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Sales tips

So You’re New to Sales, Now What?

What To Expect As a New Seller

Like many things in life, success in sales is about managing expectations. If you don’t understand the realities of the job, you may sabotage your success.

Let’s talk about what a new sales job is really like:

1. The Typical Sales Cycle Is Longer Than You Think

You may imagine a fast-paced work environment where you’re closing deals right and left. In reality, the average sales cycle is 75 days, and B2B sales cycles are even longer. If you don’t close a deal within your first week on the job, remember that nurturing leads takes time, persistence, and patience.

2. Collaboration Is Essential

The sales world can be extremely competitive, with everyone working hard to hit their goals and quotas. However, the best new sellers understand that collaboration is one of the fastest ways to gain momentum. Today’s sales departments are breaking down silos and turning to marketing, procurement, and other departments to increase knowledge, opportunities, and sales.

3. Buyers Don’t Hate You — They Don’t Believe You Can Solve Their Problems

The average worker gets 121 emails a day and spends less than 10 seconds reading each one. If you don’t hear back from most of your email recipients, don’t assume they hate you — they probably just aren’t compelled by your message. They’re short on time. Their inbox is full. So if they don’t think you can help solve their problems, they’re going to move on quickly.

This is why crafting concise, compelling emails that get to the root of their pain points quickly is important. If you can do that, your buyers will make time to respond — even when their inbox is overflowing.

4. You Won’t Always Meet Your Quota

Most new sellers assume that they'll meet their quota every time if they’re cut out for the job. In truth, many sellers miss quotas quite frequently. In fact, only 60% of salespeople met their quota in the average month.

Rather than letting this discourage you, use it as motivation to improve. Figure out how to respond well to setbacks, develop a growth mindset, and come back stronger the next time around.

3 Steps to Kickstart Your Sales Career

Once you adjust your expectations of what selling is really like, it’s time to dive in. Here are three things you can do right now to start getting results.

1. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Nearly half of buyers research sales professionals on LinkedIn, and 50% avoid sellers with incomplete profiles. So, how can you build a sales profile that converts? Here are a few best practices:

  • Make sure your profile is searchable and public
  • Add professional photos—no filters or distractions!
  • Write a value-adding headline
  • Include all relevant work experience
  • Upload videos and photos
  • Collect recommendations and reviews

2. Write Better Emails

Personalization is the name of the game in 2024. So if you want better results, your emails need to get personal, too. This means taking time to get to know the buyer and customizing your greeting and sales pitch based on what you learn.

Check out their social media. Read company updates. Discover their unique pain points, then get to the heart of the message right away.

3. Sell to the Right People

Maybe we’ve already driven this point home, but it’s one of the key sales principles and well worth repeating. You may spend all your time optimizing your profiles and writing great messaging. But it will all fall short if you’re not selling to the right people.

Take your time learning about your prospects. Understand their pain points. Then, engage with the people whom you can actually help. Fine-tune your message so they see how your product will benefit their day-to-day lives. Show you’re someone they can trust. From there, everything else will fall into place.

5 Books Every New Seller Should Read

Want to learn the tools and techniques of some of the greatest sellers in the world? Start by picking up these best-selling sales books. 

1. Gap Selling by Keenan

This engaging, easy-to-read book has a simple but vital message: if a buyer doesn’t have a problem you can solve, you shouldn’t try selling to them. It’s one of the best ways to learn about uncovering pain points, discovering their impact, and finding the root cause of those pain points.

2. The Transparency Sale by Todd Caponi 

Let’s be honest — the sales industry has a stereotype. This book explains how to break the mold and stand out from competitors by being delightfully transparent.

3. Exactly What to Say by Phil M Jones

When looking for actionable sales tips, look no further than this book. It’s packed with specific, impactful phrases and words you can use to influence buyers and get better results. Pull out the notepad and be ready to take notes.

4. Problem Prospecting by Mark Ackers, Richard Smith, and Stuart Taylor

Consider this book your playbook for modern B2B prospecting. It covers researching prospects, writing personalized emails, opening cold calls, and asking the right questions. You’ll come away with tons of tactical advice to use daily on the job.

5. The Secrets of Question-Based Selling by Thomas A Freese

Want to step up your discovery and ask better questions? Then check out this masterclass for account executives. Every chapter is filled with tips on how to better understand what buyers are thinking and feeling, which is key to closing deals.

The Best Podcasts for New Sellers

Podcasts are among the best ways to learn the ropes as a new seller. Press play and soak up knowledge while you work out, commute, cook dinner, or lie in bed. Here are some of the top contenders to download now:

1. 30 Minutes to President’s Club

The top sales podcast in the world, 30 Minutes to President’s Club, is guaranteed to help you increase your success with value-dense sales tactics and an actionable sales toolkit.

2. Everything Is Sales

Hosted by Sabri Lakhani, former CEO and founder of SalesWorks, this podcast should be a go-to resource for new SDRs. It’s full of actionable tips that will quickly improve your sales game, from mindset changes to tactical ideas.

3. Sales Babble

Another must-have for new sellers, Sales Babble, is all about “secrets for non-sellers.” It teaches how to have a helping mindset and explains why you don’t have to be pushy to be successful in sales.

4. The Sales Evangelist

When you need a little pick-me-up, turn to this great beginner's guide to sales. Host Donald Kelly shares tips on finding the ideal buyer, showcasing value, and closing deals.

4 Thought Leaders Every New Seller Should Follow

LinkedIn Isn’t just a place to find leads — it’s also a place to build community and discover sales mentors. Here are some of the top voices to follow in 2024:

1.  Jen Allen-Knuth

Founder of DemandJen and host of the 30 Minutes to President’s Club podcast, Jen is a master of no-nonsense sales. She shares tips on writing cold emails, getting prospects to care about what you’re selling, and accelerating B2B sales cycles.

2. Alex Alleyne

Alex is an insightful follow for tips on outbound prospecting. He posts videos explaining how his company generated 34 leads in 7 days, automated a sales team, and closed a multi-5-figure deal in 24 hours.

3. Hannah Ajikawo

Hannah helps B2B companies optimize sales processes and convert more from their pipeline. She’s an advocate for diversity in sales and shares how to build more focused messaging, better outreach, better timing, and more.

4. Kevin “KD” Dorsey

If you’re in SaaS sales, KD is a must-follow. He explains how to leverage AI for better sales, develop simple strategies that work, and pivot in the modern sales industry.

The Bottom Line

Sales is both an art and a science. It requires a bevy of hard and soft skills, and it can be a lot to take in when you’re just getting started. My best advice is to give yourself grace, be persistent, and never stop learning. When you have the right mindset and tools at your disposal, you can truly become a master of your craft. 

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