The 5 Biggest Differences Between Top and Bottom B2B Sales Performers

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The 5 Biggest Differences Between Top and Bottom B2B Sales Performers

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Have you ever wondered why there seems to be such a large gap between the top sales performers and the bottom ones? Why do some sales reps hit their quotas effortlessly while others struggle and lag behind?

Being good at sales is a skill. It takes discipline, hard work and often natural talent. Some people are just born good salespeople, while others need to work at it. As a sales manager, you need to help your sales reps improve by following the lead of your top sales performers.

By applying their approach and attitude, your sales team can grow as salespeople, improve the customer experience and boost revenue for your business.

In his book, “You Can Win: A Step by Step Tool for Top Achievers,” self-help author Shiv Khera says, “Winners don’t do different things. They do things differently.”

Here are five ways your sales reps can start doing things differently and become winners.

1. Believe in the product

According to HubSpot, only 3% of customers trust sales reps. If you don’t have your customers’ trust, how can you expect them to buy from you?

Cultivating that trust starts with how sales reps position their company’s products and services. If a salesperson sounds like they’re trying to schmooze the customer or is really pushing to close, the customer will be put off.

Sales reps need to spend less time pitching and more time having a conversation. And to have that conversation, sales reps need to understand their products inside and out and believe in them as a real solution.

“I’ve found that having new reps read case studies about our successful clients can improve performance almost overnight” says Josh West, director of sales at LawnStarter.   

Top salespeople frame their pitches with a true belief in the product they’re selling. And this belief must be authentic; otherwise, customers will see them as fake. With this approach, sales reps come across as helpful and informative, rather than pushy and disingenuous, and are more likely to persuade the customer of the product’s benefits.

2. Focus on the customer

The best sales performers put their customers’ needs first. They don’t just pitch to pitch. They work to understand each customer’s needs and tailor their approach based on addressing those needs. They take their customer’s perspective into account and try to see things from their point of view.

In an article for Funnelholic, Mark Roberge, former chief revenue officer at HubSpot, says, “If the salesperson truly has the prospect’s trust, they will help the prospect avoid a potential pothole.”

Good salespeople know their product isn’t right for everyone, and they don’t waste time trying to sell it to the wrong people. Because of this, they become trusted advisors to their customers. These top sales performers are focused on building strong relationships rather than just closing a deal. This attitude allows them to build trust and ensure that the deals they’re making are right for everyone involved.

3. Ask the right questions

According to research from HubSpot, the number one way to create a positive sales experience is to listen to the buyer’s needs. When top salespeople go into a meeting with a customer or prospect, they don’t do all the talking. Instead they focus on having a conversation.

Conversations are more natural and will put the customer more at ease. They will be comfortable talking with the sales rep and be more likely to buy. Asking the right questions is key to a good conversation.

On his blog, Seth Godin writes, “You don’t find customers for your products. You find products for your customers.”

The best salespeople ask questions to try to pinpoint what it is the customer wants and how they can help. They start with their customer’s needs and work backwards. How can their product address their concerns and be a solution to their problems? Once they’ve identified this, they can make a recommendation for the customer.

4. Manage time well

The top sales performers know how to make the most of every moment of their day. They are skilled at time management and always have a plan. They know time is valuable, so they make sure not to waste any of it.

The best way for sales reps to manage their time is by planning out each day and using time blocking. That means grouping similar tasks together, such as making cold calls, and doing them in a set chunk of time. During that chunk of time, they will only do the one task and eliminate all other distractions.

Successful sales reps also have a plan for their customers. They know and understand the sales cycle and what to do when they close a deal. They plan and schedule their time to accommodate and follow this cycle.

5. Enjoy the sales process

No matter how hard you try, a love of sales just cannot be taught. Some sales reps will have that passion while others will not. The sales reps who enjoy the sales process are competitive and have a need to achieve. They are good at what they do and enjoy doing it.

In his book, “The 4-Hour Work Week,” entrepreneur Tim Ferriss says, “Excitement is the more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should strive to chase. It is the cure-all.”

Salespeople with the drive and the right personality will be happier in their positions and excited to come to work each day. They will take pride in closing deals, fulfilling their customers’ needs and succeeding. And happier salespeople means more sales and more revenue for your business.

Mikita Mikado
Mikita Mikado is CEO of PandaDoc, which helps organizations close more deals with a better quote, proposal and contract management processes, is an entrepreneur, executive and former engineer. He works on, speaks and writes about companies doing innovative things in technology and business. He was previously CEO of Coding Staff, and he describes himself as a "bad surfer and happy dad."
Mikita Mikado


Learning the CEO job at @PandaDoc. Bad surfer, happy dad.
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Mikita Mikado
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