In today’s digital world, software as a service (SaaS) sales careers continue to soar. So how can sales professionals and those new to the profession keep up? To effectively grow your pipeline, help more buyers, close bigger deals, adapt to change, and even pivot your career to a new role, you have to enhance your professional selling skills through continued learning.
You see, SaaS is expected to scale at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.5% until 2028. But what’s driving this growth year after year? Well, software and technology are continually advancing. As a result, SaaS is constantly evolving, too. Great products and software that provide solutions to specific problems continually hit the market. But SaaS sales growth runs deeper.
In SaaS, revenue is one of the primary indicators of success. And while brands can flourish in many ways, SaaS companies of all sizes continually increase revenue primarily through sales. Consequently, sales professionals like sales and business development reps and account executives remain in demand because organizations need people (like you!) to help them scale.
Professional Selling Skills and The Impact of Continued Learning
Whether you’re just beginning a career in sales or you’re a seasoned pro, continued learning is fundamental to holistic growth.
“Hiring managers look for more than skills and ability. They look for the unrelenting energy and persistence to succeed.” – Katelyn McMahan, Aspireship Hiring Manager
And while continued learning may sound like a substantial investment, it doesn’t have to be. Below you’ll find five scalable ways to improve your professional selling skills. Improving your skills will increase your confidence, marketability, income potential, and long-term success.
1. Enroll in “Active Learning” Programs
Active learning programs like the SaaS Sales Foundations course from Aspireship can help you bridge the gap between the skill set you already have and the skills you need to improve. And not only can programs like this help you brush up on your professional selling skills, but they also help you:
• Meet and exceed quota
• Onboard in a new role faster
• Establish strong habits immediately
You see, it isn’t enough to read from a playbook or understand SaaS acronyms. Your employer (and most hiring programs) are looking for expertise and confidence. They want to know that you can pick up the phone and make cold calls. And they need to observe as you demo products successfully and handle objections with thoughtful, appropriate responses. By continuing education with active learning courses, you don’t just have general knowledge of how to do these things; you’re prepared (and have the skills) to do them.
So, what skills do you need in sales that active learning programs like SaaS Sales Foundations can help you strengthen? SaaS Sales Foundations will help you…
• Learn sales processes
• Understand key sales vocabulary
• Master best practice methods
• Try out new professional selling skills through role play
• Perfect outreach with mock cold calls
• Master handleingobjections
• Learn to reactivate dormant leads
SaaS Sales Foundations is a free active learning program. Click here to learn more!
2. Discover How to Master The Top of Your Pipeline
As your sales career continues to grow, so does your pipeline. And your ability to handle this crucial aspect of your job is strongly related to your sales success.
Mastering the top of your pipeline takes more than just keeping your head above water with basic knowledge of a sales funnel and an ideal buyer profile. It takes a complete understanding of how to prioritize your effort and time.
Jason Bay, Chief Prospecting Officer at Blissful Prospecting, recommends that sales professionals spend only 10 to 20 percent of their time at the top of their pipeline prospecting. Continued learning can strengthen outreach efforts making it less time-consuming.
To master the top of your pipeline, Jason recommends focusing on conversations rather than conversions. You can learn to do this by…
• Changing your subject line formula to get more replies
• Cold calling with confidence
• Simplifying sequences to get more responses in less time
“We’re in the business, when we’re prospecting, of starting conversations, not getting conversions. The conversions will happen after you have a conversation.” – Jason Bay, Blissful Prospecting
3. Adopt and Implement New Tech to Enhance Communication
The way we communicate has changed dramatically over the years. What used to take place face to face has been predominantly replaced by plain-text (frequently disregarded) messaging. And while the technology that makes this possible is an incredible tool, your communication is missing an essential element — you.
People want to trust who they’re buying from. But when you are missing from that equation, earning the trust that’s fundamental to sales relationships is a challenge. Learning to adopt and implement video communication into your sales sequence, internal communication, and even your job search enables you to use your face-to-face sales skills. Above all, video messaging replaces plain text with the warmth, competence, and sincerity that you convey in person.
But when you first adopt video, it can be challenging to know what to say on camera. BombBomb National Speaker Alicia Berruti says that, rather than thinking about yourself, consider the following:
1. First, who are you sending your video to? Picture them and think about what success means to both of you.
2. After that, set your intention. What’s your goal? Are you building relationships, providing something of value, or do you need something from them like a reply?
3. Finally, write down some notes to stay on track. (But do your best to be authentic — don’t create an entire script!)
To continue learning about adopting new tech into your sales process, check out 3 Things 3 Sales Experts Recommend to Every Seller.
4. Refresh Your Fundamentals and Explore Emerging Sales Skill Trends
Are you considering a career change? For instance, maybe you’re evaluating a move from sales development rep to account executive. Or perhaps you’re already in sales but want to transition to SaaS. Whatever the situation, refreshing your fundamental sales skills and exploring new trends will help prepare you for the job you want.
So, what skills do you need in sales to prepare for the job you want?
Sales is fast-paced. And learning how to manage your time correctly is critical. Time management will help you efficiently approach the individual aspects of your job that enable you to move prospects through your pipeline. These LinkedIn courses will help you make the most of your time.
As a sales rep, it’s your job to persuade prospects to buy from you. But, if your correspondence is chock-full of grammatical errors and unclear information, that doesn’t inspire confidence in you or your brand. Udemy Business Writing for Busy People will upgrade your professional writing skills by helping you master clarity, grammar, tone, and impact.
Effective communication is the key to building relationships with your prospects. And it’s these relationships that encourage buy-in, advocacy, and loyalty. Read Human-Centered Communication: A Business Case Against Digital Pollution. Human-centered communication is a framework for creating more human connection across the digital divide. It’s an approach to communication that puts others’ needs, wants, and interests on a level playing field with your own. Consequently, this approach assures that you connect effectively in digital, virtual, and online spaces.
The LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report highlights several emerging skills for sales professionals to consider exploring. Data analysis, technical support, customer relationship management, sales process, and consulting all made the list. It might seem daunting to explore new skills. However, according to the same report, “The most inspiring takeaway from these insights is that people are much more capable of learning new skills and moving into higher-priority positions than traditionally thought.”
5. Dig Into Revenue Operations Education
In most SaaS organizations, revenue operations (RevOps) serves as a link between marketing’s efforts to attract leads, sales’ nurturing, and conversion of those leads into customers.
So why should sales reps and leaders dig into RevOps? Because understanding how marketing efforts impact and drive sales is key to understanding why your leads are there in the first place.
In addition, more and more companies are dismantling the idea of separate teams or silos. Functioning together creates a more seamless customer experience. (One that, in turn, generates more revenue).
RevOps works hard to ensure that the right qualified leads get to the right people. To understand more about how they fit into the bigger picture, check out these podcasts:
• The First 100 Days
• The Revenue Engine
• RevOps Podcast
Ready to Dive Into Continued Learning?
Now that you understand the value of continued learning and how it can help you level up your professional selling skills, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get moving!
Still not sure where to start? Try Aspireship’s SaaS Foundations course and enhance the sales skills you need to land your new role and hit the ground running.
And if you’re interested in learning more about how video can enhance your face-to-face sales skills, check out BombBomb’s Resource Hub of blogs, webinars, use cases, and more to get started.