Four things we can learn from pro athletes that will elevate your sales process:
(Guest Post by Jonathan Allan of SalesLoft)
A talented sales development representative treats their job in the same way as a professional athlete. No matter what’s happening in the game, no matter what the score is at that moment, the pro athlete doesn’t stop playing to win. To be successful, the sales development representative has to keep playing to win by means of preparation, practice, personalization, and most importantly, persistence.
Here are four things we can learn from pro athletes that will elevate your sales process.
You won’t see a pro athlete wandering out on a field without gear. In all likelihood, the pro has been at the stadium for six hours already, thinking about plays, visualizing victory, mentally preparing for the challenge ahead.
The SDR has to prepare, too. This preparation includes gaining knowledge of the products inside and out. Become an expert by preparing a prospecting list and identifying potential clients with research using the tools at hand – LinkedIn, Twitter. Schedule time effectively, for emails, for calling, for research, and for work breaks as well. Remember, preparation doesn’t have to happen when you arrive at the office- you should start the night before. Get your gear together before the game begins.
Pro athletes live by the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” To be a pro one must work on their skills, acquire new ones, and learn from their teammates. It’s not luck that they’re in the bigs. It’s perfection.
The SDR should practice phone call scripts and writing effective emails. Practice handling objections. Role play with colleagues and ask them questions about how they achieve success. The more you practice, the better you become. Sounds simple, but it takes enormous discipline. Just do it.
A good pro athlete knows how important the fans are and does not take them for granted. These players will sign the baseball, pose for a photo, respond to the tweet. They build a relationship with the fans and the fans love them for it.
The SDR has to go that extra mile by learning about the prospect and his business. Do some LinkedIn digging, find out what university the prospect attended, find out how the company performed last quarter. After some research, use this information to stand out from the sea of prospecting emails that are already in the inbox. Establish that you have been thoughtful in your approach to understanding the company and determining if you can help. Turn your prospects into fans.
A professional athlete doesn’t stop performing until the end of the buzzer, regardless of how many points they might be down. A professional perseveres when the game is on the line. The word “no” is not in their vocabulary and like any good thing in life, persistence is the only way to get there.
The SDR has to keep going, too. Without persistence and a positive attitude, the SDR won’t be successful. There will be plenty of rejections in every work week, but to be a winner means playing the game until the final buzzer and pushing to do everything you can in order to get that “Yes!” You can’t win if you stop playing. You have prepared, practiced, and personalized your approach. Now just stick with it!
Jonathan Allen is a SaaS strategist and SalesLoft content specialist. He has extensive experience in sales development, account management, and B2B strategy.