By Kharisma Moraski, Head of Sales, Emerging Business, ServiceRocket
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Whether you’re just starting out in sales or have been doing it for years, there is one thing everyone always needs to cultivate: professional development. This can come in many different forms, from training to self-exploration and awareness.
Early in my own career, I asked for feedback. But I didn’t always heed the advice. Then I really started listening and taking action. Now, I know the value and the difference coaching and feedback has made. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can start bringing more professional (and personal) development to further your sales career, too.
Know the Best, First Steps
If you’re just starting out in sales, it’s important to set the right foundation in the sales approach. Understand your ideal customer profile, the pain you’re solving, and your value proposition. From there, make sure you are always crafting a specific message to the customer. And always work to become a trusted advisor. These are the core sales skills you need to develop and hone from the get-go.
Become a Trusted Advisor
Few things can further your career more than becoming a trusted advisor. That means knowing the strategic priorities of your customer and their business day-in and day-out. It also means you are consistently and reliably providing value.
It’s imperative to develop the right viewpoint on building customer relationships. You’re not going to be selling to them—you’re not going to be selling with them. Speak with customers on their level and what concerns them. If your customer looks to you as a subject-matter expert for their industry (and not just a product expert), then you know you’ve met the goal of becoming a trusted advisor. But this takes trust and the amount of time you can invest to develop that relationship. When you do, sales success follows.
See Training Red Flags
Here’s an easy way to know if you’re in need of additional training. Do you find yourself saying anything to please a customer? Or just going along and agreeing with everything they say because you don’t actually know the answer? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, then that’s a red flag. Chances are you need more training.
Raise your hand and let your manager or team know where you require more information. Seek the resources that will help fill in the gaps. By doing this, you are not only making yourself a better salesperson, but also serving the customer in a much better way.
Accept Coaching and Feedback
As I mentioned earlier, I grappled with feedback early in my career. If you have the opportunity to receive coaching and feedback, take it and embrace it! That’s one of the most important lessons I’ve learned.
Coaching and feedback are paramount to the growth of any sales professional. But you also have to internalize it, process it, and then execute the changes. Take the time to work through it so you can make yourself and your skills better. Believe me you will stand out, and it will make a difference in how your sales career grows.
Take Personal Initiative
When it comes down to it, you can always take professional development into your own hands. Look to social networks like LinkedIn, read blogs, and take classes. Research anything in your industry that can help improve your sales skills. At the end of the day, you know what you need. And you can take the personal steps to get to the next level.
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