The truth will set you free. And the truth is, no one starts a business hoping that it fails. Everyone wants to succeed. One of the keys to success in business is having a great sales team. Sales are the lifeblood of every business. You can’t have a business without any sales. There’s no getting around it. If you agree with me—and you want to take your sales team to the next level—you have to read this article.


1. Prospecting is Paramount

Good prospecting is paramount to your success in sales. Arguably, it’s the most overlooked part of the sales process. So what is prospecting? Well, it’s the process of locating—and reaching out to—potential customers (leads). Basically, there are three types of prospects: cold, warm, and hot. Cold prospects are people you’ve had contact with but they’ve shown no interest in your product/service.

Warm prospects are people you’ve contacted and they’ve expressed some interest in what you have to offer.

Hot prospects are people you have reached out to and they’ve shown an immediate interest in buying your product or service.

There are numerous ways to go about prospecting. For example, there’s cold emailing, direct messaging through social media, cold calling, networking at promotional/trade events, and inbound marketing (if your company has a content marketing team to take advantage of).

Since prospecting plays such a significant role in the sales process, it’s imperative that you keep a steady flow within your pipeline. If you’re constantly prospecting, you’re constantly learning about your potential customers.


2. You Have to Become a Lifelong Learner

I have a question for you. Would you like for your sales team to have a competitive edge, stay relevant in the marketplace, and become more versatile? In order for that to happen, they have to be committed to becoming lifelong learners.

Whether it’s learning about the basics of sales or high-level sales negotiation training, there are countless resources available for people who never want to stop learning. By virtue of technology, access to education has never been easier. Gone are the days where people were forced to shift their schedule completely around in order to accommodate their quest for higher education.

Online courses allow anyone to learn within a schedule they create. You can take your time while trying to process new information. There’s no need to rush. The most important part is that you’re being proactive about bettering yourself—challenging yourself. Now the world is your classroom.


3. Your Product/Service Has to Have a USP

You must be sold on your product before you can sell it to anyone else. This is especially critical when your product or service is very similar to other ones on the market. What sets your product apart from the rest? What makes it unique?

This is where identifying your unique selling proposition (USP) comes in. Being able to clearly articulate your product’s USP takes time and thought. You have to be able to put yourself in your customer’s head. What’s important to them? What are the driving forces behind their behavior and buying decisions?

Another question to ask is: Why did our customers choose us over the competition? This isn’t something you ask just so you can stroke your ego. You’re really trying to uncover key pieces of information.


4. You Have to Become an Active Listener

It’s never been more difficult for people in sales to display their expertise. The scales just aren’t tipped in their favor like they used to be. Why? Frankly, anyone with internet access can pull together as much, or more, information about a product as they can.

How can a salesperson overcome this? They can get over this hurdle by concentrating on active listening. In order for you to actively listen to your prospects, you have to be completely focused on what they’re saying.

Really listen to what they have to say. Create an environment where they feel comfortable talking about themselves and their challenges. Occasionally, repeat what you’ve heard from them in your own words. Get confirmation that you’ve heard them correctly. Follow up with relevant (open-ended) questions. In the end, you both know you’re trying to get the sale. However, you’re also there to listen to them, and to help them to the best of your ability.


In Conclusion

The truth couldn’t be clearer. Having an outstanding sales team is vital to every business. In the past, you might have been confused about how to take your sales team to the next level. Now you don’t have to be.

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