SalesHQ.com offers up an article that discusses the “secrets” of top sales achievers.  A couple of the secrets:

• Position themselves with the real decision-makers and avoid those without ‘approval power’. They are able to first identify and then access the formal decision making unit.

• Recognize when to treat an old account as a new prospect and keep the relationship fresh, alive and maintain profitability

And then there is the most important one:

• Never entertain business they do not want because they recognize that it takes just as long to work an unprofitable opportunity through the sales funnel, only to lose it at the death, as it does a profitable one. They trust their own judgement but also rely heavily on objective assessment.

That last secret cannot be stressed enough.  This point is a fine one, but the strongest salespeople recognize a dog when they see one and move on.  If the prospective deal is a loser for them, they go find a new prospect.  This ability is difficult to train but crucial to success.

As a sales manager, it is imperative that you question your salespeople on what information they have qualified for any prospective deal on their forecast.  If you don’t, some of the salespeople will waste time chasing low probability deals to appear busy.  The end result will be surprise that they didn’t get the deal closed at the end.

I know this because I have done it as a sales rep.

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