A proactive sales rep is the kind of individual who’s always looking into the future in order to be prepared for anything. A successful sales rep exerts self-discipline to be proactive on behalf of their prospecting efforts. This is in complete contrast to the reactive sales rep, who’s constantly chasing opportunities; as their sales funnel walls come crumbling down around them because marketing or business developers aren’t providing them enough leads.

Successful sales reps learn to keep prospecting at the forefront and schedule the time to make it happen. This is part of your job as a sales rep.

“If you are waiting for someone to help you, you may end up waiting a long time; take charge and be proactive, take charge of each day.” -Adrian Michael, Author

Developing a proactive sales strategy is absolutely essential if you are going to gain net new business or cross sell solutions into existing clients. To just make do with existing resources with no proactive developmental sales strategy is a recipe for disaster.

In today’s crazy busy business environment, prospects have less time to meet with you and they are much more skeptical resulting in anxiety, stressed sales reps. All of this leads to a reactive mindset instead of a proactive mindset.

A sales rep’s mindset is powerful as this has a direct impact on self-esteem, levels of expectations which ultimately leads to underperformance, call reluctance and complacency. Opportunities are missed and so is relationship equity with many clients and future clients.

Attitude Check for Sales Reps and Sales Management

As a sales manager, you may suspect that your sales team has become reactive instead of proactive regarding the current sales strategy. I encourage you to self-reflect and ask yourself these questions…

  • Does prospecting meet with reluctance on the part of your sales team?
  • Is your sales team simply reacting to incoming inquiries instead of proactively generating new opportunities by uncovering the customer’s pain and offering solutions?
  • Does your sales team spend most of their time calling on the same unqualified pipeline hopefuls without any results?
  • Does your sales team feel prospecting is a waste of time because they have been coached to the same old prospecting methods?

5 Proactive Paths Next Gen Sales Reps Use to Grow Their Sales Revenue

Successful sales reps integrate next generation methodologies when it comes to business development. They develop a change creator’s mindset looking to perpetually propel themselves forward with their sales development. The proactive business development recipe is quite simple… phone, email, referrals, social selling, community networking events and quarterly business reviews.

Crushing it as a Sales Rep Means Integrating a Modern Approach to Prospecting

Let’s get real for a moment… buying behavior has changed so much that the traditional sales playbook, developed years and years ago inside your organization, simply doesn’t work as efficiently as it used to, correct? The reality is the buyer is dictating the sales process.

Next generation sales reps acknowledge this shift by changing their mindset while developing additional skill sets around top of sales funnel activities. This mindset includes conducting research, following-up, establishing connections, nurturing relationships and scheduling meetings.

Next Gen Sales Reps Drive Additional Sales Revenue By:

    • Creating target lists of companies within their marketplace. Integrate modern sales tools such as Twitter, Google News/Alerts and LinkedIn to conduct research determining appropriate contacts.
    • Following these targeted companies and contacts. Leveraging Twitter, Google News/Alerts and LinkedIn to learn as much as they can about their prospects.
    • Incorporating social listening and trigger events to understand what their buyer cares about.
    • Connecting with them on LinkedIn with meaning while personalizing the invitation.
    • Nurturing and building the relationship through educational content. They become engagement magnets by driving 1-1 online conversation.
    • Engaging with potential prospects regarding their interests, concerns and initiatives.
    • Turning these online conversations into phone calls and thus into face-to-face meetings by building credibility, value and trust worthiness. They become visible and valuable inside their networks.
    • Helping potential prospects through the buying process by making the journey about helping them solve their business problems or challenges.

Accountability is the Glue that Ties Commitment to Results

To be truly proactive and follow these best practices involves extreme focus, process, discipline and personal accountability. A strong alignment of activities with an emphasis on objectives, process for continuous improvement and a discipline toward utilizing best practices throughout the sales process is a must for performance at all levels.

Proactive vs. Reactive in Building your Business

A proactive prospecting approach focuses on eliminating problems before they have a chance to appear while a reactive approach is based on responding to events after they have happened. The difference between these two approaches is the perspective each sales rep provides in assessing the actions and events to keep the sales funnel full.

A Proactive Strategy

Creating a proactive sales strategy includes planning, profiling targeted accounts, executing account strategies and obtaining feedback to continuously improve performance and drive additional sales revenue. Creating a business plan and setting goals facilitates this potential into achievable numeric objectives, i.e. sales revenue and margin growth. This is the basis of proactive selling.

I understand where you all are coming from. I have walked a day in a life of your shoes.

I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social selling into your current sales process to grow net-new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way.

If you would like some inspiration I welcome the conversation or send me a message to llevine@socialsalesacademy.net. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse and has been adapted for use on this blog with kind permission of Larry Levine

In 2016, Larry was recognized by ENX Magazine, “The Difference Maker” as someone who is making a difference inside the copier channel. Larry is passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image

You can find more blog posts inside the Social Sales Academy website.

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