Spas Spasov has diverse experience in sales, business development, consulting and project management, working in businesses from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Currently he is doing Business analysis and Project management in a software development company focusing on solutions for Digital Channels for Banking and Finance industry (Internet and mobile banking, Bill payments, Omni-channel integration).
Let’s see what he shares about sales
How important for a sales rep is to have a professional mentor?
In sales there are two types of successful profiles – natural born salesman and ‘fake it ‘till you make it’. In my professional experience, I’ve seen only few of the first type, so finding a professional mentor, but not only, is pretty much the right path to go.
What is needed to have more deals in an overcrowded market like global financial industry?
The financial industry is changing rapidly in the past years. Every product is getting easier, faster, right at your fingertips. Especially for EU next couple of years will shake the way banks and payment service providers operate due to PSD 2. New business models will emerge and even new types of businesses. A lot things are still uncertain, organizations are considering different ways to implement the directive.
This is a great opportunity for all sales people because lots and lots of consulting will be needed. If one can give his clients clarity and help them shape their organizations this will make him extremely successful in the financial industry.
What do you think are the most valuable lead gen techniques?
Short term – if you need results tomorrow you better send those emails, make those cold calls and go meet the people.
Long term – Being persistent and following up is something that is very under appreciated. If you like the industry and the company that you are working in there is no need to hurry. Prospects are busy, have other priorities and might don’t need your product yet. If you remind about yourself from time to time, follow-up and be professional at some point this prospect will turn into client.
What leverage tools could a sales person use?
Oh, where to start from, there are dozens of techniques. The thing that I always try to do before an important meeting is to play it in my mind – go through my best proposal, second best, minimum offer. What are the possible objections for each proposal and how to deal with each of them. I usually write everything on a piece of paper or make a mind map to have the full scope.
Bulgarian economy is export-oriented economy. What are the top 3 advices you will give to businesses which want to sell their products abroad?
- Give value
- Go meet your clients in person
- You are as good as everybody
What is the ROI of social selling?
Well, I’m no expert in social media and marketing but it depends who are your clients. For most of the industries it’s a must. If you aren’t present in multiple social media channels and your campaigns don’t compliment each other you don’t exist for your clients. This is the ground level to start selling.
On the other hand if you are in a very niche market where your potential clients are, let’s say 20 in a country, and only other companies it’ will be better to focus the effort in other ways of promotion.
How significant the Artificial Intelligence will be in corporate sales and BD?
People are betting too much in AI to solve everybody’s problems. Yes, it will dramatically change the way sales people prospect, analyze data, find trends and niches in B2B sales but at the end of the day it’s down to all old-school things like how trustworthy you are in person, are you actually helping your customers, are you an expert in your field and so on. Retail and e-commerce is a whole another story where AI will be the game changer.
How do you define sales leader?
Sales can be frustrating. I can hardly think of another profession where targets and results are so tangible and the effort alone doesn’t count. The sales leader should be the kind of person who can help the people achieve their goals. Guide them, train them, support them in becoming better sales people. The sales leader should create an atmosphere where there is some level of competitiveness but the team and each individual person with his own uniqueness is appreciated. A team where it’s not only about selling the most but helping the entire company create the best product.
How the perfect sales team looks like?
I just answered that in the question above.
What personal and professional qualities you need to have for the current sales process?
Being a sales person means that you are interested in the people you are meeting, what are they doing and how you can make their lives better. Business is done human to human so it’s more and more important to be an expert in your field and to be a consultant. There is nothing “too technical” to know.
If you are interested in other sales interviews and sales experience or want to know how to dress for a business meeting see this.