13 Great Professional Development Tips For Sales Reps
Being in the sales department is a complex career due to the various streams of jobs they handle. With constant client meetings, business calls, and conferences, always being on their toes is a big part of the role. Whilst there is a lot of learning on the job, there are some basic professional development tips that salespeople can abide by to maximise career opportunities.
Even the most ambitious team member can get frustrated when their goals aren’t achieved as planned. But their skill or technique may not be the problem that is limiting them. It could just be the way they are applying themselves to their job. You can use certain guidelines to succeed and apply yourself efficiently without burning out in the first half of your career.
Here are 13 professional development tips that are perfect for sales reps who are just starting out as well as experienced ones to ensure they are making the best of their career and climbing the proverbial ladder to the top!
Don’t just expect it, earn it!
Always keep in mind that nothing will be given to you without any hard work and effort from your end. Never just expect to be handed opportunities and success – instead work towards achieving and earning them.
Work hard, but also smart
If you work hard but don’t apply yourself smartly or work smart but don’t put in the hard work, you aren’t going to get the results you are looking for! Working hard and smart go hand in hand to achieve the desired results and do better at your job.
Set goals and hold yourself accountable
Setting realistic goals is the first and foremost aim you should have. If you set unrealistic goals for yourself, reaching your desired target wouldn’t be possible and you will just get frustrated and burn out quickly. Make sure to set small, achievable targets each day and move slowly towards the bigger picture instead of setting a big goal to push yourself each time.
Set SMART goals for your self – “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.” When you aren’t setting the right goals for yourself, you are effectively letting someone else run your career for you. Hold yourself accountable and take charge of your career path by learning how to set the correct goals for your work trajectory.
Feedback is your best friend
Take the advantage of another person’s perspective on your work especially when you are new to a job or task. A third party can be more objective and provide you with the necessary feedback to improve your skills and learn to do better. Constantly getting feedback can help you quickly catch on to the best practices for your sales role.
Honesty is the best policy
Being honest about your shortcomings doesn’t come easily to everyone but once you are able to do so, it can greatly help you improve your skills. By practicing to always do better for yourself, you can become a better self-evaluator and set certain expectations for yourself and others. Analyse your strengths and weaknesses to use them to your advantage and upgrade your skillset.
Create positive experiences
We’ve all heard the saying “What Goes Around Comes Around,” and it holds true even in the business world. The more positive and resourceful connection you make, the better for you as a sales rep in any industry. Help peers out when they need it and keep a positive outlook to ensure you receive the same kind of help when needed in the future!
Confidence over ego
The simple difference between confidence and ego is that confidence defines your faith in self while ego seeks approval and self-validation. When you are confident in your work, you will be able to efficiently learn and move forward in your career. On the other hand, ego-centric people are resistant to feedback and ultimately growth, believing they always know better than others.
What’s your learning style?
Everybody has a different learning curve and style of absorbing new information. Understand what your learning style is and use it to your advantage. Some people benefit from reading out loud while others like to listen or write down what they are learning to retain knowledge. See what works best for you and stick to that as a way to upgrade your knowledge base in the industry.
Every situation is a learning opportunity
Whether you succeed or fail at a task, always take it as a learning opportunity rather than a setback in your job. If it went well, think about how you can do better. If it didn’t go as planned, try to figure out what you did wrong and learn from the mistake.
Learn objection handling
Most customers and prospects aren’t easy to handle and need some convincing before they can trust your brand enough to make a purchase. Objection handling is a big part of every sales reps job and learning how to properly handle it without taking it in a negative way can help a lot in the long run.
Gather business acumen
While a lot of focus is put on elements such as techniques, structures, processes, and industry knowledge, business acumen is an art that is missing today. Many reps forget to refresh this knowledge over time and end up sounding redundant. Update yourself on the industry you work in, how your company works, how your competitors do business, and more as this knowledge can help you with understanding the market better and selling more products and services.
Use technology to your advantage
There are several kinds of software and apps, free or paid, available for sales reps to use at the tip of their fingers. The different technologies can help in consuming information more efficiently for sales reps to stay on top of their game and be constantly updated on new details and data. Use social media websites, automation tools, collaboration platforms, and more to your advantage and leverage their customisable features to constantly improve yourself.
Try to be better each day!
Be better than you were yesterday by always moving forward and applying what you’ve learned in your journey. Don’t try to achieve the unreachable by setting unrealistic expectations and instead take it slow, day by day. 1% at a time can go a long way because “Slow and Steady Wins the Race”!
Every professional, be it a sales rep or other, needs to upgrade themselves with the times to stay relevant and on point. This is not just important for constantly upgrading your skill but also to be able to connect better with clients and prospects. Maintain relevancy and pick up new skills along the way by implementing these simple professional development tips at work.
Whether you are a new sales recruit just starting at the job, or an experienced manager and team lead, no one is ever done with the amount of information they can consume over a lifetime. Use this to your advantage and make sure that you are putting your best foot forward every time you do business with a client!