendary advertising executive began his career selling stoves door to door. He was so successful as a salesperson that the company commissioned him to write an instruction manual for the rest of the company’s sales team. This became a cult classic filled with advice that is still applicable to sales teams everywhere.

7. Zig Ziglar

Ziglar helped shape modern sales terminology as one of the world’s leading motivational speakers. He encouraged people to commit to their education, set goals for themselves, and maintain the highest level of motivation by visualizing success.

8. Larry Ellison

Known as the king of aggressive corporate technology sales tactics, Ellison thrived on being feared rather than loved. He is often credited with winning new business any way he can, no matter what the cost. This has included using excessive discounts to win over new customers, followed by large fees to cover the costs.

Save your Salt Lake City Company Money with a Fractional VP of Sales

For any company hoping to reach the next level of success, the Vice President of Sales is an extremely important role. In fact, one could go so far as to say that for most companies, that next level is unachievable without one.

An accomplished VP of Sales will improve accountability and communication and develop proactive strategies to ensure goal alignment and increased profitability. They will also promote a supportive and productive sales culture that fosters growth among your sales team members.

However, many growing companies delay hiring a full-time VP of Sales because of the costs associated with adding a full-time employee at that level. While they almost certainly will end up paying for themselves many times over, pulling the trigger on that initial investment can be nerve racking.

That’s why engaging a Fractional VP of Sales has proven to be such a sensible option for so many Salt Lake City companies and organizations. As they grow, they are getting all the benefits of adding a VP of Sales to their staff at a fraction of the cost.

What is the Skillset of a Fractional VP of Sales?

A fractional VP of sales in Salt Lake City is capable of easily adapting to and understanding a wide variety of business environments. They are also adept at quickly forging working relationships with their team members to make any necessary changes to the company’s sales strategy and culture.

Regardless of whether your Salt Lake City team is just a couple of sales reps working from home or a large in-house team, the right Fractional VP of Sales will get everyone on the same page and rowing in the same direction.

How to Find the Perfect VP of Sales

Finding the right fit for your company can be challenging given the wide variety of sales specialties that exist today. This is another great reason to dip your toe in the VP of Sales waters by going the fractional route. If they turn out to not be a good fit for you company, you’ll be able to move without all the headaches of unloading a senior-level full-time employee. Essentially, depending on the contract your draw up, it’s like hiring a temp and if you like them, you can make them an offer to go full-time.

It is important to remember that sales management styles vary and that can have a significant impact on how a company operates. Some VP of sales are micromanagers who hire people that will not waver from their instructions. Others are more expressive and outgoing who excel at putting people at ease.

When sourcing a Fractional VP of Sales, make sure to ask detailed questions about their experience and how their existing connections might be able to give them a running head start in their new role. You’ll also want to find someone who is highly organized and has a strong mentoring streak

SUMMARY: What A Fractional VP of Sales can do for your Salt Lake City Company

A Fractional VP of sales will help guide your Salt Lake team in the right direction while proving far less expensive than a full-time hire. They will bring in fresh ideas, strategies and connections that will boost your sales team’s moral and compliment its existing sales culture.

Most VPs of Sales come ready loaded with plans that are designed to be comprehensive and dynamic roadmaps to improve focus, efficiency, and productivity within a company.

The trick is finding one who is willing and able to customize their plan to your company and sales team.

The 6 Most Advanced Sales Strategies

Once you have the basic sales techniques mastered, there are six advanced strategies you can use to up your game as you navigate the ever-changing sales industry.

Overall, these strategies are quality of life changes that will improve your performance and boost your levels of success by helping you expand your sales and customer service skills. Those strategies are:

Time Management: Making a schedule and prioritizing your time is extremely important. To become a great salesperson, you need to make sure you have a schedule you stick to religiously. Keeping an up-to-date and note-filled calendar that you can look at first thing in the morning and last thing before you go to bed will help you manage your time more effectively.

