Sales has been a profession that has always held a captivating allure. There was a time when the ability to speak persuasively and convince others was considered the golden ticket to a lucrative sales career. It seemed so appealing that people thought that by simply talking well, you could master sales and effortlessly persuade people to buy. But alas, this notion was nothing more than a myth while working in sales.
The truth is, the world of sales is far more intricate and challenging than meets the eye. With over 5.7 million sales representatives around the world, it’s an arena where you’ll only come to understand its realities through firsthand experience. Today, a successful sales representative must possess much more than the gift of gab. The days of fast-talking salespeople are long gone. Instead, they must embrace a hybrid role, combining the skills of a sales rep with the expertise of a consultant.
Rather than plunging headfirst into sales unprepared, it’s crucial to unveil the untold truths of this profession. Our aim is to equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision about whether a sales career is the right path for you.
In this blog, we will break down the realities of working in sales, ensuring you have a clear understanding of what lies ahead.
1. Leave your ego at the door – every day
“Sales are contingent on the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect.” William Clement Stone
Sales is a tough gig, and one of the most critical skills to succeed in this field is leaving your ego at the door every day. As a salesperson, you’re bound to hear a lot of “no’s” from customers. They may turn you down without giving any explanation or even ignore your initial communication. It’s easy to let your ego take over, to want to be right, or to have the last word, but that’s not productive. Instead, successful salespeople understand the importance of providing solutions that meet their clients’ needs while putting aside personal biases.
Removing ego from your interactions with clients is crucial to fostering long-lasting relationships. When you check your ego, you become genuine and relatable, allowing you to bring a personal touch to your interactions with prospects. Through this, you’ll build trust, making it easier for clients to open up to you and share their needs. It also means focusing on the customer’s point of view and demonstrating humility in your approach. This will help you establish a personal connection with prospects and earn their respect.
Each day brings different challenges, but it’s essential to let go of self-centered tendencies, defensiveness, and boasting. Instead, you should focus on understanding your customers’ pain points, offering empathy, and communicating transparently. This approach will help you build meaningful relationships that can last for years, allowing you to succeed in a highly competitive field like sales. Remember, your ego is not your friend while working in sales. Your customers are.
2. Embrace continuous learning
“Practice is just as valuable as a sale. The sale will make you a living; the skill will make you a fortune.” Jim Rohn
While it’s exciting to have the opportunity to grow, it requires continuous dedication and relentless self-improvement while working in sales. Do not expect your sales leader to reach out to you and inform you of ways to improve yourself. In fact, self-teaching is one of the critical skills for a successful career in sales. It helps you stay motivated, become better at what you do, and stand out from the crowd of other sales reps.
Being a keen observer and analyzing every single action you take will help design a better way to get the job done. Expanding your knowledge beyond your current work process is key. Take the opportunity to talk to other team members and leaders to exchange ideas on the latest trends in sales and how they can be implemented in your process. Learning from other industries is also valuable. Spending a couple of hours every day reading motivational books is a great way to stay inspired.
Dedication to growth goes beyond attending seminars or reading books. It means taking ownership of your own learning, asking questions, and actively seeking opportunities to sharpen your abilities. This curiosity and determination to push oneself further are traits of successful sales reps.
It is not just your colleagues or leaders you can learn from. Ask relevant questions of your customers and prospects about what you can do to improve their experience working with you. Analyze your company’s set processes and find ways to get the job done faster and more efficiently. Conduct surveys or distribute questionnaires to gain feedback on customer experiences.
3. Resilience: Triumphs and Tribulations
“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” Thomas Paine
Sales is a wild ride, full of thrilling triumphs and challenging tribulations. While it’s important to celebrate the wins, it’s equally crucial to be prepared for the inevitable bumps in the road of your sales journey. Developing resilience and a positive mindset is the key to navigating through tough times, learning from setbacks, and emerging even stronger.
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity, and it’s a critical trait for any salesperson. The truth is, no matter how skilled or experienced you are, sales will always be unpredictable. Whether you experience a slump in your numbers, lose a big deal, or find yourself dealing with a difficult customer, setbacks are bound to happen.
So how can you develop resilience and maintain a positive mindset in the face of adversity? It starts with acknowledging that setbacks are a normal part of the sales journey and reframing them as opportunities for growth and learning. When you encounter a challenge, take a step back and look for the lesson. Ask yourself what you can learn from the situation and how you can use that knowledge to improve your approach in the future.
4. Value Relationships Over Transactions
“Make a customer, not a sale.” Katherine Barchetti
In the world of sales, it’s often easy to get caught up in the lure of transactions. The thrill of closing a big deal can be intoxicating, but it’s important not to lose sight of what truly matters: relationships. Prioritizing strong connections with clients can lead to an abundance of rewards—a loyal customer base and a robust network of professionals, to name a few.
