Costas, you have a wealth of sales success, individually and through extensive teams.  As a Senior Sales Director, you must have some secrets you can share with us to make 2020 an almighty sales success?

“Secrets? People buy if there is a need.  If they like the person who is the brand ambassador for that product or service they want, then they will buy it.”

Are there different types of sale for different products and services or is ‘sales just sales’?

“In the beginning sales is just sales. How many people start selling 100k+ products in their first year without experience? None. That’s why learning sales fundamentals is paramount. Each person needs to become an expert in a sales process that works for them and their ideal clients, then they need to learn how to write engaging sales copy and forecast accurately – all are skills that can be applied to any product, service or industry.”

In 2020, how will people want to buy and how will they like to be sold to?

“Simplicity will be key. Customers don’t want complicated (or hidden) pricing structures that are difficult to figure out.  Brand promise and brand awareness is everyone’s job to promote, not just corporate marketing. With so much competition in every industry the mantra ‘’people buy from people they like and TRUST’’ is more relevant than ever. Everyone at every level should be customer focused.”

What about the argument between cold calling and ‘consultative and social selling’?  What’s your stance?

“There;s no such thing as social ‘’selling’’ in my opinion. It’s social ‘’engagement’’ and it’s a slow burner, that is why sales reps should use an omnichannel approach (phone, email,txt, LI, what’s app).  If I was pushed to say what % of someone’s time should be invested in social selling activities, I would say no more than 25%, This of course is dependent on industry, product, sales cycle, average price point etc”

In this social media and digital age, are KPIs still as important as ever? 

“Yes. KPIs will never be irrelevant. The smart way to manage nowadays is to include digital/social activities in the expected KPIs, rather than demonise them and run the risk of missing out on opportunities.  I think people don’t mind a digital approach, but they still love ‘’f2f’’ communication”

You seem to be the heart beat of a business that has grown incredibly over the past 18 years.  What makes you get up in the morning to continue pushing through?

“Main reason I work is to be able to provide for my family. Main reason I have a career in sales is because I like winning customers. Main reason I have a career in management is because my purpose is to enable growth through people development.”

Finally, you attract and develop graduates and have some case studies to share that highlight how you have turned many of them into successful sales people or strong sales managers.   What are your 3 top tips for any graduate wanting a career in sales in 2020?

  1. Stand out from the crowd. Sales is sexy in 2020 and a lot more people apply, so how do you stand out should be a matter of strategy for job hunters
  2. Be specific. Figure out what industry you want to work for and apply to all companies within the sector. Don’t spray and pray with your applications
  3. Take initiative. Pick up the phone to talk to the recruiting manager, or send them a personalised message or video through LI, will help you with point No 1

To connect with Costas for more practical advice and sales insights –https://www.linkedin.com/in/costasperkas/

and visit www.wbresearch.com