070 – Playing the Thinking Game and Becoming a Sales Sponge | Jill Konrath

070 – Playing the Thinking Game and Becoming a Sales Sponge | Jill Konrath

From high school teacher to being named by Salesforce as one of the top seven sales influencers of the 21st century, Jill Konrath (@JillKonrath) is the bestselling author of four books: SNAP Selling, Agile Selling, Selling to Big Companies, and most recently, More Sales, Less Time. When Jill started her first company, she learned someone had to be responsible for “sales.” She drew the short straw and became driven to learn all she could about what success in sales looked like. To her surprise, she loved everything about it.

Jill believes sales is a thinking profession and stresses the importance of taking the time to learn all you can about your buyer instead of generating activity for the sake of it. To cut through the noise, Jill says you need to be hyper-focused on what matters to your buyer.

She observes what her prospects are interested in to map out great questions. Invariably, these questions allow you to learn what really matters to your buyer. Don’t be afraid to go deep into your prospects problems, they wouldn’t be talking to you if they didn’t want things to get better.


  1. Understand Time to Proficiency: Prior to joining a new sales team, find out the average time it takes a rep there to become proficient. This is usually talked about as time to fully-ramped quota, but whether it’s three, six, or nine months, you need to embrace this time to learn. I know sales people are competitive and typically think they know everything, but make sure you’re using all available resources during this time to map out the sales process.
  2. Map Out the Sales Process: Sales is not magic. Obviously, you need to know and understand the product you’re selling, but more importantly, you need to master the buyer’s disposition. Who are they? What are they currently using? What are the issues and challenges they are facing? What are the business implications of those challenges. Mapping those considerations to your own training and content development prevents you from needing to pull a rabbit out of a hat.
  3. Do More, Than Less: As a new rep at any company, you need to do more. You don’t have the experience of everyone else on the team and need those repetitions to get your feet under you. You need to make more calls to get appointments. You need to run more first appointments to figure out how to convert to the next step. Once you’ve established these baselines for yourself, then you should make it a goal to do less activities while maintaining the same or better results.

Book Recommendations


  • CostelloWhat if every sales rep inherited the habits of your best rep? With Costello, they do.
  • The pipeline-centric system is strategically built on a proven selling methodology that keeps teams focused on the only thing they can control in sales – actions that push deals to close.

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