How to close: 5 sales professionals share their secrets to success

by Liz Warren
June 14, 2018
sales
image via shutterstock

If there were a recipe for a successful salesperson, it would include a heap of active listening, a few cups of persistence and a dash of empathy. Built In NYC talked to salespeople at local tech startups who all agreed that these traits and others are crucial to their line of work. Here’s the other helpful advice they had for their peers.

 

Jesse Davis
Manager, Mid-Market Sales

Mid-Market Sales Manager Jesse Davis has been with Box for just over one year and oversees recruiting, hiring and training of sales reps on his team. He shared with Built In NYC exactly what he looks for in sales candidates, as well as what has helped him grow in his career.

What three qualities do you think make a good sales professional?

Curiosity is important, as it’s the most curious reps who ask the best questions and and arm themselves with important information to surface pain points and recommend solutions. Stoicism is also important, as sales is a volatile profession by definition. Maintaining a long-term perspective on the mission increases the likelihood of success over time. Finally, candor is vital. Reps who level with their clients and maintain an honest dialogue will avoid the song and dance of the sale, forecast more accurately and more effectively hold clients accountable to promises.

What’s one piece of sales advice you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?

Managing up is a legitimate skill and something that should be honed continuously by any rep looking to advance their career in an efficient manner. Taking care of the admin work and always over-communicating what you're doing up the chain of command has a major trickle down effect of positivity. In addition to the obvious benefits, people tend to want to help you the more they know about what you're up to. Managing up strengthens reputations and relationships so that when it does come time to talk career advancement, you're more likely to have advocates fighting on your behalf.

How is your current sales team different from any other you’ve been a part of?

Box breeds best-in-class sales reps because of the complexity of the sales cycle. Deals at Box require selling value into the business and technology into IT, multi-threading along the way within an organization to get a deal done with C-suite sign-off. Reps grow up quickly at Box and acquire a highly desirable skillset along the way. Not to mention, it’s proliferated its product portfolio significantly over the past two years, so the level of technical sale required here is higher than anywhere else I've worked before.

 

Danny Chung
Operations Manager

Operations Manager Danny Chung started at trucking logistics startup Transfix right out of college and has been with the company for over three years. In that time, he’s helped his clients — carriers who book freight — increase their loads per day from four to over 200. He told us what it’s like to work as a carrier manager, a role within the sales team at Transfix.

What three qualities do you think make a good sales professional?

Persistence, a “never-give-up” attitude and teamwork. In my case, I was able to build very strong relationships with carriers based on trust. Once they realized I was doing my part to look out for them and get them the best rates I could, they were a lot more eager to work with me. Everything is always about give and take, and you need to be able to recognize that balance.

What’s one piece of sales advice you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?

Stay mindful. It's an absolute grind day in and day out, but understand that you will get better with more exposure. The way I would tell new employees to approach the carrier manager role is to treat it as your own book of business — the more time you put in building long-lasting relationships early on, the more it will benefit both parties later.

How is your current sales team different from any other you’ve been a part of?

This is my first job out of college, so I don't really have anything to compare it against. I started working here as an intern while attending Fordham, and then I loved it so much that I accepted a full time position, while continuing to finish school. It's been an amazing ride so far!

 

Yair Areli
Regional VP Sales

Regional VP of Sales, East U.S., Yair Areli has been with Sisense for eight years, and was the first account executive at the company. Since then, he’s established a reputation for being the “sales hacker” who constantly shares advice with the rest of his team. He shared some of that same advice with Built In NYC.

What three qualities do you think make a good sales professional?

Sales people must be innovative. You must possess constant curiosity and willingness to learn new ways to win business. It’s also important to be disciplined and committed, as sales is a never-ending marathon at the speed of a sprint. Finally, coachability is vital. Just like world-class athletes, sales executives should strive to constantly get better and always welcome feedback and new ideas to improve.

What’s one piece of sales advice you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?

I wish I had known the concept of “closing” as a process of delivering business value and gaining customers’ commitments in return. If I establish it right, it positions me as an extension of my prospective customer’s company. It starts with the state of mind that “discovery” isn’t something that is done just so we can learn more about the customer. Rather, it’s a process that is designed to help our customers discover something new and valuable about their business.

 

Florens Röell
Account Executive

Account Executive Florens Röell was the second employee to join Aircall’s U.S. team, and has watched it grow to 100 local employees in just two years. Having worked at startups across four different continents, he has a unique perspective on what makes a salesperson successful.

What three qualities do you think make a good sales professional?

Based on my own experience, the first is resilience. By that I mean having a mentality of only focusing on what you can control. If you lose a deal, don’t dwell on it too long, and have the mindset that you’ll get the next one.

Second, it’s important to have consistency in your interactions with the prospect. From the initial meeting reminder to being on time for appointments and following up on open questions, each interaction builds trust with the prospect. It shows that you, as a sales professional, have your act together, but also that the organization behind you will handle the account with care.

