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Turn Up the Volume: A New Playlist for Breakthrough Sales

May 30, 2017

Written by: Walt Ruckes
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We all know the salesperson cliché: a pushy, plaid sportcoat-wearing, don’t-take-no-for-an-answer, ends-justify-the-means type of survivor. And speaking of Survivor, is that Eye of the Tiger blaring from their car stereo as they prepare for the biggest meeting of their life? 

While it’s hard to find this caricature today, it’s easy to see that not only do we need a new playlist but salespeople also need new strategies for success.  

Successful salespeople today behave differently than they used to. Now, the way they operate and the things that motivate them are directly linked. The rise of technology, increasingly well-informed customers and the shift towards personalization have all influenced the way successful sales reps work today. And that blows the old cliché out of the water (whether it was true or not). In light of this makeover in behavior, we thought we’d give the accompanying music a makeover too.

So put on your headphones and turn up the volume on this new playlist for breakthrough sales. We hope it provides you some inspiration the next time you prep for an appointment or pick up the phone in search of new opportunities.

Track #1: Believer – Imagine Dragons

Get real. Believing in the mission of your company, your solutions and your products is one of the best ways to predict sales success. Salespeople who believe in the product they are selling are over four times more likely to pursue an incentive than those who don’t believe in it. But being genuine also means following through on your promises. If you promise something you can’t deliver, word gets around faster than ever before, making it that much harder to make another sale in the future.

Track #2: Control - Halsey

Where are all of my customers hiding?  The way some customers hide behind online searches and reviews, you’d think that salespeople today are monsters from a horror movie. (“Be quiet or the salesman will hear you!”)

Despite the fact that customers are doing so much of their own research, studies show they’re more overwhelmed than ever. They are looking for a salesperson who doesn’t stalk them with carefully crafted answers and short-term solutions. Asking the right questions, understanding where they are in their journey and taking a customer-centric approach to the sale will lead to better conversations – and more happy endings.

Track #3 – All We Got – Chance the Rapper

Work smarter, not harder. These days, you not only have to give it all you got, you have to use all you got and be all you got. For those sales reps who understand how technology can help them, the path to the top is smoother and oftentimes faster.

Instead of gaming the system or avoiding your CRM, focus your energies where it counts. Automating mundane daily tasks frees up time to spend on more critical and creative activities. And when leads are nurtured automatically, the guesswork goes away, dead-end leads can be identified early and you can spend more time selling and less time vetting and organizing.

Track #4 - The Little Things - Big Gigantic, ft. Angela McCluskey

Big data, little effort. The best salespeople seem to have the best instincts. But why go with your gut when there is so much data available? A quick visit to your friends in the marketing department will provide unprecedented insight into the minds of your customers. Tracking software points to exactly where website visitors go, and that kind of data brings in more qualified leads.

Big data is revolutionizing how companies attain greater customer responsiveness and insights. Focus on how you can use those insights to identify, target and connect with prospects – and ultimately turn them into customers. 

Track #5 - Human - The Killers

Start with strategy. Data alone isn’t enough to improve sales; that demands talented, motivated salespeople to understand the context of that data and put it to use strategically. Because there are nuances to every industry that simply cannot be automated, salespeople have a great opportunity to leverage their own experiences and perspectives. They can drive a personal, human approach to a sale in a way that’s almost, well, a dance.

Track #6 - I Feel It Coming - The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk

Join the social club. Whencustomers are completing 50-70% of the sales process before ever engaging with a rep, salespeople must radically change the way they’ve operated. Those sales reps who have embraced social selling have joined a club that is making social media work for them by building their online brand.

Joining the club means offering more relevant digital touch-points earlier on in the sales cycle, with content that is not only informative, but useful in terms of helping diagnose the customer’s problems and prescribing solutions.  When you deliver the insight, content and information your customers are looking for, it’s almost like you can feel them coming your way...

Track #7 – So Let Us Create – Jukebox the Ghost

Creativity counts. Salespeople today must rely on their own resourcefulness and ingenuity to meet the needs of both the customer and the business they represent. This ties into relationship building, delighting the customer at every opportunity and leaving them wanting to interact more. It also means building relationships with internal team members and bringing forward solutions that customers can’t get anywhere else.

Track #8 - Jackie and Wilson – Hozier

The dream team. According to a recent survey, nearly all sales reps (almost 90%) have pursued an individual incentive. But an emerging trend is the prevalence of team incentives: over 80% of reps have worked toward a team incentive of some kind.  The rush we get when we make progress and ultimately achieve our goals fuels current and future performance; not only for ourselves, but for our teammates too.  Success is contagious, so team up, share ideas and support your teammates with some sweet harmony.

Track #9 - High and Low - Empire of the Sun

Let’s get personal. Sales is ultimately a business about people; you’ll be hard-pressed to find a salesperson that doesn’t value their relationships with their customers and with their teams. That’s why shared experiences, good and bad, high and low, are such an important aspect of the job today and technology certainly has its role to play. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, whatever the next social platform that emerges—these tools all offer another way to share, connect and engage.

Track #10 - Welcome to Your Life - Grouplove

If you’re not learning, you’re leaving: According to BI WORLDWIDE’s New Rules of EngagementSM research, if your job doesn’t offer you opportunities for ongoing learning, you are likely looking for another job. Additional research shows that top sales performers are the most likely to take advantage of ALL training offered. Take an honest look at how engaged you are when it comes to learning, and set some goals around becoming a student of your own, particularly when it comes to your customer’s business.

Top performing salespeople aren’t afraid or deterred by new tools and technologies. Instead, they are inspired by the fact that they can use their own ingenuity and the growing resources available to them to build great relationships with their customers – and their own teams.

For new reps and future top performers, the list above shows how important it is to find those activities and tactics that can produce results for you. Because traditional sales models are being complemented by automated processes, bringing your own personal touch is more crucial than ever. Salespeople today are as unique and varied as different music genres … so regardless of your jam, your groove, or your vibe … there is no wrong move. Fire up your personal playlist and get moving!

Walter Ruckes BI WORLDWIDE

Walter Ruckes

Vice President
Sales and Channel Engagement

As Vice President of BI WORLDWIDE’s Sales & Channel Engagement Group, Walter Ruckes' primary focus is to develop sales and channel engagement strategies and solutions that change the behaviors of sales people, distributors, dealers and channel sales representatives. An expert in sales incentive strategy, he educates sales professionals around the world on how to best engage their sales force through sales engagement strategies, solutions and best practices.

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