4 Skills of Highly Successful Sales Reps You Can Adopt Today
It probably goes without saying that working in the fast-paced world of sales isn’t always a walk in the park. With so many different metrics to keep track of and goals to hit, to say that you need a knack for multitasking would be an understatement. But how do you know if you’re focused on the right tasks and honing the right skills? And what’s more – how do some sales reps make it look so easy?
With over 80 million business relationships on our platform, we decided to take a deep dive into our data to figure out just that. Here are the top 4 skills every successful sales rep has in their arsenal and why you should follow their lead before even thinking about placing another call or sending another email.
They aren’t excessive with their outreach
A common mistake sales reps tend to make is placing too much value on outreach quantity, rather than quality. While that may have worked a decade ago, prospective buyers today are inundated with calls and emails from persistent sales reps. Taking the same approach now is more likely to make prospects tune out and delete your emails on sight.
The truth of the matter is, 90% of the responses you’re going to get will come after 4 to 5 emails! Considering that the majority of email sequences contain up to 7 emails total, you can probably stand to shave off a few and save yourself some time.
They don’t waste time
Any sales rep worth their salt knows that time is precious. Yet, this is another area many sales reps tend to need improvement on. In fact, many outreach sequences go on for up to 13 weeks! That’s over 3 months of follow-up emails to prospects who – admit it – will likely never respond.
Our data shows that successful sales reps don’t keep pushing past 5 weeks because 90% of responses will come in within that time frame.
They think beyond their initial prospect
Another aspect of “wasting time” that sales reps fall prey to is focusing too much on one prospect for too long or failing to move past their initial prospect on to their peers or counterparts. That’s what we call single-threaded deals. And single-threaded deals are a surefire way to a dead end.
According to the Harvard Business Review, “the number of people involved in purchases has climbed up from an average of 5.4 in 2017 to 6.8 today”. That means beyond the initial prospect, a good sales rep has to build a relationship with up to 6 additional people within the company in order to close the deal. Our studies show that sales reps who work on multi-threaded deals (also known as in-deal relationship building) tend to see an overall response rate of 15.5% – a far cry when you think about how low cold email response rates tend to be (usually 2% or less).
They bring value to each prospect
If you’re a junior sales rep, you may be wondering: even with all the skills above, how do I get prospects to respond to my outreach in the first place? The average response rate – which includes in-deal conversations, not just initial outreach – for a junior rep reaching out to a senior prospect is a mere 15% (compared to the 26% of a sales leader reaching our to a senior prospect). However, you may be able to increase that number drastically by doing a bit of research on your prospect and understanding what value you can bring.
A good sales rep knows that prospects are tired of the same old sales pitch. So, what can you offer them besides the solution to a problem they may not even know they have (or care to fix) yet? Are you particularly well-connected in your industry and in a position to name drop or give them a warm introduction to someone else? Or are you privy to valuable insights they might be interested in learning? Whatever it is, think more about building a relationship than hitting a target. Because, at the end of the day, the real marker of a successful sales rep is about the quality of their outreach – not the quantity.