The business of sales has changed dramatically in the past ten years. Much of our success now stems from successful content marketing. We can never forget though, that success also stems from effective sales people. And what makes effective sales people? Someone who is managing data to continuously improve our business. The book “The Sales Acceleration Formula” by Mark Roberge, focuses on repeatable and scalable sales practices, and identifying what makes a good salesperson. A great salesperson uses data to drive business. Many businesses are great about collecting data, but don’t often actually use it.
Using Data in Sales
Data and improving how you use data is the backbone of sales. Hiring people can be a completely changed process, based on data collected on previous hires. The way we train and manage people can be altered based on data regarding what works and what does not. Business is quantifiable and numbers help prove who is helping and who is hurting. A salesperson is successful thanks to their numbers. Tracking data can give you clear information on how to optimize your business.
Technology Changes Everything
The internet changed everything about sales. In real estate, online websites give buyers much more power. They have access to so much information before ever interacting with a real estate agent. Instead of just promoting a product, we now have to change the way we interact with people to make it worth their time and money. We have to offer what the internet cannot, which means building meaningful relationships with clients and sharing information differently. Technology drives the need for effective content marketing, because as sales people we are able to make judgements about what best to post for our audience. Computers simply can’t do this.
Content marketing is essential, and there are so many options now for how to share information. Facebook live, Instagram stories, blogging, even podcasts are all easy and unique ways to reach the public. Get your message out in as many ways as you can. Also keep in mind your audience. You are sharing with a community of buyers and sellers, not the entire country. People want to know that you are a part of the community, so instead of focusing solely on sharing listings, try to promote other people, events, restaurants, etc. in the community.
When you share those things out, they touch an audience in a different way than a sales pitch. Plus the businesses or people you are promoting from your community might repay the favor and promote you as well. Don’t forget to balance the information that you are sharing. ⅓ of your content should be your own and ⅔ should be related to and promoting the community. Make sure that the majority of your posts are giving value to your audience as opposed to asking things of them.
Hiring a Sales Team
There is no single answer about what makes a great salesperson, it’s all about what makes the best salesperson in the context of your goals. A salesperson with big corporation experience is not necessarily going to do well in a smaller or newer company, because the sales skills they need are so different. Location also is going to make a difference, since selling in New York is vastly different from selling in Winter Park, Florida. You need to figure out your own formula for the best salesperson for you.
Decide which qualities and skills you value most, and which work best for the type of business you are doing. To make those decisions, keep track of your sales people. Once you have data on who is doing well and who is not, think about what skills or qualities your top sellers have that your lower performing employees do not, and then help them build those skills. In general, the best indicators of success are coachability, curiosity, prior success, intelligence, and work ethic.
When you are trying to grow your business, one of the most important questions to ask is, what breaks after two months? What gets messed up when you leave? Those are the things that are limiting your success, so those are the things that you should focus on fixing. Times have changed, and sales have changed with them. We have to adapt to succeed, and that means utilizing data to our advantage, understanding how technology has changed what we do, and optimizing content marketing to drive our success.