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The 6 Steps Top Sales Performers Take to Get to #1

09 February 2021

Years of experience and outstanding job performance are not mutually inclusive. Thinking otherwise leads to seriously lackluster hiring.

This isn’t to say that becoming the best of the best doesn’t require time. Perfecting your craft is a marathon, not a sprint.

But, performing well — in a way that moves people to take action — is different from simply performing.

So, if years of experience won’t make you qualified, what does it take to be a top sales performer?

First, find the right sales prospecting software. Then, take these six key steps.

Note: Want to build a winning sales pipeline that will blow your sales to the roof?  Try Leadfeeder free for 14 days to maximize your website data to quality leads.

#1: Be in the right place

You can’t always control whether you’re in the right place at the right time. Some of it is just luck. But, you’re more likely to recognize the “right” place if you’re observant. 

If you want to have outsized success in sales, you have to find something you truly believe in. 

The product or service you’re selling should be one you choose to advocate because you know it’s valuable for your customers. 

If you force it, it’ll show — in your outreach, how you listen (or don’t) to your customer’s pain points, and how you ultimately pitch “tailored” solutions.

As Josh Mueller, a top seller at Costco, says, “If it’s not world-class, don’t sell it.”

Be mindful of the strength of your offering and how you’re serving your clients.

Additionally, be in the right place by choosing the right team to surround you.

Try to land in a working environment that fosters your ability to do well.

Sales requires too much work to be worrying about internal challenges. 

Look for opportunities based on the quality of the product, demand, emerging trends, and who is at the helm of the ship.

#2: Find mentors

There’s a well-known Jim Rohn quote that says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. 

How do you increase averages?

Get higher numbers by hanging out with the best-sellers in your organization. Build a relationship, learn from them, and find ways to return the favor.

These are your “internal mentors”. External mentors can come from outside resources and your customer base. 

Try to understand your potential clients and learn how they want to be sold. 

What are their challenges? What does their day-to-day look like? When they make a decision, what do they care about and look for?

Every company will offer its own onboarding processes and professional development opportunities. However, you’re the only one in control of your improvement over the long haul.

Read all the sales books, listen to the podcasts, watch the webinars, and network with those at the top. Dedicate yourself to continuous improvement and expertise.

#3: Develop your own process

From MEDDIC to mutual opt-in, there are plenty of sales methodologies in existence that have been written about and tested to “perfection”.

Becoming a top sales performer does not require you to go in blind or rely on one fail-safe sales technique. 

Successful salespeople are eager to learn and study from those who came before. Then, they cherry-pick the strategies that work best for them — creating something all their own.

You don’t have to adhere to old, cheesy sales techniques because they’re “tried and true”.

The key is to develop a process that resonates with your personality, delivery style, and what you’re selling. Your process shouldn’t feel unnatural to you or your customer. 

Find your own voice and you’ll find your own way of getting results.

#4: Do the work

For top sellers, getting to the top means working harder and smarter. 

You may have to pick your battles and make trade-offs while establishing a work-life balance. However, you can minimize sacrifice by maximizing strategy.

Quantify and measure your efforts to refine and improve them. Assess your activities, gather data in a large enough volume to identify trends and impact, and A/B test.

It makes a difference to have awareness and a desire to see improvement. It shows you’re not just going through the motions but learning from what does and does not meet expectations.

This is how you achieve the right combination of hard work and smart work that produces results.

#5: Remember that mindset matters

Achieving 2X sales starts as an idea. You have to believe you are capable of succeeding before you can. And when you’re ready to set goals that’ll help you excel, forget your quota.

Trey Simonton, Global Accounts Director at Bazaarvoice, shares what he calls the Deal Horizon Spreadsheet

In this spreadsheet, you take any quota directed by your boss and multiply it by 2 or 3. Then, you operate under the new number as if the previous quota never existed.

What’s the level of activity you’ll need to put out?

The definitive plan you put in place and your mindset will work in tandem to achieve the results you want.

#6: Be yourself

A lot of us think a top salesperson is someone that’s super extroverted, aggressive, and ruthless — ready to run over their grandmother to win a deal. 

But there’s room for introverts to succeed, too. It’s better to smash the stereotype if you want to claim a top spot in sales. 

This is because the most consistently successful salespeople care the most. They’re concerned about the client’s experience before and after the deal is made. 

They ask hard questions, push their customers in intelligent ways, and exceed expectations in post-sale follow-ups (even if it’s not in their job description). 

They’ll even walk away from deals that aren’t the right “fit”.

There’s no perfect personality type for a top seller. But there is an authentic self — that prioritizes beyond the bottom line.

Final thoughts: How to become a top sales performers in 6 steps

If becoming a top sales performer was easy, everyone would do it (effort is a powerful deterrent). 

Lucky for you — as someone with drive, vision, and great taste in blog content — succeeding in sales can be easier than ever. 

Just work hard, tell the truth, champion relationships, and throw your quota out the window. 

Need more detail on the six steps top sales performers take to get to number one? Watch our recorded webinar.

Note: Want to build a winning sales pipeline that will blow your sales to the roof?  Try Leadfeeder free for 14 days to maximize your website data to quality leads.

Anna Crowe
By Anna Crowe

Anna works as a SEO Consultant and writer for Search Engine Land. Over the last decade, Anna has successfully developed and implemented online marketing strategies, SEO, and conversion campaigns for 100+ businesses of all sizes; from the Fortune 500, to startups, and nonprofits. She enjoys burritos and puppies (in that order).

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