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.
- 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:
- New Prospect
- Former Client
- Met at Conference
- Specific, Known Pain Point
- 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!
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:
- The problem our client faced
- The solution we provided
- 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!