Often, being a good salesperson is seen as something innate.
And yes, there’s no doubt that natural attributes like emotional intelligence and empathy play a big role in every business developer’s success.
But the good news is that many of the things that make you successful can be taught. And if they can be taught, you can learn them.
Find out how to improve your game by reading our list of the 6 key sales skills you can acquire
Some people just seem to be better at time management, prioritising and organising their time.
This can have a huge impact on effectiveness. Whether it’s writing a to-do list at the start of each day, reducing your admin, or investing in sales automation so you can access sales documents on the road, there are lots of ways you can free up your time.
This enables you to focus more on priority areas – getting to know your clients and prospects; creating winning proposals and presentations.
- Social selling
Connecting with your contacts via social media doesn’t always come naturally to business developers. Perhaps you think this is something that sits better with your Marketing team – or you’re worried about the Compliance implications of social media?
But using social media to develop relationships with clients and prospects – social selling – can really help you to develop relationships. While corporate social media accounts can share generic messages, you can often speak more authentically to your contacts, focusing on their issues and your relationship.
- The ability to write words that sell
Writing can be a scary prospect. But content marketing isn’t going away – and as with social media – clients and prospects often prefer to hear direct from their account manager.
This blog on How Sales can get the content they need to engage with clients gives you hints on where to go for subject matter, while How to write the perfect sales letter has tips on crafting winning words.
- A strong relationship with Marketing
Working closely with Marketing can be the secret to business development success.
Campaigns that align both teams’ objectives; marketing content that your team finds genuinely useful in starting client conversations; slicker joint processes.
Read more about how to build a closer relationship with your Marketing team in this blog.
- Efficient presentation design
Responding to tenders – producing pitch documents, presentations and proposals – is a core element of your role. But often, inefficient processes mean you spend too much time fiddling with the detail and not enough where you should be focusing – on killer content and tailoring the presentation to your contact’s needs.
But good presentation design skills can be learned – and there are lots of hacks to help you create more professional presentations with less legwork. These blogs on Maximising the impact of your sales presentations and A better way to create and amend PowerPoint presentations have lots of tips.
- An understanding of your business
Deep understanding of your solutions and how they can help your clients and prospects is essential. In-depth product knowledge means you can marry client concerns with appropriate products and services. Take the steps towards greater efficiency we’ve outlined, and you will create the time you need to build this detailed insight.
As we outlined above, you need strategies that save you time when producing presentations. Minimising the time you spend on sales admin frees you up to focus on getting to know your clients and prospects – and devising solutions that meet their needs.
You can read more tips for streamlining the production of sales documents in this case study. It details how AIG halved the time they take to produce bid documents.
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