I’ll admit that sales is not for me. As a marketing assistant, I prefer to work behind the scenes (or more specifically, the keyboard.)
However, AbilitySEO doesn’t only deal in marketing, but sales as well. Sales and marketing are tightly linked, and both are integral to business success.To do my best at marketing, I need to know sales as well.
When I first realized this, I panicked. I should’ve learned this years ago! I needed to catch up on the basics of sales, and fast.
So who did I turn to so I could learn Sales 101? Derek Shebby.
Who is he?
Derek Shebby is a sales training expert who mainly works with Fortune 500 companies. In addition to teaching sales in-person, he provides video courses on Skillshare.
At the time I didn’t know about Derek and his experience. I used a free trial of Skillshare to access his courses and other sales courses. I found that most of the courses are aimed at intermediate salespeople that want to learn more. Derek’s courses, however, cover basic sales as well as more advanced topics.
(Note: I am not affiliated with Skillshare or Derek Shebby. I’m just an excited fan who wants to share the word.)
What Did I Learn?
I learned how to win at the sales number game
I think out of the hours I watched, this part of his videos was most inspiring. He started out his course by explaining an easy equation for success:
It seems obvious, but having it laid out like that was very helpful for me. Derek explained that if you have less of either activities or skills, then you need to make up for that with the other. If you have lower skills, you will have to do more activities in order to meet your goals.
Of course! If you’re new to a field, your efforts aren’t going to be as efficient or effective as someone who’s been there for years. Basically, until you have years of experience, you need to hustle!
As a salesperson, this means you may have to make twice as many phone calls or do twice as many demonstrations as your colleague to reach the same results. This isn’t something to be ashamed of or upset about. Find what works and do what you have to in order to get the results you want.
(By the way, this advice can apply to anyone, not just someone in sales.)
I learned how to assess if you’re succeeding at sales
Derek suggests calculating and analyzing many sales metrics. He breaks down each phase of a sales process, and corresponding statistics. For example, for the prospecting stage Derek recommends you know:
- The number of cold calls to get a decision maker to come out/answer phone
- The number of appointments set with decision maker(s)
- The number of calls you need to do in order to get 1 appointment
These metrics help you understand where you are in the prospecting stage and how much more you have to do in order to move to the next stage.
I won’t list all of the metrics he gave (you’ll have to try out his course for those) but some more of what I learned is in (this blog post on sales metrics.) Ultimately I was reminded of what I had learned from marketing: knowledge is power. The easiest way to keep track of knowledge for sales and marketing is statistics.
I learned the main four reasons a customer buys something
I was very interested in this lesson because I could easily apply it to my own work. In marketing, you either tap or create a need for your product or service. To do this, you should know why a customer would choose you over anyone else. In sales, this is individualized for each customer you engage with, based on four general reasons:
- New features and capabilities- your product simply does it better, faster, etc. This is the strongest reason to use as a salesperson.
- Cost savings- your product or service will save the customer money. This can be tricky, because it means your product appears cheap, and as a salesperson you get less commission. It can work well if the customer will get other value on top of savings.
- Reliability issues with current solution- their current product/service isn’t working, and they need you to replace it with your own product/service.
- Net new add- the customer needs something new, and fast. One example is a business expanding to a new location.
In marketing and in sales, you need to know why someone wants what you're offering. Tapping into the thoughts and feelings of your customers is the first step in inbound sales.
The bottom line
As someone who started off with no knowledge of sales, these classes were helpful for understanding the basics behind landing a sale. They also taught me the mentality you need in order to be successful in sales.
I only took a few courses on Skillshare, but found that it was well worth it. If you’re just starting out in sales, I highly recommend starting with Derek Shebby’s courses.
Want a free way for you to learn about sales? Try our master guide on sales here.
For even more, click the button below to download our free ebook, “The Definitive Guide to Selling Better & Faster.”
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Stacey is a Marketing Assistant for Ability SEO. She graduated from University of Maryland Baltimore County with a degree in Communications. Since then she has specialized in copywriting and social media.