What salespeople need to succeed in a new sales role

Of course, every new salesperson needs to have a clear understanding of what they are selling. But product knowledge is never enough to ensure success. Bob Apollo lists five things every new (and existing) salesperson needs to master:

  1. The issues you solve. What are the key business issues your offering solves for your customers? What are the typical symptoms of those issues? And what are the consequences of failing to address them?
  2. Your ideal customers. What are the common characteristics of the organisations that are likely to need to address the issues you solve? You can’t just rely on demographics: what about their structural, cultural and behavioural characteristics?
  3. The key roles. What are the key roles that are likely to be responsible for addressing the issues you have chosen to target? What are their typical titles, priorities, and responsibilities? What do they care about?
  4. Trends, catalysts and trigger events. What are the key trends, catalysts and trigger events that are most likely to cause the targeted roles in your targeted accounts to recognise that they need to act now (rather than later) to address the issue(s)?
  5. Time management. Given all of the above, how are you going to focus your energies and plan your time? How can you avoid wasting time on unproductive activities?