Dec. 22, 2021

How To Easily And Quickly Build Momentum In Your New Sales Role: 5 Solutions.

How To Easily And Quickly Build Momentum In Your New Sales Role: 5 Solutions.

So, you’ve conquered through the 4 levels of interviews, and amongst the 100 candidates, you are the chosen “Sales Executive”. But the work doesn’t stop here. Now is your time to prove your worth by racking up the sales and bringing them in fast. The challenge though is you have immersed yourself into a brand-new industry, with zero connections, let alone and understanding of what you are selling and why your customers are compelled to buy. Plus, it is only the first day and already murmurs are flying how Joan two cubicles down sold $100,000 before 10am. Amongst this, and your coffee introduction with your boss preaching how you must hit the Q1 sales numbers, you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Time is of the essence and with 8 hours a day to perform, how do you strategize your day to drive home your Q1 sales quota. And even better, how do you have Joan lingering around the coffee machine come start of Q2, seeking out sales tips from you?

Strategically Become The Expert

While being perceived as the “trusted advisor” or “expert” is an important factor in inking more contracts, assuming this role from day 1 is not only unrealistic but will take up too much of your time. Sure, reading up on industry news, past sales proposals and obtaining a firm grip on your sales contracts is important, but we know you will get there. And unless you have a photogenic memory, it is impossible to sponge up all this information from the start. Instead, we suggest thinking of your 8am-5pm day as your “customer focused hours” i.e., the goal is to spend the most amount of time ideally face-to-face with your customer if not, on Teams calls, phone or communicating in whatever medium resonates with them. Your goal is to swiftly uncover the pain points in their business and to creatively communicate to them how your product or service is the solution. And the fastest way to realize this is through listening and being genuinely curious about their business through asking open-ended questions. Some of our favorite conversation starters include:

  1. Tell me about your customers and why they buy from you?
  2. What has been a recent frustration in your business?
  3. Where are you spending the most amount of time on your business right now and is this the best use of your time?
  4. Where do you see the bottlenecks in your business?
  5. Where do you want to take your business in the next 6-12months, and what do you anticipate as potential blocks along the way?

These questions will highlight points of frustration, where you can swoop in and solution sell. If you don’t have a solution for them, it is okay. We are a firm believer of keeping the relationship and don’t try to sell them something they don’t need. Who knows where this one relationship will lead to in the future? Further, the more you listen to your customers, the more problems you will come across and as a result, customer by customer, you will inevitably become the “expert”. One area we do recommend investing time in from the start is reading up on your customers. Taking the time to talk in their language and bringing about interesting facts you have  stumbled upon regarding their business will demonstrate your care and attention to helping them solve their problems.

Automate Where Possible

Okay, here is a place where we say blocking out time from the start will pay dividends later on. Working in sales you are constantly pitching, even when you are “checking-in” with your customer, you are looking for ways to influence and persuade them. Since you realize there likely will be similar conversations over the course of the next few months, stash away some time each week building up your pitching templates. We suggest focusing in on emails, text messages and presentations—which often are repetitive tasks. While some even take this so far as pre-recorded voicemails and phone scripts, we recommend avoiding. While you may think your voice on repeat sounds like sweet music, the reality is the world doesn’t need more of your voice on repeat. Instead, the intention is to do more listening. When you have a firm understanding on your customers’ needs, you can begin taking your customer down their journey on how your solution is relevant to solving their business woes. When building up your email templates, ask yourself what emails do I feel like I am repeating often or what questions are customers often seeking a response on? Anything you are doing repetitively, is worth the investment of automation. For presentations, lean on existing resources. Find out what has been used or is currently being used and start from this and tweak along the way if need be. There is no point in re-inventing the wheel, especially when you are looking to navigate your way through the first few months of a new role. For text messages, you can store templates in “notes” on your phone and easily copy and paste over. The idea is to automate as much as possible, so you can free up more time to pitch. But do keep in mind the importance of making small tweaks to any outgoing materials. Seek to make all communication relevant to their business, industry and add in personalized touches like their name, a recent conversation or something you think will bring value to their business. 

