People that are very effective in life and work tend to share common characteristics. They also adopt similar habits.
Yours is no different to any other role when it comes to this. The best-performing sales professionals tend to share some best practices.
The good news is that there’s nothing to stop you emulating them.
To give you a head-start, we’ve collated the seven effective habits of highly-successful salespeople, and we share them here. Take a leaf out of their books for business development excellence.
- Collaborate with Marketing and Compliance
Marketing and Compliance teams should be your two biggest allies in the quest for success.
Working closely with your Marketing colleagues will give you a heads-up as to current campaigns and business priorities. If you can capitalise on the promotional activity they are putting their weight behind, your initiatives will work in harmony. Your activity amplifies theirs – and both teams benefit.
Compliance approval is an essential part of any regulated business developer’s life. You need to ensure your presentations, pitch documents, RFPs and tenders sell your firm in a way that meets regulatory requirements. Understand what’s needed and you will speed signoff – and as a result, maximise your ability to meet bid deadlines.
- Preparation is everything
No successful business developer will pick up the phone, or send an email, without thorough preparation. You need to understand your prospect; get a feel for their issues and challenges; know what environment they operate in.
Is their sector expanding? Contracting? Is their business on the acquisition trail or ripe to be bought? All of these things will affect your tone and approach.
- Work your best, wherever you are
The best salespeople aren’t stuck in an office, chained to a desk-bound CRM system. You want to maximise the time you can spend out in the market with prospects and clients. Luckily, there are many tools that can help you achieve this.
Automated workflows enable you to collaborate on documents when you’re out and about, even offline. Approvals for your pitches and proposals are speeded up through real-time collaboration, while easily-accessed slide and document libraries make it easy to find and use accurate, up-to-date, winning bid and tender information.
- Harness the best technology to support you
The sales process has changed beyond recognition in the last decade. In part, this change has been driven by technologies that support the process. Today, you can streamline your strategy, stripping out ineffective activity and focusing on prospects and clients with the most potential.
Apps and platforms for customer relationship management, measurement, lead scoring and nurturing make this possible. Explore what’s out there and use it to tighten up your approach.
- Build relationships via social media
Today, as we explain in our blog on the benefits of social selling, you’re not expected to leave marketing to the marketers. Take the initiative and build your own relationships – what’s stopping you from harnessing social media to speak directly to your contacts?
Use your strong relationship with Marketing to initiate a little training for your team – and then get sharing. Our blog on how to write content your Compliance team will approve has some tips on the types of things you might want to focus on. Just remember to make sure you meet the FCA’s requirements!
- Become a subject matter expert
As a business developer, you’re often in the unique position within your firm of having oversight of all your products and services. This is something you should exploit to your benefit. Make the most of your wide-ranging knowledge. Become the person the business turns to when they want in-depth understanding of a proposition, and your ability to sell all of your firm’s solutions grows exponentially.
- Make the most of the tools at your disposal
You’re a successful business developer, at a successful firm. There’s a wealth of knowledge in your business on your clients, your products and your USPs. Make sure you can access and tap into this. All too often, information is held in silos, and it can be hard to share the big picture. But often, it is this big picture that stands your firm apart and wins you business.
Work with your business to put in place user-friendly ways to store and access previously winning bid content. Collaborate with Marketing to make brand assets easy to find and use. The easier you make it for you and your team to access the content you need, the easier and quicker it will be to create successful pitches, proposals and presentations.
Being a highly-successful salesperson is within your grasp. It just takes some dedication, hard work, a willingness to adopt new approaches and technologies, and a proactive approach to working with colleagues in other teams.