Sure you could just be a confident person in general, in life.
Sure you could just be naturally confident in all that you do.
BUT, I doubt that is really the case for sales reps who are confident in what they sell.
Confidence in sales comes from knowledge. Knowledge of your product that you sell.
Knowledge of your sales process.
Confidence in sales comes from seeing questions over and over.
Confidence in sales comes from what you have learned.
AND, that takes time.
You can be a naturally confident person but in software sales that doesn't really matter too much if you don't understand your product that you are selling that well. You could just as easily be an introvert who is not super, outwardly confident but that person could be very, very confident in their job as a sales rep. Confidence day to day in your personal life is different than the confidence you can have in selling your product.
Sales people will become confident because they have learned things while doing their job. Confidence in sales comes with time and doing things over and over again. Over time you learn more and more on the job. You get asked similar questions, you see similar situations, etc. Over time you naturally start to learn things about how to sell better deals and that experience will yield more confidence in your process. You will start to feel more confident on your calls and in your meetings. Good things take time. Learning your product will take time too.
Put yourself in situations where you will feel uncomfortable.
There are so many times where I freaked myself out before a demo. I got nervous because I had never demoed that tool before or didn't know EVERYTHING there was to know about that tool or process in our software. That is okay! You just have to do it. If you don't put yourself into situations where you might feel nervous and not comfortable with the tool yet, you will never learn. To learn your software you have to put yourself into situations where you will learn from your mistakes and learn from questions from the prospect. The times where I didn't know how to do something in our software are the times where I got off of those demos knowing I had to teach myself that tool. I wasn't going to get on another call not understanding the in's and out's of that tool. These moments teach me to keep learning and keep teaching myself our software as new features come out.
Don't have your Sales engineer do everything for you on demos.
If you are getting the same situations over and over again in the sales process as a software sales rep you should naturally start to pick up on them and learn from the questions. Write down everything that your sales engineer says on calls where you bring them on for technical help. Study those notes and make sure you learn what he or she said so you can answer that question in the future.
The only way you will become more confident in your sales process is by feeling good about what you know about your product. You will know less about the software in the early days but as time goes on you will learn your tools. Study your notes and study your product. Immerse yourself in any and all knowledge about your product that you can find or expose yourself to.
You should continuously be teaching yourself about your product as a software sales rep. Here are some things that I recommend doing as a sales rep selling software if you are looking to improve your confidence levels.
- Read product documentation in detail.
- Do things yourself in your software. Make sure you know how to do things and if you don't ask questions about how from your colleagues or sales engineers.
- Make sure you learn from your sales engineers and don't repeat the same questions over and over again.
- Go to product demos. If you company has product sessions with the product team on new tools or features in your software make sure you attend those.
- Learn from your product managers in general. If you have questions about certain parts of your tools get to know the PMs on those parts of the software. Meet with them to get perspective.
- Learn from your colleagues. Ask your colleagues that you respect and see doing well if you can listen in on some calls. Do this with a broad set of sales reps across teams. This will expose you to different ways to demo the same thing in the software.
- Ask managers from other teams to critique a call with you. Your manager is always there to help you but don't forget that other managers are great assets to you as well. Get their advice and see how their process might differ from your own manager.
- Seek advice from your prospects. Ask them how you are doing. If you don't ask them how you are doing then you will never really know. Pick up on cues in the sales process from your prospects then ask follow up questions.
- Learn from every sale you have. If you win a deal you must learn from that deal. Why did you win it? What happened in the sales process that you can use in the future?
Confidence is a tricky thing. I am naturally confident in my personal life (for the most part). But, I do remember times where I didn't know how to work certain parts of our software and would be nervous and scared to demo them. I have even canceled calls because I got TOO scared! The only way to improve your confidence is by learning your product better. You should always be learning and teaching yourself your software that you sell. If you are struggling with a certain part of your software, make it a priority in your life to learn more about that tool. You must teach yourself that tool to become more confident in the sales process when that tool comes up.
Your job as a sales rep is to help your prospects. If you don't fully understand your product how will you be a truly, helpful sales rep? By building up your knowledge of the product that you sell you will become more confident in your sales process. That confidence in your product will lead to more closed won deals.