But how can you cultivate these relationships? It starts with putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. Even if you are unsure whether or not they will immediately buy from you, it’s essential to treat them with the same level of importance as you would a high-value client. Take the time to guide them with any resources they may need, even if they don’t directly benefit you.
When you treat every prospect and customer with respect and value their needs, it will be your positive attitude and helpfulness that set you apart from the rest. And don’t forget to follow through with your promises. If you tell a client you will get something done, deliver on it immediately. This level of reliability and consistency will earn you their trust and confidence, which can be priceless in the long run.
So, take a step back from the transaction-focused mentality and focus on building strong relationships. Not only will it make your work more fulfilling, but it can also lead to greater success in the future.
5. Time management challenges
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” Jim Rohn
Sales professionals must be masters of multitasking, as they have to manage their time efficiently to balance multiple priorities. They spend countless hours researching prospects online, crafting email campaigns, and perfecting sales pitches to reel in potential customers. However, being a salesperson is anything but easy. This career demands long hours, often with a 24/7 on-call schedule. To succeed, sales professionals must possess top-notch time management skills and be adaptable to changing circumstances.
Picture this: you’re a sales professional, and your day is jam-packed with back-to-back appointments and pressing deadlines. You’re constantly communicating with prospects, managing internal team communications, and coordinating with various departments. To excel in this field, you need to be a master of organization and time management, all while remaining professional and calm in high-stress situations.
To add to this challenge, salespeople also spend large amounts of time researching their prospects and markets. Their work may require them to sift through countless industry articles, analyze data, and make strategic decisions based on their findings. This requires hours of research and analysis, all from behind a computer screen.
It’s clear that a career in sales is anything but simple. It’s a demanding job that requires dedication, in-depth knowledge, and exceptional organizational skills. For those willing to put in the time and effort, however, success is possible. All it takes is the right balance of skill, focus, and hustle to truly succeed.
6. Adapting to Technological Advancements
“At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years if they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies.” John Chambers, Cisco
In today’s digital age, keeping pace with technological advancements is no longer an option but a necessity, especially for sales professionals. By adopting new tools and technologies, sales reps can enhance productivity, streamline processes, and deliver a superior customer experience. Technology is no longer an adversary but an indispensable ally that can provide a competitive edge and take sales strategies to new heights.
One golden rule for achieving success while working in sales is to avoid the pitfall of sticking to legacy work processes. With the world evolving at lightning speed, sales reps need to remain open to embracing and keeping abreast of new technologies that can make working in sales a breeze.
Say hello to the power of videos! Gone are the days when sales reps had to do manual sales outreach to each potential client, send templated emails, or schedule face-to-face meetings to build rapport. Now, technology has made it possible to create and send personalized videos that help put a face to your name, boosting client relationships. Videos can be used at every stage of the sales process, including prospecting, follow-up, demos, sales enablement, and closing.
Now, you may be wondering, “Isn’t creating videos for every prospect time-consuming?” At Hippo Video, we have the solutions: Video Flows and Humanize AI. With Video Flows, you select a video template that best suits your prospect’s sales stage and either upload or record videos based on each slide of the template. The final output is a seamless and professional video. With Humanize AI, creating personalized videos at scale is a cinch. You can create hundreds of videos tailored to each prospect, and the AI will voice-personalize each video, calling each individual by name and even personalizing the background with their LinkedIn profile or website. Such technology has never been available before, making clients feel seen and heard in a unique way.
Another tool to leverage effectively is ChatGPT. It can take the most onerous sales tasks off your plate, which is a necessity to being productive while working in sales. When adequately incorporated into your sales process repertoire, it guarantees that you know precisely what to say, how best to say it, and much more, so you never miss a beat in landing new leads. ChatGPT helps by offering insights into information about potential clients, industry trends, competitors, or market insights. Whether it’s providing viable responses or strategies to address objections effectively, overcoming sales-related hurdles, or assisting in sales role-play, ChatGPT provides you with all the relevant data and helps you stay informed, which is critical in sales.
In conclusion, incorporating technology into sales processes is crucial, and tools such as videos and ChatGPT can give you a competitive advantage, taking your sales strategies to the moon and beyond!
Are you sales-ready?
Working in sales is an adventure that goes beyond surface-level expectations. By leaving your ego at the door, embracing continuous learning, developing resilience, prioritizing relationships, mastering time management, and adapting to technological advancements, you unlock the true potential of a successful sales career. So, step into the world of sales armed with these hidden truths, and watch as you navigate the challenges, seize opportunities, and achieve remarkable results. Remember, it’s the unspoken secrets that truly shape your journey in the dynamic world of sales.
If you haven’t experienced the power of videos yet, take Hippo Video for a spin and get eye-opening insights into how it can transform your sales career. With features such as Humanize AI, AI Editor, Video Flows, Teleprompter, and Personalized Videos, you can achieve a level of engagement and personal connection with your audience that was previously unattainable. Check out Hippo Video today and experience its true capabilities for yourself. We have also revamped our pricing plans and offer a freemium option, allowing you to try our platform for free.