Day: June 21, 2018

Best Habits for Freelance Sales Representatives

Best Habits for Freelance Sales Representatives

Freelancing’s Increasing Appeal

In recent years, freelancing has increased in popularity. Since 2014, the freelance workforce grew 3x more than the total US workforce, and experts estimate that by 2027 the majority of the US workforce will be freelancers. The main desires driving people to start working as an independent contractor are: 1) to be their own boss, 2) to choose when they work, 3) to choose their own projects, 4) to choose where they work and 5) to earn extra money. 

In the last year alone, top professionals choosing to work independently jumped from 56% to 67%. On top of this, 2 in 3 full-time freelancers make more money than they were making in traditional jobs. 50% of freelancers would not take a traditional job, no matter the pay, due to the benefits freelancing offers.

However, working full-time as an independent contractor causes one important concern: financial predictability. Many are hesitant about the idea of freelancing because of doubts about where the next paycheck will come from. These concerns are more than justified; freelancers get paid per-contract as opposed to a consistent salary. When times are good, one can work many contracts and be well off. However, when opportunities dry up unpredictably, things get tough. Studies found 63% of freelancers use some of their savings at least once a month, while only 20% of non freelancers did. How, then, can one mitigate this problem and take full advantage of the benefits freelancing has to offer?


Versatility is Key.

 

The key to success as a freelancer lies in diversity and good relationships. Two thirds of freelancers agreed that having a diversified portfolio is more secure than working with a single employer. The average freelancer works with around 27 clients in a 6 month period. In other words, the more relationships you have, the more consistently you will find work. This concept applies to your skill set as well. About twice as many freelancers regularly update their skill set than traditional employees. First, this widens the scope of contracts you are qualified for, as you have a more versatile skill set. In the longer-term, it also helps mitigate the threat of job market transitions and leads to greater stability in the future.

 

A diverse portfolio also means having a strong network of fellow freelancers. Karen Schwitchenberg notes that after giving “advice to people about becoming independent consultants, they will sometimes come back when they have extra work or forward [her] name along to a potential client.” Help others in the gig economy, and they will help you. By having trusted relationships with other independent contractors, you can help ensure stability by knowing you have referrals to count on if work opportunities dry up.

 

Quality is also an important factor in a freelancer’s network. Around 50% of freelance contracts are with repeated clients, meaning the freelancer impressed in the past and was brought back on for more projects. Being a trusted relationship will help your success as an independent contractor, as clients will bring you back for contracts instead of taking the risk on a new, unproven freelancer.

(All statistics sourced from Edelman Intelligence’s study “Freelancing In America”)

 

Take it slow.

 

Look at making the jump to full-time independent contracting in the same way any other business ventures can. The key to success here is starting small, and developing your work into something sustainable. Given the importance of a professional network for freelancers, it is important to take the time to develop that network.

Many begin with ‘moonlighting’: part-time freelancing to earn supplemental income on top of a traditional job. Through moonlighting, new freelancers can slowly build and diversify their portfolios while still enjoying the stability of a traditional position. It also allows them to get experience under their belt so they aren’t surprised by the contrast between traditional work and individual contracting.

 

Getting Started

 

Swarmsales could be the key to launching a successful career as a freelance sales representative. By allowing you to target your existing accounts, Swarmsales not only allows you to reinforce your relationships with them, it also presents you with the opportunity to scale up your sales work. Without any exclusivity clauses, you’re free to work with as many companies as you please.

Furthermore, representatives can work simultaneously with small startups and publicly traded, multinational corporations. For a sales representative looking to diversity and widen their portfolio, this is crucial. The platform also facilitates starting small Reps move deals at the rate they can, and gradually increase their number of clients and accounts. With enough activity, can earn monthly retainers and take one more step to successfully working full-time as a freelancer.

Want to learn more? Signing up is free!

 

Sales Reps and their Future Roles

Sales Reps and their Future Roles

Since the industrial revolution, the world has constantly improved due to technological advances in the different fields. Technology has changed the way in which many jobs are carried out and sales reps were also affected. The rise of technological tools like email and social media has made the traditional form of selling obsolete. With so many tools, sellers do not need to invest their time in going to meetings to sell a product. Now with social media, they can make a list of potential clients and reach out to them. Even though technology has clearly impacted on the way sales are carried out, it doesn’t mean that salespeople will be jobless.

Nowadays, people choose to buy (or not) a product by the reviews posted online about said product. Prospects are doing online research about the varieties of products that exist in the market. They are researching the products they believe will satisfy their needs. If the product has good comments and reviews it is very likely that the prospect will purchase it. “The process where the salesperson used an aggressive pitch with the buyer doesn’t exist anymore” (Sales Hacker, 2018). If prospects don’t want a sales rep that is aggressive and on top of that are doing all the research by themselves, then where does the salesperson fit in?

The new role of sales reps

It’s clear that roles have changed. Since buyers trust reviews and likes on web pages more than a salesperson in a store, sellers transformed into some sort of advisors. Sales Hacker (2018) points out that the role of the salesperson now is to establish a relationship with the prospect, understand what the prospects’ needs are, what are the challenges that it’s facing at the moment and based on that information, explain to the prospect if the chosen product is the most accurate to satisfy its needs or to solve its problem. It is essential that the salesperson becomes an ally to the prospect. The sales reps need to listen to the client and help him find a solution to the challenges that arise in its business.

It doesn’t matter how technological our world becomes, a salesperson will always be necessary because “humans will always need emotional and rational help” (Steli Efti – founder and CEO of close.io) and that’s the kind of help that only humans can give. Technology will continue to change sales reps’ job. However, technology can’t build a meaningful and trustworthy relationship with a prospect. Only humans can do that. Sales reps must forget the old way of selling and shall start listening to what clients are expressing. It is key that sales reps begin to understand their clients if they want to stay in the business. As Simon Sinek said, “if you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business”.