Be a Star, not a sales pretender

There are millions of sales people in the world, yet 20% of them drive 80% of the sales revenue and profits.  Why is that?  Why do so few drive the volume while so many just go through the motions?

The Sales Executive Council ™, a few years ago, published a white paper on research of how the Star sales person distinguished themselves from the core sales person.

Learning from the Stars

  1. An emphasis on pre-sales activity – call planning and preparation – allows high performers to approach opportunities better armed than the core.
  1. High performers focus customer facing time on relationship building, not on logistics or low value service details.

Avoiding Time Sinks

  1. While the core is spending time on internal problem resolution or billing issues, high performers are able to focus on deal development.
  1. High performers have learned ways to reduce the administrative time sinks that are the curse of every sales rep.

In essence, the Stars strategically build relationships, while the core focuses on tactical activity.   It’s very difficult to think strategically when you are surrounded by the operational issues of the day.   But you must rise above the daily challenges to become a Star performer.

Here are some ideas on how to do that:

  1. Identify the best customer opportunities within your existing base
  2. Identify the opportunities with customers who look like your best customers

Note: There is a great tool called the Customer Revenue Evaluation (CRE) developed by KCI that we use to help companies identify these opportunities, increasing your productivity

  1. Research your customer to understand their company initiatives
  2. Identify the key stakeholders in this opportunity, internally  in your company, and in your potential customer
  3. Prepare to position yourself as the professional who can help them reach the goals tied to their initiatives

The difference between a great sales person and the average sales person is this:  The average sales person can tell the customer all about their product or service; the great sales person learns about the customer needs and motivations and shows how their product or service will help them reach their goals.

Both the Star and the core sales person need to know their product or service solution.  The difference is the Star asks questions to understand the customer needs and motivations so they can find out what is important to the customer.  They then share the information that the customer needs to distinguish their value from the competition.  The Star does the work for the customer instead of the core sales person’s approach of telling you about the product and expecting the customer to decide what is valuable to them.

Do you want to be one of the Stars?  Do you want to be a Sales Professional that drives revenue and profit?  If so, invest the time to strategically know your customer.  Be a Star.

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