People say that in sales, the fundamentals remain the same no matter what changes. There’s a lot of truth to this, and the wisdom of salespeople from the 20th century can still be useful today. But just because certain things will always work doesn’t mean that there aren’t other things that you need to be doing in order to be successful.
We’ve compiled a list of things that every salesperson should do in 2019 if they want to be successful. This list might be obsolete in a few years, but for now, use it to make sure you’re not missing opportunities.
1. Ask for referrals
Despite being one of the most effective lead sources, studies show that only a fraction of sales organizations have a formal referral process in place. As they say, “hope is not a strategy.” So if you’re committed to closing more deals in 2019, incorporate asking for referrals into your sales process. Once it becomes a habit, you’re bound to see the benefits in the form of more, higher-converting leads.
2. Use new technology
This is where smart salespeople can get the highest return on their time investment these days. There are countless new products and services available for salespeople today, designed to solve any problem you can possibly think of. Being unwilling to learn new tech can hold you back unnecessarily, especially when your competition is taking advantage of this technology. For instance, the Proactive Relationship Management platform, Spiro, can help you spend more time selling and less time worrying about everything else.
3. Take advantage of sales content
We’d be lying if we didn’t say that we think this is the best sales blog out there, but we’re also realistic enough to know that there are plenty of other great ones too. Now that sales content is so widely available, there’s no excuse not to take advantage of it to help you develop your skills and become better at your career. Even if you just spend 5-10 minutes a day reading about sales, you’re likely to get valuable information that you can apply to help you close more deals.
4. Understand where your industry is heading
You might think that your industry is immune from disruption, but that probably isn’t the case. It’s critical that you understand what changes are taking place in whatever field you’re in. This isn’t just so that you can tailor your sales career accordingly, but so that you can use that information to your advantage when speaking with prospects. If you can show that you have a coherent and comprehensive understanding of what’s happening in the market, you’re more likely to be seen as a trusted professional. This means that you are also more likely to win the deal.
5. Use social media
A smart salesperson in 2019 uses social media. But this doesn’t mean using it to share videos of dogs catching rides on top of tortoises (although that’s pretty cool). It means using it to research, connect with, and communicate with potential prospects. It also might mean using it to market yourself, depending on what industry you’re in. Social media provides you with information about prospects that you might not otherwise have, and a great way to reach out directly. Just make sure that you keep it professional and avoid making the amateurish mistakes that lots of salespeople tend to make when using social.
6. Take time off
In business, especially in the U.S., there’s a culture of glorifying working as much as you can, oftentimes to the detriment of everything else. While being a hard worker is, of course, a good trait in a salesperson, it sometimes has diminishing returns. This is especially true if you’re not taking the time to recharge. Burnout is real, especially in a high-stress and high-demand profession like sales, so taking time off can provide you with more than just an opportunity to relax. It can also make you a more effective employee. So this year, use your vacation time and go relax. You’ll come back from vacation stronger and smarter than ever.