Leverage Your Peers’ & Boss’ Experience

First read the dynamics of your new company, then if you pick up on an environment that cultivates teamwork, we suggest penciling in time with various team members early on. The importance is to seek out variety in both personalities and tenure. Again, there is no point of re-inventing the wheel. If something has been tried and tested to work, keep it running its course. Perhaps, Harry has found large customer value in going after groups in a niche industry. Or Suzanne has a fun game she plays with her clients to break the ice—and this picks up on certain nuances of their personalities to determine the customer journey she takes them down. Whatever it is, seek out from your peers what has worked, what doesn’t work and who are the clients to pitch to that are likely going to be easier conversions. The whole idea is to start building up some early wins as this will help you to build your confidence in your new role. Your colleagues might even have some warm leads that you can start working with first. If you are a national group or global group, even better. Chances are you have a counterpart who does the same role elsewhere. It’s likely what is working for them may work similarly for you. This will allow you to avoid mishaps and go after clients with a higher chance of conversion. Lean on them for insights on what the key points of differences are of your product/service they like to speak about in their client facing conversations. You can even test out these points in your next pitch! The key is to keep iterating and testing until you stumble on what works for you. For your boss, you could ask them what they wish they knew when they started or ask if the roles were reversed how would they go about chipping away at the Q1 sales targets. It is in their best interest to see you succeed. Because if you succeed, they then succeed too.

 Up-Sell, Add-On, or Extend-Out Your Existing Clients

Sure, the goal is to brag to your boss and colleagues on the exciting new accounts you have brought in, but realistically unless you are the obvious or only choice in your industry, any new business is going to be a long slog. This will include consistent follow-up meetings, calls and emails. So, while in any sales role it is important to carve time away for “new business”, for the “fresh starter”, more importantly right now is to spend more time on “existing business”. Why do you ask? Because they have already bought the Kool-Aid. Statistics have shown a whopping 65% of business comes from previous business!   

If your boss hasn’t already provided for you, request a client list outlining monthly and yearly spends for at least the proceeding two financial years. Analyze the reports for trends. If they are only buying twice a year, try to investigate the why. Perhaps they are time poor? You could then look to automate their orders, so it is one less task off their to-do list. Or maybe they consistently buy the same product, and no one has probed them to explore further. This especially works when you have a new and exciting product line or service you can introduce them to. Further, you can tie this into how seamlessly it will fit into what they’ve already bought, so this reinforces their spend with you to date. If you are selling a service, look at when their expiry is. Perhaps the previous sales guru like clockwork renewed or extended out by a 12-month term. But since you’ve been briefed on automation, you know the value in freeing up more time. So why don’t you push the boundaries and opt for a 24- or 36-month term instead? Or you know you have an upcoming extension in three months’ time, so why not start the conversation now, and lock in the renewal or prepare now for covering a lost account if they decide to go elsewhere?

Look for any reasons you can expand their offering, offer more premium services or bundle together products and services, so you secure in discounts for them while bringing them across more of your offerings.

Whatever it is, seek out opportunities with existing clients by setting up a meeting with them. Who knows you may both upsell and expand their offering all because you asked!

Re-Ignite Conversations With Past Clients

With more options available than ever, your customers may be here one day, gone the next or working simultaneously with your competitors. Perhaps, it was one customer service call with poor Sally who was having a bad day and taking her emotions out on your customer. Or the competitor could have thrown them a great deal and it only takes a little self-reflection to know you would have probably done the same. Regardless of the reasons, seek out how you can better service them now.  

While in sales being the new guy or gal it can feel like at times there is more downsides than upsides, this is the one instance being the newbie can work to your advantage. Pick up the phone and drop the line “I’m the new Sales Executive and I am checking in on how your business is going these days?” This is the perfect excuse to get back in front of them. Seriously, no one is going to get mad at the new person who likely isn’t versed on past conversations.

Sure, you can see them as gone now, but the fact is they once bought in. So, it is likely they are already part way through the sales journey—meaning they will be easier to convert than starting from the top of the sales funnel.        Perhaps they haven’t been contacted for a while or there is interest, but you need a great offer to reel them back in. Additionally, being the new one you may see an opportunity previously missed. To make the process even better, find out their “customer value” i.e., how much they’ve spent with you in the past and start contacting from the highest value customer to lowest. We are not saying this works every time or some customers you might not even want to return. But with some extra attention and care, you may be able to re-ignite their interest in your product or service.