So you want to be a smarter seller, but you're not sure where to start? Good news, you're already making the right decisions to reach your goal. Every sales person should continuously educate themselves and look for new ways to advance, but few wish to deal with the trouble and put in the extra time that becoming a smarter seller entails. There's really no big secret beyond the will to become a smarter seller-those with that will, will, and those without that will, won't. That doesn't mean that there aren't places you should focus your attention, special things to be aware of, and ways to truly optimize your journey, of course. So that's what we'll discuss: Just what you want to learn as you endeavor to be a smarter seller.
Data and Metrics.
Part one of becoming a smarter seller is learning to value the many, many forms of information you already have available to you. It's pointless to go learning about new sales mediums and changes in your industry when you don't even take the time to look at the sales statistics your ERP of choice spits or, or research prospects before you call them. You should be learning immediately relevant facts and figures before anything else. This isn't so much a 'thing to learn' as a 'habit to develop' to be a smarter seller. So pay attention to what you have available and use it to its fullest.
Strategies and Tactics.
These are the big ideas, things like 'focus on relationships over immediate sales'. These, you'll want to learn as early as possible, because they're going to change the way you sell at a very basic level; they're not often something you can just toss in to how you're already doing things and expect everything to come up aces. Learn them too late, and you may end up being a smarter seller without necessarily being a more effective one, unused knowledge being useless knowledge. Until you have a grasp of the popular 'big ideas' of sales, general and specific to your own industry, stay away from the little things.
Techniques and Tools.
Techniques and tools can greatly change the outcomes of your strategies and tactics without greatly changing how you do your job, so they're good to learn later. Things like phrases that result in more sales, or software for tracking relationships with customers, can be slotted in anywhere and give you their benefits. Furthermore, you'll be applying these specific ideas with a broad understanding of the underlying sales principals, which means you'll be better positioned to avoid the inevitable pitfalls and traps inherent to the tricks of the sales trade.
If you can't understand where an idea might mess up your strategy, you might not understand enough to be learning these yet. A smarter seller is one that understands what he's learned, not one that copy+pastes random ideas into his sales process.
News and Trends.
Once you've built a strong knowledge base, enough that you're already a smarter seller than ever before, you can start pushing yourself to the limits of your profession. That means keeping up with the latest trends in your industry, noticing tangential news that might impact how you sell down the line, noticing that one social media site has started becoming popular with your prospects.
When you can do that, you stop being someone who learns from the sales gurus and jumps where they jump, and start becoming someone that others should watch and learn from. When you've reached this point, you'll know you're not just a smarter seller than you were, but a smarter seller than the vast majority of sales people in your field. And when you're there, success naturally follows; the early bird gets the worm, as long as he knows enough to make his head start take him in the right direction.