coaching Performance Management

3 Habits Worth Reinforcing With Your Sales Team


What’s a good habit that you’ve got and practice daily? For me, it’s keeping a to-do list and checking things off as I finish each task. It keeps me organized and prepared for the day ahead, and the simple action of checking each to-do off motivates me to do even more. So you’re thinking, what do habits have to do with sales?

Everything, really. Habits build you up for success. Without my to-do list, I feel lost and, truly, a bit out of place. This just brings my whole day out of whack. Habits, in sales, bring you the same benefits my list brings me. They’re a great way to get into the groove of things, build momentum, and keep things in check. Here’s how building habits in sales can help you reach success:  

1. Following up

You should never be afraid to follow up with a prospect. It seems like it might be an annoying or tedious task, seeing as you already reached out and the natural thing for someone to do is reply back. But that’s not how the world works. Unexpected meetings are scheduled, projects get pushed past deadlines, and emails pile up. As a salesperson, you know this last one to be very true.

So you can’t blame anyone but yourself when they don’t respond. Instead of playing the waiting game, send a quick follow up and offer assistance to possible roadblocks that might be preventing them from responding to you. Keep it short and sweet. Sales guru Aaron Ross says, “Don’t be afraid to follow up on your follow-ups; just do it in friendly ways. The only way you’ll be annoying is by actually being annoying.” (Check out more sales expert advice here.)

Once you get those responses rolling in, you’re back on track to building up your pipeline and that much closer to meeting (and even beating) your quotas.  

2. Updating records – asap

The biggest faux pas of any department: keeping records up-to-date. It’s a toughy, for sure. Why are we so quick to toss this task aside? It’s easy to think Oh, I’ll do it later or Yeah, I’ll remember that if it comes up again. But when the time comes, do you ever remember? How often are you talking with a prospect where you’re rummaging through your CRM for a note on the guy and nothing pops up?

At this point, you’re wondering if you’re crazy and thinking I know I had something about him. What you failed to do was update the record as soon as the call ended or email came in. Making these notes and updating your leads builds the foundation to getting through the sales funnel. Great deals won come from salespeople who are familiar with their prospect’s wants and needs; and that means staying organized.

If it’s time you’re stuck on and you’ve got back-to-back calls, here’s a quick tip: Keep a notepad in front of you and take notes during calls or as you read the emails, making sure you’re ID’ing each note with the lead’s name, of course. Set aside some time every day on your calendar to update the records with notes you’ve taken. This way, you’re ensuring the records get updated, and you have something to look back on.  

3. Putting the prospect before yourself

People don’t like when they feel like they’re getting sold to. And, being a salesperson trying to sell, that’s a hard one to get past.

The actual feeling people dislike is feeling bombarded with your product’s features, that it’s #1 in the industry, and how it’s something they absolutely need. Hello? Did we get disconnected? But isn’t that what selling is? Not really. You’re talking to a human being here and you should keep that in mind when you’re speaking with your prospects. Selling is listening to your customers first, understanding their wants and needs, then seeing if there’s a fit. There’s no point in starting out with guerilla warfare tactics and spitting out sales pitches left and right.

The person on the other line wants to feel like they’re being heard. Once you start listening and understanding what their pain points are, you can chime in and really shine with a personalized pitch. Let them know, “This is exactly how we can help you.”

It’s not easy building habits, but practice makes perfect. Try these habits out, or maybe just one to start with. Make it a point this week to do at least one of these and see how it plays out. Great habits are formed daily and require consistent commitment. So with that, believe that you can and you will.