I’ve come across plenty of top sales performers in my travels as a sales trainer.
I’ve also learned a lot from these top producers. Perhaps the best lesson is that truly successful top sales performers share best practices with their teams.
Top Sales Performers
Here are 12 things I’ve discovered they all have in common.
1. A system for selling
Regardless of how long they’ve been selling, they use their Sales Playbook time and time again.
Think about how often a pilot runs through his or her pre-flight checklist.
Before conducting a sales call, a professional salesperson reviews a list of key questions to ask, common problems to expose, solutions to present, and success stories to tell before conducting a sales call.
2. Disciplined time management
Top sales performers set goals and block out time in their calendars to accomplish them. They continuously pay attention to what they are doing at any given moment.
Top sales performers quickly shift gears between different tasks, whether prospecting or dealing with customer problems.
On this last point, before wasting too much time, they are smart enough to hand-off a client issue to the right person in their company who is better qualified to resolve it. Conversely, they wont hesitate to stay involved if necessary.
The best of the best seek to be held accountable as often as possible. They will work with someone they trust and respect who supports them in keeping their commitments.
4. An obsession for personal improvement
They won’t be the ones to resist sales training. If anything, they are the first to ask questions, share insights, and help move the training along. They’re the most hungry to learn something new.
5. A willingness to share success
I’ve witnessed top sales performers give away their secrets to success to other salespeople. It’s actually very smart because the more of their secret sauce that they give away, the more room they have to develop new secret sauce.
Top sales performers genuinely want to help a client or a co-worker, making them the ultimate team players.
6. Streamlined researching
Busy high performing salespeople develop and use a simple, yet effective “research pre-flight checklist,” which might include:
- Checking LinkedIn and other relevant social media channels, such as Twitter and Facebook. They’ll look at common connections, interests, and any other personal information like promotions and awards that might help them create good rapport.
- Reviewing the company website, especially the press release section.
- Doing a simple Google search for any other useful information about the person they are meeting with, the company they work for, and their competitors.
- Looking at any notes they or someone else posted in their company CRM
7. A problem-solving approach
If top sales performers operate as problem solvers, then they need lots of problems to solve. Simple.
They’ll ask best practice questions designed to reveal one or more problems that the other person may be experiencing. If their questions are on target, all the salesperson needs to do is listen!
It’s never a good practice to tell buyers how great you are. It’s better for them to discover how great you are.
Instead of saying “we are the best and the brightest,“ top sales performers will say “we think we provide a great service, but we’d rather you discover that for yourself.”
Top sales performers let their actions speak for themselves.
If you’ve heard the phrase “features tell, but stories sell,” you’ve realized that stories are a good way for a buyer to discover your value.
By hearing a story, the listener can use his or her own imagination to paint a picture of success.
Top sales performers keep stories brief, summarizing the problem, how it was solved, and finally what the tangible benefit was. An example of tangible is reducing costs by 50%.
10. Focus on the right prospects
Top sales performers want to waste as little time as possible on deals they stand a low likelihood of winning. The primary job of sales is to determine fit or no fit.
Top sales performers are good at getting to this sooner rather than later. If it’s not a good fit, they might even refer a prospect to another company who is better suited for that deal.
11. Putting the future into the present
Top sales performers look ahead and think about how what they are doing now affects closing a good deal. They are not only concerned about the next step, but all the steps ahead.
12. A referral request process
Top sales performers understand that the best source for new business is referrals. They ask satisfied clients, past prospects, centers of influence, and others for referrals.
Can you think of any other qualities that top sales performers share? Comment below, we'd love to hear more!