Last is domain expertise. Having deep knowledge of your own product but also the space in general is crucial, as it helps you establish authority with prospects.

What’s one piece of sales advice you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?

I wish I’d realized importance of the discovery phase. When I started out, I often wouldn’t take the time to listen and fully understand prospects’ unique situations. I’d rush through a list of questions without pausing to get a deeper understanding of their concerns.

If discovery is done correctly, this detailed info can be referenced in critical stages to keep a deal moving along.

How is the current sales team different from any other you’ve been a part of?

We never give up. We’ll get the job done, somehow, someway. A great example is from a few quarters ago, when we were projecting to be just short of our quarterly target. One of my colleagues chased down a prospect and ended up closing at 2 a.m. on the final day, and our target was met!

 

Amanda McCarthy
Strategic Sales Executive

Strategic Sales Executive Amanda McCarthy has been with Bettercloud for four years. During that time, she closed the company’s biggest new business contract in company history. She shared her expertise with Built In NYC.

What three qualities do you think make a good sales professional?

Empathy is crucial, as it gives you the ability to really understand your prospect. Credibility is also important. When I first started selling, I noticed that 90 percent of my prospects were in the IT industry for over 20 years and were not interested in listening to someone who didn’t intimately understand their technical environment and issues. I challenged myself to become extremely technical in our platform and the general industry and I noticed an immediate shift in my conversations as I was able to provide valuable insights to prospects in every interaction. And finally, it’s important for sales professionals to have focus. In order to spend time wisely, every meeting should have a specific goal.

What’s one piece of sales advice you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?

Active listening is key. It’s critical to truly listen and understand what your prospect is saying. If they tell you about a huge pain point that they are looking to address and you can solve it, then focus on how you solve that issue and keep it simple.

How is your current sales team different from any other you’ve been a part of?

At my previous job, the sales people were pretty siloed and didn’t work together on strategy or sales tactics. At BetterCloud, we’re extremely collaborative and team-oriented. While we are all pretty competitive at heart, we are always sharing interesting feedback from customer meetings, sharing use cases that resonate with clients and helping each other succeed.

 

 

Jobs from companies in this blog67 open jobs
All Jobs
Finance
Data + Analytics
Design + UX
Dev + Engineer
Internships
Legal
Marketing
Operations
Product
Sales
Finance
new
Transfix
New York
Sales
new
BetterCloud
New York
Design + UX
new
Sisense
New York
Sales
new
Sisense
New York
Sales
new
Sisense
New York
Sales
new
Sisense
New York
Sales
new
Sisense
New York
Finance
new
Aircall
New York
Developer
new
BetterCloud
New York
Marketing
new
Sisense
New York
Operations
new
BetterCloud
New York
Operations
new
Sisense
New York
Design + UX
new
Transfix
New York
Product
new
Transfix
New York
Sales
new
Transfix
New York
Marketing
new
BetterCloud
New York
Marketing
new
BetterCloud
New York
Operations
new
Aircall
New York
Sales
new
BetterCloud
New York
Operations
new
Sisense
New York
Internships
new
Transfix
New York
Marketing
new
Aircall
New York
Marketing
new
Aircall
New York
Operations
new
BetterCloud
New York
Developer
new
Aircall
New York
Marketing
new
BetterCloud
New York
Developer
new
Aircall
New York
Sales
new
Aircall
New York
Developer
new
Aircall
New York
Marketing
new
Aircall
New York
Operations
new
Aircall
New York
Sales
new
BetterCloud
New York
Finance
new
Sisense
New York
Operations
new
Sisense
New York
Developer
new
Transfix
New York
Sales
new
Transfix
New York
Finance
new
Aircall
New York
Operations
new
Aircall
New York
Sales
new
BetterCloud
New York
Sales
new
Sisense
New York
Marketing
new
Sisense
New York
Developer
new
Transfix
New York
Operations
new
Transfix
New York
Finance
new
Transfix
New York
Sales
new
Transfix
New York
Operations
new
Transfix
New York
Operations
new
BetterCloud
New York
Operations
new
Transfix
New York
Sales
new
Transfix
New York
Product
new
Transfix
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Transfix
New York
Developer
new
Aircall
New York
Sales
new
Transfix
New York
Marketing
new
Sisense
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Sisense
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Sisense
New York
Operations
new
Sisense
New York
Operations
new
Sisense
New York
Sales
new
Sisense
New York
Sales
new
Sisense
New York
Sales
new
Aircall
New York
Sales
new
Aircall
New York
Finance
new
Sisense
New York
Sales
new
Sisense
New York
Finance
new
Sisense
New York

NYC startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Software Engineer Jobs in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Tech Offices in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Sales Jobs in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Benefits at NYC Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Data Analyst & Data Science Jobs in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Design Jobs in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Marketing Jobs in NYC
Developer Jobs
View 854 jobs
Design + UX Jobs
View 223 jobs
Marketing Jobs
View 334 jobs
Product Jobs
View 223 jobs
Sales Jobs
View 565 jobs
Data Jobs
View 312 jobs