by Larry Levine
on January 26, 2017

Be a Proactive Next-Gen Sales Rep to Grow Sales Revenue

A proactive sales rep is the kind of individual who’s always looking into the future in order to be prepared for anything. A successful sales rep exerts self-discipline to be proactive on behalf of their prospecting efforts. This is in complete contrast to the reactive sales rep, who’s constantly chasing opportunities; as their sales funnel walls come crumbling down around them as they complain because marketing or business developers aren’t providing them enough leads.

Successful sales reps learn to keep prospecting at the forefront and schedule the time to make it happen. This is part of your job as a sales rep.

“If you are waiting for someone to help you, you may end up waiting a long time; take charge and be proactive, take charge of each day”

– Adrian Michael

Developing a proactive sales strategy is absolutely essential if you are going to gain net new business or cross sell solutions into existing clients. To just make do with existing resources with no proactive developmental sales strategy is a recipe for disaster.

In today’s crazy-busy business environment, prospects have less time to meet with you and they are much more skeptical resulting in anxiety, stress and disgruntled behaviors with sales reps. All of this leads to a reactive mindset instead of a proactive mindset.

A sales rep’s mindset is powerful as this has a direct impact on self-esteem, levels of expectations which ultimately leads to underperforming, call reluctance and an attitude of complacency. Opportunities are missed and so is their relationship equity with many clients and future clients.


As a sales manager, you hear the whining and childlike behavior suspecting your sales team has become reactive instead of proactive regarding the current sales strategy. I encourage you to self-reflect and ask yourself these questions…

  • Does prospecting meet with reluctance on the part of your sales team?
  • Is your sales team simply reacting to incoming inquiries instead of proactively generating new opportunities by uncovering the customer’s pain and offering solutions?
  • Does your sales team spend most of their time calling on the same unqualified pipeline hopefuls without any results?
  • Does your sales team feel prospecting is a waste of time because they have been coached to the same old prospecting methods?


Successful sales reps integrate next-gen methodologies when it comes to business development. They develop a change creator’s mindset looking to perpetually propel themselves forward with their sales development. The proactive business development recipe is quite simple… phone, email, referrals, social selling, community networking events and quarterly business reviews.


Let’s get real for a moment… Buying behavior has changed so much that the traditional sales playbook, developed years and years ago inside your organization, simply doesn’t work as efficiently as it used to, correct? The reality is the buyer is dictating the sales process.

Nex gen sales reps acknowledge this shift by changing their mindset while developing additional skill sets around top-of-sales funnel activities. Enter in research, follow, connect, nurture and meet.


  • Creating target lists of companies within their marketplace. Integrate modern sales tools such as Twitter, Google News/Alerts and LinkedIn to conduct research determining appropriate contacts.
  • Following these targeted companies and contacts. They leverage Twitter, Google News/Alerts and LinkedIn to learn as much as they can about their prospects.
  • Incorporating social listening and trigger events to understand what their buyer cares about.
  • Connecting with them on LinkedIn with meaning while personalizing the invitation.
  • Nurturing and building the relationship through educational content. They become engagement magnets by driving 1-1 online conversation.
  • Engaging with potential prospects regarding their interests, concerns and initiatives.
  • Turning these online conversations into phone calls and thus into face to face meetings by building credibility, value and trustworthiness. They become visible and valuable inside their networks.
  • Helping potential prospects through the buying process by making the journey about helping them solve their business problems or challenges.

Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to results!

To be truly proactive and follow these best practices involves extreme focus, process, discipline and personal accountability. A strong alignment of activities with an emphasis on objectives, process for continuous improvement and a discipline toward utilizing best practices throughout the sales process is a must for performance at all levels.


If 50% of your client base in 2017 decided not to upgrade…How would you meet or exceed quota?

A proactive prospecting approach focuses on eliminating problems before they have a chance to appear while a reactive approach is based on responding to events after they have happened. The difference between these two approaches is the perspective each sales rep provides in assessing the actions and events to keep the sales funnel full.


Creating a proactive sales strategy includes planning, profiling targeted accounts, executing account strategies and obtaining feedback to continuously improve performance and drive additional sales revenue. Creating a business plan and setting goals facilitates this potential into achievable numeric objectives, i.e. sales revenue and margin growth. This is the basis of proactive selling.

Larry Levine transforms, coaches and inspires B2B Office Technology Sales Professionals to grow net new business by helping them tell their story and communicate on LinkedIn. His commitment is to help office technology dealers thrive in a changing marketplace. You can follow Larry on LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as at the Social Sales Academy.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

When we train our PeopleLinx clients about rebuilding their LinkedIn Profiles for Social Selling, we liken the Profile to a house’s foundation: Without a solid foundation, the house will eventually crumble. The same can be said for your Social Selling efforts.

That’s why you need to rethink your Profile. It’s not your resume; it is your opportunity to attract, engage and teach your audience about you and your company. It also must get the right people to raise their hand and say, “Let’s talk.”

We have an ON-DEMAND Webinar that can help you build that “perfect” LinkedIn Profile. Watch it today, and you’ll be ready to build!

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