The 5 habits of top sales people

Brian Dennehy stars as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s landmark play Death of a Salesman about a traveling salesman facing failure. Con Keyes/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Two studies into the life of those with careers in sales find, predictably, that the job is stressful.

A survey by Salesforce shows that 61% of people in sales work weekends.

“No matter how much you crush your month, it’s the 1st again before you know it and you’re back at square one,” says the A Day in the Life of a Salesperson report.

“It’s why so many salespeople work such long hours and why stress management is key for avoiding burnout.”

The survey identified the behaviours of sales people. According Salesforce’s latest annual State of Sales and A Day in the Life of a Salesperson reports, the sales reps:

    1. Get up early. 76% of sales people rise before 7 am. The first thing they do is check their email. Two-thirds drink coffee.

    2. Targets. 85% of respondents believe their sales quota is fair. One in three report making quota 75% of the time, while 52% say they always meet or exceed it.

    3. Prospecting. Most of the respondents say prospecting happens on social media, at networking events and through referrals. Even when they’re not actively selling, 33% are still researching. Aside from closing, 50% put relationship building as their favourite deal-related activity.

    4. When to close. The best day to connect with prospects? For 46%, it’s Tuesdays.

    5. Weekends. 61% of sales people work them. To balance the sales stress, 62% say they exercise or play sports. The favourite way (53%) to spend office downtime is reading web content. Self-improvement is a weekly investment for almost half.

Selling is a numbers game.

“But only 40% of our survey say money is their main motivator, while 35% credit job satisfaction,” says Salesforce.

“And the best personality trait for sales success? Curiosity beats perseverance — by a nose.”

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