Social Selling Tips of the Week: The Secrets of Top Sales Performers

Learn what separates today’s top sales performers from the rest. See the practices, apps, CRM systems, and social selling tools that work best.

July 29, 2016

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What makes a top performing salesperson different from the rest? How do they attract and interact with prospects and clients? What sales tools, CRM systems, and time management apps do they use to close the deal? Are they social sellers or old school cold callers?

The answers to these burning questions might surprise you.

The tips contained below should help close the very real gap between top performers that exceed quotas and the sales reps that fall short. This week’s top social selling tips explore the minds, habits, and tools of sales leaders to see what makes them the best in the business.

A Portrait of the “Overperforming” Salesperson

This week’s first post from the Harvard Business Review provides an in-depth portrait of an overperforming salesperson. In it, author and speaker Steve W. Martin documents the habits, personality, work ethic, and sales techniques of over 1,000 top performing salespeople—those who achieved more than 125% of their assigned quota last year.

Comprised of field salespeople, inside salespeople, mid-level sales managers, and sales VPs, the exhaustive study spans the full range of sales positions and professionals and dives into both the psychology and methods of top sales performers—with some interesting findings:

●      66% agree that “Money is extremely important, and how I measure personal success”

●      84% think respect and recognition as “one of the best” by their peers is very important

●      42% believe they are a likable person who makes customers feel comfortable

●      32% consider themselves very dependable and good at prioritizing their time

However, the biggest take away was this: just 26% of top performers “believe that knowledge is their most powerful attribute.” Surprisingly, this group had the highest average quota attainment last year at 170%.

7 Apps for Highly Effective B2B Salespeople

Our second article from Chief Revenue Officer for RingLead, John Kosturos takes this idea further to examine the core selling activities, along with the apps and CRM tools that top performers use everyday.

His article begins with the timeless Stephen Covey quote, “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important,” followed quickly by Chet Holmes:

“There’s always a smaller number of best buyers than there are all buyers. That means that marketing and selling to them is cheaper than marketing and selling to all buyers.”

Kosturos highlights 7 steps—and the tools used in each—to reach these “best buyers” including:

1.     Account Research—Market Mapper

2.     Lead Research—Capture

3.     Salesforce Tracking—SalesLoft

4.     Proposals—TinderBox

5.     Email Outreach—Salesloft

6.     Social Selling—Rapportive

7.     Scheduling Meetings—ScheduleOnce

Kosturos even claims that the use of just one tool on this list—Rapportive—is responsible for growing his LinkedIn network to 5000+ connections.

Are Your B2B Sales Practices Improving?

In a recent Pulse article, CEO at Innovative, John Cousineau, references Steve Spear’s High Velocity Edge and asks a simple question: Are you improving?

Cousineau goes on to highlight the key difference between “good” and “great” B2B sales teams: “Faster, more granular performance analytics that make the keys to 'better' clearer for all to see,” he writes. “Enable fast 'discovery rates', and you'll enable fast 'climb rates'.”

Better analytics make better results possible, but it’s people along with “day-to-day assessment” that create top performers.

Ready For a Shock? Only 15% of Salespeople Are Doing This

This week’s final post from Emma Brudner at Hubspot addresses the vital role that social selling plays in today’s top sales performers.

Brudner cites a Sales Benchmark Index report that found that sales reps who incorporate social media into their process exhibited “66% higher quota attainment than their less socially savvy peers.” Social selling clearly works, yet Brudner points to another report from GetApp that reveals only 15% of salespeople use social media in prospecting efforts.

The conclusion is simple: top performers prefer social selling.

Today’s top sales performers aren’t a mystery. They’re simply salespeople that analyze data everyday, employ the right tools to maximize efficiency, and incorporate social selling into their overall strategy.

For more insights about how you can become a top sales performer using social selling techniques, subscribe to the LinkedIn Sales Solution blog.