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How to improve sales rep performance Part 2 - Preparation tips for the first-time sales rep

It takes years of practise to be consistently successful at sales. Let your new rep know it isn’t easy and it takes time to improve their sales performance. With the right sales coaching techniques you can guide them on how to better help their prospects and become a top performer.

Whether you’re new to sales or need a little reminder on how to stay at the top, these useful pre sales preparation tips from Jiminny’s own Scott Sampson and Becky Butler are crucial to being a super sales star:

Useful tips for a successful, productive day
How to prepare for a sales meeting properly
How to plan your prospecting activity
How to prepare for a coaching session

There are the obvious useful tips that spread across all industries and professions, not only to be used for sales staff training. The importance of a great night’s sleep, fresh air, exercise, good nutrition and a tidy desk all help to set you up for success.

nutritionScott Sampson, Sales Director at Jiminny, likes to feel calm and in control by preparing for the day at the end of the previous working day. In his final 30-60 minutes, he wraps-up by planning what he needs to achieve for the next day. He’ll often review sales numbers with the team and filter through deadlines on his to-do list. Scott recommends using tips from Alain Lakein’s ABC Method for effective time management.

“I’ll start the night before by listing (with the old-fashioned pen and paper) five minutes’ worth of annoying tasks, everything I need to do. Then I will prioritize them by labelling them:

A - urgent, must be done today
B - nice to do today but doesn’t matter if it doesn’t get accomplished
C - needs to be done but not pressing

So come in in the morning, I know what I need to do.”

Becky Butler, Senior Account Executive at Jiminny is also a fan of preparing the night before. She structures her day by:

“I like to start my day by tackling the most difficult or daunting things first. I find that I get a real sense of achievement early on by completing these particular tasks and then I can hit the ground running for the rest of the day. Once this is out of the way, I like to do prospecting in the morning as it tends to take a long time to do well. If I leave prospecting to late afternoon then I usually find it that bit harder.


I also block-out time in the team calendar to prepare for certain things ahead of events or meetings. This way the team knows what I'm doing and keeps me accountable.”

How to prepare for a sales meeting properly

Whether it’s a remote or a face-to-face meeting, the physical space you meet in can create a lasting impression. You and your prospect need to feel comfortable. Checking you are working in the right environment and having suitable software for communication is fundamental to preparing for a great meeting. Also, make sure you are dressed appropriately (at least the upper half of your body). Once that is sorted then it comes down to how are you going to prepare.

researchBecky - 

“In initial meetings with a prospect, I like to write notes on a fresh blank sheet of paper. I’ll include the name of the company, name of prospect, their role and at least two key pieces of research found about them to help with a conversation starter.

I’ll also determine what type of meeting it will be - and outline the goal. Once I realize the goal, I can then decide how much time I need to spend on preparing in advance of the meeting."


Scott -

“Similar to Becky, I need to work by defining what the goal of the meeting is first so I don’t miss an opportunity in my planning. Due to Covid-19 type of time we're spending with each other and our prospects are different, it's less connected. Therefore, I need to plan how to make the best use of the time.

Before the meeting, I sometimes send an email with a short video setting expectations about what the meeting will involve for the prospect. Alternatively, a small survey pre-meeting to get to know the customer better is always deeply insightful.

I then have a template on a Google Document where I write a small handful of things I want to learn about the person on the sales call. I might prepare a question that the prospect has special knowledge about. I always want to build credibility with the customer to build rapport and make the meeting a de-stressful experience.”

How to plan your prospecting activity

social media

Scott -

“I like to plan for the month ahead. Although it's an ever evolving process to keep on top of. Everyday, I want to put in the hardwork in researching a narrower pool of people to find a better bunch of buyers. Then, I will bucket leads into interests and priorities. For example, this might be by finding out what they write about on their social media. Then I apply a time-management plan on when to approach them. Rather than working on volume, the team and I like to create the best possible buying journey to people that we will add the most value to. Lots of people worry about being sold to, but we really like to qualify who we speak to. We need to research the evidence to know that we can help them.”

Becky -

“As someone starting a new sales job, I think about the product and believe in the product. I do research on targeted accounts that would benefit from having this product. Then pick a number of companies that I know would love this product when put in front of them. I want them to have an aha moment. I pick the ideal people I really want to target and read their LinkedIn profiles and social posts, including things they have commented about. By doing this I can ensure that I'm targeting the people that are going to most benefit from what I am selling. Then, I think about making my sales approach highly tailored...”

How do you prepare for a sales performance coaching session?

Scott - explains he has a structured and prepared approach to improving his sales performance, and argues why coaching is so important to factor in his week. Read more about this in Scott's blog here

Want to read more about how to improve sales rep performance? Then watch out next week for Part-3 in the series.


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