An effective sales strategy  should be a priority of every business driven by a culture of sales. Put bluntly, the right sales practices will help a company achieve its goals and thrive. The trick is knowing what the best sales practices are and then applying them to your day-to-day business operations.
Sales Best Practices
Fortunately help is at hand with the following 20 sales best practices that will help your company reach its goals.
Set Sales Targets High
Setting sales targets at easily reachable and attainable levels is not conducive with nurturing an ambitious sales environment. Set sales targets high and give sales teams all the encouragement and support needed to achieve them.
Carefully Plan Quarterly, Monthly, Weekly — Even Daily Schedule
Plan for the bigger picture. Planning daily sales schedules will give everyone involved a clear understanding about what is expected. However, schedules shouldn’t be confined to the day or even week ahead. Plan for the bigger picture by creating schedules for the forthcoming month or even quarter.
Start Every Call with an Objective in Mind
Ensure sales teams have an objective in mind when they begin every call. Knowing what you want to achieve when you make the call  will put you in a much better position to accomplish your objective.
Be a Good Listener
Sales isn’t just about you doing the talking and your prospective customer doing the listening. When carrying out a sales pitch be sure to listen  to the potential customer. Take stock of what they say and what their own objectives are. Then aim to funnel their objectives into the sale to help achieve your own targets and goals.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Challenging Questions
Instead of opting for feeble questions that don’t require customers to think, probe into the mind of the customer by asking testing questions. The top performing sales teams aren’t afraid to dig deep and make their prospective think.
Know When to Move On
The same rules apply to sales practices as they do with networking follow-ups . Be respectful of people’s time and ‘define and refine’ who is worth your time. Determine who is worth pitching too and know when it’s time to step away and move on.
Make Sure You Prioritize
Without sufficient prioritization , it is difficult to be productive and achieve sales targets and wider company goals. At the end of each day, sit down and prioritize the activities for the next day. This way, less time and effort is wasted on unimportant issues.
Regularly Evaluate Progress
Evaluations are a vital component of working environments driven by sales. Conducting regular evaluations of a sales force will mean sales managers and teams can recognize gaps and weaknesses and make the required improvements.
Clarify Issues with Customers
Don’t be afraid to ask a potential customer what they mean if you are unsure about an issue they have raised. Top performing sales people always ask for clarification so they can fully understand the prospects’ queries, concerns and objectives.
Adapt Sales Presentations If Necessary
You may have a sales presentation  meticulously planned. Be prepared to make some changes or adaptations to the presentation if the prospect’s objectives or situation has changed.
Be Respectful and Mindful
A cornerstone of every successful business is respect and humility. Think about how your sales techniques will paint your company as a whole. Always show customers the respect and humility you would expect to receive.
Don’t Forget to HEAR
When involved in sales pitches, always remember the HEAR model. With HEAR, you practice Humility, Engagement, Authenticity and Responding whenever possible.
Be Prepared for Objections
Not all sales presentations and pitches run smoothly. Anticipate quips and objectives will rear their head and plan your response to such grievances well in advance.
Use Social Media to Learn More About Customers
Part of your sales preparation could be using social media  to learn more about your customers. Take a look at what your customers and prospective customers like the most of Facebook. Check the most frequent hashtags they use on Twitter and which posts are getting the most engagement. Apply such findings to sales pitches to help reach out to customers more effectively and ultimately achieve sales goals.
Use Repeat Engagement
Returning customers are leading revenue generators. An essential sales practice for generating revenue and reaching business goals is to actively re-engage with existing customers . ‘Check-in’ with customers via email, telephone or other communication methods, to see how they are getting on with a service or product and if they require anything else.
Don’t Set Unachievable Goals
It might be essential to set high targets and goals, but making them unachievable will simply put sales teams off. Always set high but realistic goals, as unachievable targets can be more discouraging instead of encouraging.
Align Personal and Professional Goals
Don’t be afraid to align your personal and professional aims. The more personally involved with goals you are, the more likely it will be to achieve them and help the company reach its goals.
Always Focus on the Prospect
In a sales presentation or pitch, always put your focus on the potential client or customer . It can be easy to focus the pitch on the product or the service. A more effective sales practice is to funnel the sales pitch so it focuses on the prospect and how the product or service will benefit them. This way, the prospect is less likely to turn the product or service down.
Always Communicate with the Decision-Maker
Don’t waste time communicating or pitching to people who are not in a position to make decisions. Always strive to connect and sell to the decision-maker who is able to close the deal.
Read Sales Bibles
There’s a myriad of literature related to sales mastery available. Take advantage of such books and publications to help improve sales practices and reach your own business’s goals.
For example, reading Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource  could be an invaluable investment of time to help sales teams improve their performance and meet individual, team and business goals.
Follow these 20 sales best practices and you’ll be in a superior position to create a thriving sales environment and achieve your business goals.
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