8 salespeople, their New Year’s resolutions, and a bunch of takeaways for you

A very happy new year to you! Here at Freshworks, our salespeople are gearing up for 2018. It’s a challenging year for them, as always, and we wanted to find out what they had in mind. So we got a bunch of them on camera and listened.

As we put these resolutions together, we realized something. What our sales folks wanted to do in 2018 could resonate with salespeople around the world. Doubling revenue, using social media to network and sell better, attending industry events—these are universal goals.

So we hunted for people, articles and stats to add insights to this conversation. And we found some key takeaways in the process.

Let’s roll.

1. Cutting down on response times

Sales professionals swear by response times, yes, but the question is: how much is too much? 39 hours sounds insanely long for companies to revert to their leads. But stats say it’s the average time taken by most companies. 30 minutes sounds good, but it’s still too long—5 minutes is where you want to be. The odds of converting a lead are 21x higher when you reach out within 5 minutes.

2. Building a knowledge base

Reading what the experts have written is a good start towards building a knowledge base. It’s also crucial to curate your reading list and have a set of go-to people/groups you can follow regularly. This list of 23 sales reads, featuring prominent sales players like Jeff Shore, Jill Konrath and Sales Hacker, can get you started.

3. Demonstrating value

The common refrain in sales is, “Demonstrate value, the product will sell itself.” But how do you do it? In this Forbes article, the author uses a real-life example about how Maersk cracked the code on this one. It’s a crisp case study that doubles up as a sales guide, with 4 tips you can use right away.

4. Using social media to sell

Where does work happen? Where does socializing happen? The lines are blurring, and social media is at the heart of this discourse. More than 70% of sales professionals use social selling tools like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. 90% of top-performing salespeople are using these tools. And these are just some of the numbers from the “state of sales” report by LinkedIn.

5. Doubling sales

Mansi is a seasoned salesperson here at Freshworks, and she prefers talking business up front 🙂 So does businesswoman and author Christine Comaford, with a 3-step approach that advises sales reps to educate customers if they want to double their sales.

6. Attending industry events

We’re pretty sure you already have a list of conferences and events you want to attend this year. If you’re new to sales and looking to learn more about the benefits of attending industry conferences, content expert Chris Marr’s write-up should help. And keep watching this space—we’re compiling a list of sales events you cannot miss in 2018.

7. Understanding different types of sales

Inbound sales, outbound sales, channel sales—they’re all different, and they come with their own challenges and skill sets. If you’re keen to know more about each discipline, a comparative analysis can be effective. Here’s an example: the differences between direct sales and channel sales.

8. Being creative

Creativity in sales? It’s not far-fetched if you’re willing to try 🙂 Writing for Entrepreneur, sales leader Gregg Schwartz explores ways in which sales reps can get creative. This includes a reference to San Francisco entrepreneur Joe Garvey, who says he gets 20% of his revenue wearing crazy-looking pants during his networking sessions!

For more resolutions, check out our complete playlist here.

What’s your sales resolution for 2018? Tell us in the Comments. And here’s wishing you a big 2018—may the deals be with you 😀 

If you’re looking for a CRM that makes your life and sales easier, give Freshsales a shot. It comes with in-built phone and lead scoring, the ability to integrate your email with the CRM, reports, workflows and more.