Your brand identity might be at the forefront of building brand awareness and drawing in new leads, but it’s your sales team that’s ultimately responsible for sealing the deal. Sales is the face of your company during a number of essential touchpoints, often providing the first human-to-human contact that a potential customer has with you. And when that team has a personal brand, it can help make your company appear more likable, more trustworthy, and more desirable to partner with.

The sales brand is another example of marketing and sales working together toward a common goal. Your sales team’s personal brand is both an extension of and a complement to the message you’ve been sharing in your marketing campaigns.  And in some ways, it even helps fill in the gaps that marketing leaves behind.

The more competitive advantages you have, the better. Here’s why your sales team should have a personal brand and how to make it happen.

What is a Personal Brand in Sales?

It’s hard to estimate just how important your sales team is to your overall success as a company. The most critical time to gain a customer’s continued loyalty is during their first purchase or right when service begins, so a lot is riding on the experience they have with sales.

A “personal brand” refers to the distinguishing traits that your individual sales team members have. In the sales department, these traits are related to everything from the experience they bring to the table to their knowledge of your industry. These traits tell a story about the kinds of people that make up your sales team and your company’s overall values and practices.

Whether intentional or not, every interaction that a sales rep has with a customer shares a message about your brand. It pays to shape those experiences and build them on the individuality of your sales team members. But in doing so, it’s also crucial to put forth a united front regarding who your brand is and why it’s better than the competition.

Personal Branding is Just Good Strategy

The world of commerce might be getting increasingly digital, but customers have higher expectations than ever when it comes to a brand’s identity. And a personal brand in sales helps you follow through on these expectations in three big ways.

  • Put names and faces to your brand. Humanizing the real people behind your company helps build likeability, making your brand easier to interact with and trust.
  • Build influence. A personal brand allows you to establish who you are and what you know, fostering more influence in a particular space — which is a necessity when you’re working with leads.
  • Stay top of mind. Brand awareness doesn’t stop at the bottom of the funnel. A personal brand means a more memorable experience and interaction, both before and after a sale.

How to Build a Personal Brand

There are two avenues through which members of your sales team establish their personal brands: through interactions and content. And in both cases, a few key rules apply.

1. Be helpful

It’s not just the big wins that deliver value. Being helpful and reliable in sales communications and content benefits the customer service experience as a whole, in turn adding more overall value to your partnership.

Accessibility is huge here. Your sales team members should aim to be available as needed for customers, responding to questions or comments in a reasonable timeframe and offering plenty of useful content that can be referenced as needed to clear up confusion and spur on a sale.

2. Don’t be overly promotional

“Be less sales-y” might seem like counterintuitive advice for a sales team, but aiming for educational insight over blatant promotional is a great way to enhance a personal brand for the better.

Authenticity will always beat out a good pitch, and customers are quick to see through blatant sales-driven efforts. So ditch the used-car lot sales talk and have your team stick to what really makes your brand and them unique, including experience, industry expertise, and innovative solutions.

3. Always be consistent

Your sales team can’t fake a personal brand, nor can they achieve it overnight. It takes consistency across channels and over a long period of time.

Content plays a huge role in consistency. Keep the personal brand of your sales team members strong by having them regularly create and share content. This can be part of your sales enablement strategy, with a focus on content that provides value to potential buyers in accessible and succinct ways.

Having your sales team work on their individual personal brands, highlighting what makes them great will also highlight what makes your company great. You likely already have a good idea of what constitutes a strong personal brand for your sales team members, so get to work disseminating it and see the payoff in your customer interactions and relationships.