10 Sales Best Practices Worth Sharing with Your Team

Does your team share sales best practices? Or do they like to keep all their “secret” sales strategies for themselves?

Here at CFS, we are big promoters of sharing sales best practices. We believe that when top performers share, the whole team wins.

Here is what Charles Bernard, our CEO, has to say about sharing sales best practices:

Sales Best Practices

Now… are you ready to share that secret sauce?! Want to know which sales best practices are worth sharing (and really, should be shared)?

Here they are.

10 Sales Best Practices Worth Sharing with Your Team

Advanced tip: As you work through this list with your sales team, update your Sales PlayBook! Add pages that don’t yet exist and edit existing pages with the brand new insights that your team brings to the table!

1. Prospecting Action Plan

Most salespeople would agree that prospecting is one of their key responsibilities, but few take the time to create a plan. They start making calls, scheduling meetings, and attending networking events, but they do it randomly.

Effective prospecting is a matter of targeting first and executing second.

Activity: Have your sales team create individual prospecting action plans. Then, have each salesperson share their plan with the rest of the team. You’ll be amazed by what you discover when the team bands together on this activity!

2. Targeting Techniques

Does your company have a set plan for targeting? Is every salesperson on the team executing the targeting plan the same way? Want to mix things up?

Activity: Have your sales team develop ideal targets together!

Ask your sales team the following questions:

  • What are your best customers (not necessarily the biggest, but the best) and where did you find them?
  • Is there an industry in which you have experience that might make it a good target industry for you?
  • What is the ideal size of the company?
  • Who at the organization is the decision-maker for
    [Customer]’s products and services?

Once they’ve identified their ideal targets, ask the following questions to think of ways to interact with them.

  • What research can you do that informs having a powerful and valuable conversation with new and existing business relationships?
  • Who are your prospects’ customers?
  • Why do your clients buy from you?
  • What industry events (such as trade shows) do they attend?
  • What type of social functions are your clients most active in?
  • What books, magazines, and blogs do your prospects read?

3. Asking for Referrals

It’s always helpful to have a trusted mutual contact to open a door with a prospect. This considerably warms up a cold call and increases the chances of a call back or an in-person meeting.

So, how do members of your team ask for referrals? My guess is that everyone’s ask is a little bit different.

Activity: Have your team members exchange their best asks and any tips that might go along with them.

4. Cold Calling

Cold calling is an important part of being a successful sales person, especially when starting a new territory or building a book of business. It’s important because it allows salespeople to uncover numerous new prospects that can turn into long term relationships/clients.

Cold calls can be intimidating. Sharing what works will help others on the team!

Activity: Have your sales team discuss cold calling techniques to help each other. This is one of the most important sales best practices!

Walk through various scenarios and encourage top performers to share ideas on overcoming the fear of rejection and any head trash associated with cold calling.

5. 30-Second Commercial

30-second commercials, like asking for referrals, will vary from person to person. Just shifting a few words can make all the difference!

Activity: Share 30-second commercials! Be sure to have team members differentiate their commercials based on the situation and type of person they are speaking to.

Some examples:

  • 30-second commercial for decision maker
  • 30-second commercial for assistant of decision maker
  • 30-second commercial for networking

6. Email Templates

Using email templates is critical to sales success! I mean, you don’t want your salespeople re-inventing the wheel each time they have to send an email, right?

Activity: Get your team together to share email template best practices.

Develop templates for the following categories, adding more if necessary:

  1. New Prospect
  2. Former Client
  3. Referral
  4. Met at Conference
  5. Specific, Known Pain Point
  6. Current Customer Using Competitor

7. Going for No

There may be times when your team experiences ambiguity from a prospect – or worse, radio silence. In this situation, consider “going for no.”

Many prospects believe that salespeople can be pushy and won’t take “no” for an answer, so rather than confront them directly with this response, they avoid giving salespeople an answer altogether.

Inviting straight feedback, including “no,” is often perceived as refreshingly candid and may provide the direct response your salesperson needs to move on and work with other prospects.

Activity: You guessed it… exchange this sales best practice! Have your team share their “go for no” ideas with one another.

8. Value Proposition

Aligning on the value proposition your company provide to its customers, as well as your core strengths, helps bring a consistent message to the market.

It’s also an integral part of selling – a strong value proposition allows buyers to think of your products and services as investments, rather than costs.

Activity: Get the team together to determine the best way to share the value of your company with prospects. You might also consider combining this sales best practice with the Problem/Opportunity Matrix.

9. Common Objections & Pushbacks

Objections and pushbacks in sales is about as common as heavy traffic is in New York City.

Help your team develop superhero sales skills by working together to battle common objections and pushbacks!

Activity: Work as a team to document common objections and record best practice pushbacks.

Note that there will be different objections depending on the type of prospect your team is working with.

If possible, document more than one pushback for the most common objections. When your sales team hears the objection, they will then be able to use the pushback that best suits them and their prospect.

Looking for ideas on handling objections? Check out our free eBook on the topic!

free download: how to handle sales objections

10. Success Stories

Stories are an incredibly powerful tool in selling, and when you are part of a team, you can leverage each others stories in conversations with prospects and clients.

A strong sales success story will include the following three elements:

  1. The problem our client faced
  2. The solution we provided
  3. The business impact attributable to our solution – both direct and indirect

This story structure links real-world business impacts with our solution and demonstrates that we really get results.

Humans are wired to see connections through stories and put ourselves in the main character’s role.

By telling an engaging story about a former client, your salespeople are feeding into this tendency in their prospects—who will be more likely to convince themselves that they, too, could benefit from your product or service.

Activity: Add success stories and case studies as attachments or sub-pages in your Sales PlayBook. Compare and contrast stories to develop new strategies together as a team!

What sales best practices does your team share? We’d love to hear more, comment below!

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By | 2016-10-17T16:47:39+00:00 August 25th, 2016|Sales Leaders|5 Comments

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About the Author:

Rebecca Smith is the Marketing Manager at Criteria for Success. She writes about sales, sales leadership, social selling best practices, time management, and anything related to helping others discover success. Be sure to say hi on Twitter!

5 Comments

  1. Barry Hall August 25, 2016 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Great post Rebecca thanks for sharing it with everyone. – Barry.

  2. Francisco Osaeliogor September 5, 2016 at 5:37 am - Reply

    This is more than theory but mind blowing strategy in sales profession, I appreciate this a lot, want to learn more skills

    • Rebecca Smith September 6, 2016 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      Thank you kindly for your comment, Francisco! We hope you found it helpful!

  3. Kairi Gainsborough September 12, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    I think it is a great idea to practice cold calling to overcome the potential fear of rejection. Not every call is going to end in a sale, so I can see the benefit of running through typical scenarios. This sounds like a great activity for a sales training session.

    • Elizabeth Frederick September 14, 2016 at 10:26 am - Reply

      Thanks for your comment, Kairi! That fear of rejection can be absolutely stifling for salespeople. It’s easier to practice in a safe situation with colleagues instead of only when working with prospects.

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