Use of Technology: With all the ever-advancing technology at our disposal, the world of sales has never been easier, or more complicated. While technology will provide you with all the tools you could ever need to stay organized and improve your customer communications, you must put in the time to learn the technology if you hope to benefit from it. Finding potential customers has also been made easier thanks to social media but you must stay on top of the learning curve in that area as well. Researching those potential customers prior to a first meeting is also easier than it’s ever been but again, you must put in the time to optimize results.

Personal Connections: Customers want to feel like they are being listened to and that they are important. Empathy is a great sales tactic that allows you to connect with your customers in a meaningful way if you are genuine and don’t come off as fake. If you can relate to your customer through shared experiences, you can earn their trust and loyalty. You should always remember that your job as a salesperson is to become friends with your customers and that you took this job because you like interacting with people on a deeper personal level.

Use of Metrics: To make sure your sales process is repeatable and measurable; metrics must be part of your sales process. Using metrics to gauge what’s working and what isn’t is an extremely effective way to boost sales. You can even use them to track which pitches are more successful. Make sure your process is repeatable and that your goals are measurable goals and time sensitive.

Referrals: The most reliable way to reach prospective customers is through word of mouth. Referrals are essential as they create lasting connections with customers looking for feedback that they can use to make an informed decision. Referrals are essentially free advertising. The things to consider when looking for referrals are the length of your relationships, the customer’s satisfaction, the rate of communication between you and the customer, and whether the customer communicates with you.

Consistency and Integrity: The sixth and final advanced strategy is to provide consistency with all your interactions with customers and maintain integrity. Providing consistency means giving the same quality pitch and customer support to everyone you deal with. Even when things get tough, you must stick to your guns and stay consistent. Maintaining your integrity means treating all your customers with the same level of respect regardless of the size of the account. You never know? Some day they may turn into to big customers. Or, they might refer you to that career defining big fish!

Is it Your Time to Take on the Sales Leadership Challenge?

Finding success in sales today is challenging enough but succeeding as a sales leader is perhaps more difficult than it has ever been as finding success as a sales leader in today’s competitive market comes with a completely different set of obstacles that can be difficult to overcome.

Compounding these challenges is the recent seismic shift towards online sales in the wake of the global pandemic as building trust to stand out from the competition can be extremely challenging in a digital setting.

Compared to the good old days, technology has evolved so much. Sales are not so much about going door to door, and much more about who can build a better social media campaign. As a result, competition is also much tougher than it once was.

Due to this competitive nature of today’s sales world, sales leaders face their own unique challenges. Sales leaders sometimes have unrealistically high expectations that can result in disappointment in their sales team and a lack of clear direction. Without clear communication, the sales leader should not expect their team to know what to do. This can also be a primary cause of a lack of motivation.

Sometimes, sales leaders make the mistake of believing their sales team members are all motivated by the exact same things they are. So, they end up offering incentives based on their desires. Unfortunately, this can lead to sales leaders floundering because they fail to relate to their team members or figure out what motivates them.

However, sales leaders are still being well compensated, and if you think you have what it takes, here are a few tips to make it happen and succeed as a leader.

A good sales leader should have a deep and profound sales intuition, which is the practical knowledge gained from the experiences of participating in sales cycles and managing salespeople. They should also be able to closely monitor and strictly enforce a sales process, which is known as control orientation.

Being able to control and enforce the sales process also takes a higher level of mental toughness. Even when you make mistakes, you will need to dust yourself off and get back up again. Being able to keep your emotions in check is key in stressful situations. The final most important tip is being able to adapt to the ever-changing sales climate.

Adapting to suit each individual leads to much more success than a “one size fits all” approach. Multiple studies have shown that higher performing sales managers have had higher team efficiency than underperforming sales teams in certain situations.

It may be extremely daunting as a leader to adapt a new approach of leading and motivating to fit with the times, but this is part of the challenge and if you welcome this challenge, you may be amazed to find out just how beneficial the results can be. You must be willing to take on all the trials and tribulations of being a successful sales leader.