Ask good questions.
Listen more and talk less.
Sell Solutions rather than products.

These are all essential skills of a top sales performer. But you can do a mediocre job at each of those and still be successful in sales. I bet you know someone who fits that description. You wonder how they manage to hit their numbers month after month. I’ll tell you how.

The truth of the matter is that two separate sets of skills are needed to be a top dog. First you have to be great with prospects and second, you have to be great at prioritizing and executing on the hundreds of tasks you tackle each week. But you don’t have to be great at both.

An estimated 65% of a sales rep’s time is spent on non-selling activities. How you spend that 65% of your time is therefore very critical.

Here’s a mini-checklist of questions you can ask yourself:

  • Have you taken the time to save your best proposals as templates?
  • Have you created a cheat sheet with your best material to use when you’re on the phone?
  • Have you created a list of your best prospects and a plan of attack for each one?
  • Have you thought through what products your current customers should also buy?
  • Are you working on the urgent and important matters first instead of those you have more fun doing?
  • Have you made note of the tasks that waste time and are you committed to find ways to be more efficient?
  • Are you good at delegating?
  • Do you have a good system for remembering (and doing!) scheduled tasks?

You obviously won’t survive in sales long term if you suck at it. However, the better you get at using your non-selling time efficiently, the more time you’ll spend selling. The more time you spend selling, the better you’ll get, and the more you’ll sell.