There are quite a few good salesmen out there. They meet their targets, close deals effectively, and keep their customers happy. And then there are great salesmen. Salespeople who overachieve and smash their monthly sales targets in a couple of weeks. Salespeople who bring in the big-ticket clients. Salespeople who aren't just loved by their customers but also respected by their peers.
You might wonder what separates the great from the good? It's simple. Business acumen.
Business acumen goes beyond just making sound business decisions. It's about collecting all your experience and knowledge and using it to create a positive long-term impact for the business. It's about understanding that every decision you make should be geared towards the organization's larger goal. Working together with your team and other departments to collaborate and synergize also comes under business acumen.
Fortunately, business acumen is not rocket science. Armed with the right strategies and ambition, you can follow these five methods to build business acumen and become a sales leader in no time.
Read as much as you can
The first step to improving your acumen is by understanding the basic concepts of business. What better way to do that than by reading? It's not hard to find a well-researched business book that elucidates all the aspects of running a business. The best business books are filled with real-life stories and anecdotes that won't just teach you but also inspire you to take action.
Many experts also suggest reading non-fiction books unrelated to business in any manner. Books on human psychology, body language, persuasion, mental health, and history can teach you valuable sales and marketing lessons.
Work with company tutors
Most companies have in-house training and employee development modules that can be accessed for free. If the modules don't cover the subjects you're looking for; it's time to search for experts. The best part? Those experts exist in your company itself.
If you want to learn more about financial reports and balance sheets, you could always talk to your friends in the finance department. Want to understand how operational challenges affect business? Talk to the operations manager. All you need to do is walk up to them and ask the right questions.
Find the right mentors
A mentor can transform the way you think and live and also guide you to making better decisions. Mentors have several years of experience that they can fall back on. They've been through challenges and obstacles that you might never have faced.
Talking to them can open up new opportunities for you. All you need to do is absorb the knowledge and apply it practically.
Learn from the client
The best way to sell to your clients is by solving their pain points. But how does one grasp their pain points without analyzing every aspect of their business? Your client is your best source of information regarding their business. They could tell you everything about their management strategies, business processes, marketing techniques, and financial handlings. All this knowledge is pure gold for a salesperson.
Get a formal education
The last method to further expand your business acumen is getting a proper education. In today's digital world, paying big bucks for a fancy degree isn't necessary. You can fire up the computer, download the highest-rated courses, and start studying right there. If you still want a certificate to validate your learnings, try going for an online degree in marketing or sales. Lastly, register for night classes at the local college. They're amazing opportunities to learn as well as network with like-minded people.
Putting in the hours towards developing your business acumen might seem like hard work. But the returns on your invested time are insane. Not only will you be better at handling clients, but you'll also develop the foresight of a leader. Your decision-making will be much more impactful, and people will look up to you for advice. All it takes is a little bit of effort in the right direction.