10 Habits of highly productive salespeople

Did you know it takes 66 days for behavior to become a habit? That’s just over two months. This time can fly by, or seem like an eternity depending on the habit you’re trying to build.

Professionals — salespeople, to be specific — can use this time to form habits that will help them to be productive and efficient, completing more work in less time. Here at Kara, we’re all about productivity, but also believe in the journey, too. We think figuring out those hacks and ways to work more efficiently is the secret to sales success, as well as happiness in your personal life, too. 

If you’re a salesperson hoping to improve productivity, here are some habits of successful salespeople you should emulate.

1. Invest in prospecting

Nearly 50% of salespeople lose interest in their prospects when they get negative feedback. It’s normal, but you have to keep at it. Only around 7% of salespeople make efforts to communicate with the prospect at the fifth contact. By the eighth contact, only the top salesperson remains in contact with the prospect (and that salesperson should be you). 

So, don’t give up easily and get better at prospecting. A good salesperson is genuinely invested in their prospect, emitting positive energy throughout the entire process. They find common interests and wait for the right timing to interact again, creating a potential customer into a current customer.

2. Believe in your products or services

Highly productive salespeople only sell when they trust their product/service delivers real value. You can present your offer to your leads using the following tips:

  • Give a brief overview of your product/service.
  • Explain how your product/service can help your potential client (always keep it positive).
  • Don’t respond to client queries with a confused or unsure tone. You have to know your product/service inside and out.
  • Avoid the use of words, such as “I think so” or “probably”. Certainty is key.

3. Ask for clarification 

A good salesperson is a talker, someone who can chat with anyone. But listening is just as important. It’s essential you offer your client your complete attention. 

Excellent listeners can identify hidden messages and search for clues. If they miss something, they aren’t afraid to seek clarification. Remember to use prompter phrases, such as “go on” or “tell me more” so the other party can speak freely. Then, pay attention to their responses, taking mental or written notes along the way.

4. Do what works

Reps don’t have much time. Experimenting with multiple sales strategies is tough because it doesn’t leave much time for the actual selling process. You may also lose out on the opportunity cost. Successful salespeople quickly identify techniques or strategies that generate better outcomes and adopt them permanently. Once you have the right strategies, use them regularly. 

5. Take criticism positively 

We get it. No one wants to hear they’ve done poorly or made a mistake. But the best sales reps are open to constructive criticism, using it to their advantage. Unlike the average salesperson (or human in general), they don’t reply in a defensive tone when talking to an angry customer. They are patient and welcome these challenges. 

Time and again, surveys and studies reiterate that customer complaint is a positive indicator. Complaints show that customers will continue getting products/services from your company, provided the issue is resolved.

6. Under promise and over deliver

One of the most common sales tricks is to promise an offer to your client. It can be a promise for higher ROI, a free trial, or a discount. The convincing power of promises can lead to overuse. Salespeople tend to make unrealistic promises, such as improving the ROI of the company by 200% in four months. Don’t set yourself up for failure by promising things you can’t deliver. 

Productive reps follow an altogether different approach. They under promise and over deliver. For instance, they promise to ship a product in six days. Subsequently, they send the product in three days. This makes the client happy so they’ll leave a positive review on your site. 

7. Get creative with solutions

Customers don’t buy products, they invest in solutions. Many sales professionals get too involved with the selling part. There are similar products and pricing on the internet, so the only way to compete with your competitors is to become more creative. A successful sales professional should develop customized solutions that address customer needs. 

For example, consider an average salesperson who sells a smart clinical decision support system to a hospital. They describe how AI works and list the features, but they fail to link the real world value it can bring to the hospital. This salesperson has offered information, but hasn’t explained how this product is a solution for the hospital.

A successful sales professional will show statistics and use cases on how different hospitals are making better diagnoses and treatments by leveraging a smart clinical decision support system. Use creativity to think out of the box and explore options and ideas that stand out from the rest. 

8. Never stop learning 

New reps don’t shy away from learning. Sometimes, when a salesperson attains a senior position, they become overconfident and believe that they know it all. Complacency leads to failure. You should continue perfecting your sales skills and knowledge, learning new techniques, ideas and strategies, and keeping an open mind to whatever comes your way.

A successful salesperson is humble. They are always updating their skill set and learning newer technologies to obtain better outcomes from the sales process.

9. Track progress metrics 

Usually, salespeople don’t know whether they can achieve their sales goals or not. They only monitor the sales numbers, which don’t reveal much.

A successful salesperson keeps tabs on progress metrics.This allows them to decide what needs to be done on a daily or weekly basis for meeting their sales goals.

10. Research buyer personas

The best salespeople are known for their research game. They join public forums, such as Reddit and Quora, and take part in discussions that are linked to their industry. 

They also check LinkedIn to note their customer’s work, skills, education, interests, and other valuable information. Similarly, they log on to Twitter and assess tweets, re-tweets, followers, and following. Since most of their time goes in networking with the right audience, it’s no surprise that they excel at prospecting. They find common ground with potential clients and move them down the sales funnel. 

All of this information helps salespeople to learn essential insights about buyer personas, which is used to better customize product/services.

Ultimately, the responsibility is on you to adopt these habits and optimize your sales routine. Don’t wait for the next week or next month. Start embracing these habits now and watch as you hit those sales targets.