4 Winning Habits of High Performing B2B Sales Teams
FullFunnel has worked alongside hundreds of B2B organizations in the past decade, observing and implementing winning sales habits that drive performance and enable a repeatable, scalable sales process. Despite some variability based on industry, persona, and individual sales teams, we’ve found that most successful salespeople share four very key traits.
In this blog, let’s explore these habits and, more importantly, how you can hope to instill them within your own B2B sales team.
A Thirst For and Understanding of Data
Gut instincts only get you so far in sales. Over the years, we’ve interacted with countless B2B sales teams that operate with a very loose understanding of goals, where those goals came from, and what the sales funnel actually looks like. Very rarely do these goals reflect hard financial realities, or do the goals change as conversion rates down the funnel change.
There is no question that the most successful salespeople are data-driven. This is something that must be taught, and that will likely take months to master. Salespeople should be able to pull numbers and tell you their conversion rates at every step of the funnel and how that translates into a return on investment.
From an operational perspective, the best B2B sales teams find ways to keep track of how much time they are putting into a sale. If you are spending hours upon hours trying to book meetings with nothing to show for it, you need to re-evaluate. Understanding the relationship between your efforts and what outputs it generates, and turning this into data, can be a tremendous tool for helping your sales team.
Organization and Communication
It’s of the utmost importance that your sales team has a central hub for organization and communication. Too many B2B organizations allow their best salespeople to operate in a silo, without logging any conversations in the CRM or developing any playbooks for others to follow. This is often driven by a competitive culture that encourages salespeople to look out for themselves and out-compete, as opposed to helping peers.
The importance of diligent use of a CRM cannot be overstated. Your CRM should serve as the central source of truth, not only to provide a reliable source for performance data, but to ensure you can build a repeatable and scalable process based on success. Any email exchange and phone conversation should be logged immediately, and salespeople should be held accountable for updating fields to indicate progress down the funnel.
A standard goal framework is also an incredibly valuable tool for ensuring alignment across a B2B sales team. The FullFunnel team has found that using the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) methodology for goal setting is a tremendous way of setting and keeping track of goals in a way that promotes transparency and accountability.
Understanding the Importance of Empathy
Any successful sales team understands that empathy is critical to the sales process. To properly communicate value to a prospect, it is imperative to have a firm understanding of their pain points, and how your product or service represents a solution to that pain. Surprisingly, this has become a bit of a lost art in the industry. A 2017 Harvard Business Review Study found that buyers only viewed 18% of the salespeople they interacted with as “trusted advisors.”
Recognizing that you’re there to solve problems first and hit quotas second is something that only comes with experience for many sales professionals.
Displaying empathy during sales calls is equally important as understanding the needs and feelings of the prospect. Ask questions, acknowledge their fears, and offer to help, even if it doesn’t seem like an opportunity that may yield immediate results. Showing that you understand where prospects are coming from, and taking every opportunity to be helpful goes a long way into building relationships that will be a net benefit to your business, even if they don’t translate to an immediate decision or sale.
A Winning Culture
The very B2B best sales teams have a distinct culture that sets them apart from the rest. At FullFunnel, we’ve observed countless cultures over the years, and we’ve come to find that organizations that promote transparency, teamwork, and accountability are the ones that thrive. Most B2B sales teams rely on a highly competitive culture in order to drive results. While this can work in the short term, it also often leads to high employee turnover and siloed processes that hurt the organization in the long run. There’s a big difference between a team that will hit quota at any cost, and building a team and culture that is capable of hitting and exceeding quotas on a regular basis.
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If you are a B2B organization looking to supercharge your sales, schedule a free consultation to learn more about FullFunnel’s approach and how we’ve designed, built, and scaled successful sales programs for hundreds of organizations across the globe.
This article was originally published February 2, 2023 and has been re-published to reflect current information.