Best Sales Practices from Nine Sales Leaders

Becoming an effective salesperson is challenging and requires a lot of training, practice, and mentorship. We asked nine Boston sales leaders to look back on their careers and to describe one practice they recommend to other salespeople; Here is what they had to say:


“Don’t make excuses.”







Raymond Mariano

VP Sales, Lionbridge

One important lesson that I’ve learned throughout my career is to not make excuses. It’s easy to blame other teams internally, your territory or market dynamics for poor performance. There will always be challenges in sales and how you approach them is what defines you. Consistently having a positive attitude, maximizing your effort and focusing on what you can control are keys to setting yourself up for success.”


“Keep eyes on prospecting!”







Jacki Leahy

Revenue Operations, LinkSquares

“One big mistake I’ve seen sales reps do is not to keep their eyes on prospecting! Every day no matter WHAT,  fill you dang pipeline with fresh accounts, fresh prospects, new research. At LinkSquares we have a concept of “Sales Nirvana” – that headspace you reach when you’ve had 15 live phone conversations with prospects. Our job is to get to Nirvana every day – regardless of how many further down the pipe meetings you have on your plate.”


Just go get it done on your own.”







Mike Bender

VP Sales, Akeneo

Don’t wait around for someone else to fix your problems. You need a better sales deck, a smoother internal process, additional training, and enablement and you’re not getting the support you need to be successful? Just go get it done on your own. If you just keep asking you’ll be perceived as a complainer. Go fix it yourself and you’ll be perceived as going above and beyond and as an innovative problem solver. Furthermore, your solution will fix your immediate problems and teach you a lot along the way.”


The second you stop trying to improve yourself, everyone around you that you’re competing against will surpass you.”







Dan Sullivan

Head of Growth & Partnerships, Cuseum

“The best piece of advice I have ever received was that you need to have an incredible sense of urgency at all times to be successful. Whether it is the pace of play that you move at while working, or your inclination to improve yourself, speed matters tremendously early in your career.”

“My advice to new reps is to use the moments when you’re commuting to improve yourself. Listen to podcasts, and audiobooks, consume content like it’s going out of style, and just never stop learning. Don’t waste time listening to music or entertainment podcasts because you’re missing a chance to learn something. My approach is that if I’m outside the walls of my house, it’s time to go to work, and that starts the second I walk out the door, head to the grocery store, or get in an Uber. The second you stop trying to improve yourself, everyone around you that you’re competing against will surpass you.”


“Invest in your personal development.”







Colleen Manning

Director of Sales, ezCater

I think the biggest thing anyone, including sales reps, can do to maximize their success is to be invested in their own personal development. No one is going to care about the future of their success as much as the individual themselves. Finding a method of learning that you do best with is super important in your growth not just professionally but, personally as well. Finding a mentor, picking up a book once a month, listening to podcasts on your commute are just a few ways I’ve seen people really drive their own success. Learn something for yourself before you are expected to know it in your job so you are more prepared for the next chapter of your life!”


“Be curious, ask questions and care about the answers.”







Amos Wasgatt

VP Sales, LogRocket

“Be curious, ask questions and care about the answers. This applies not only to your company and the product you are selling but to your prospects and customers. By having a genuine interest in your prospects and customers you are able to develop a better understanding of how you will solve their problem. Not to mention a stronger relationship that will help you get the deal across the finish line.”


“Appreciate the layers within responses and absorb the buyer’s influences and motivations.”







Clive Wright

VP Sales, edX

“We’ve all been taught the importance of asking questions…to listen, focus and engage.  In order to transition to excellence, you have to appreciate the layers within responses and absorb the buyer’s influences and motivations. Asking follow-up questions with sincerity and genuine interest, because the most successful salespeople do not just focus on short-term solutions, but add value and creativity that exceeds simply solving today’s problems. Understanding your clients’ wishes, not just pain points, will create a partnership that will last longer.”


“Bring the energy!”







Allison Peters

Sr. Sales Manager,  Athenahealth

“Bring the energy!  If you believe in what you are selling, that needs to come across 100% of the time. Energy is more easily heard, so pick up the phone and call, don’t rely on email or text message to get your excitement across.”


“Invest in yourself”







Alex Wilson

Head of Sales

“Invest in yourself — think about it, your livelihood depends on your skills, acumen and a tiny bit of luck. Don’t depend on a company or leader to invest in you, but rather know that you’re worth it and double down on you. This isn’t costly! Go buy books (and read them), carve out time for daily podcasts and find content to saturate yourself in. Commit to getting better every day and you’ll crush any number put in front of you.”



What’ s the most important thing you learned in your career that made a big impact on your life? Do you have any questions on how to start your career life as a sales rep? Are there any questions you want to ask the people we featured in this post? Let us know in the comment section. Don’t forget to like and share this article to help others!

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