Mastering sales skills will enable you to perform at your best and achieve success in your sales position. They’re also among the most transferable and sought-after abilities in the job market, regardless of industry or employer.
However, today’s sales talents aren’t always the same as they were decades ago.
The way we do business is changing as a result of powerful disruptions such as a worldwide pandemic, technology developments, and changing customer needs.
Let’s look at the important sales skills a salesman needs to succeed in today’s market.
In today’s business, the function of a salesperson is complicated.
To attain professional goals, a successful salesperson must master both hard and soft talents.
On the one hand, you must stay current with the technical aspects of your job, such as knowing how to use a CRM system. Fine-tuning your ‘human’ skills, such as emotional intelligence, on the other hand, is just as (if not more) vital.
According to a LinkedIn Talent Report, 92 percent of talent experts believe soft skills are just as important as or more important than hard skills when it comes to hiring.
This is due to the fact that sales skills such as empathy, communication, and time management are difficult to teach and acquire. However, in a sales position, talents like these are critical for creating relationships and completing agreements.
In addition to acquiring these skills, a salesperson’s mindset is crucial. Here are some of the most important qualities to have in order to provide the finest sales results:
- Confidence: A salesperson must radiate self-assurance. If you’re not confidence in the goods or service you’re providing, neither will your customers.
- A growth mindset is the concept that your success is based on your ability to continually improve. A great salesperson does not appear out of nowhere. They’ve been created.
- Motivation: You should be motivated to meet your sales targets.
Let’s look at some of the most important hard and soft talents that great salespeople require now that we’ve defined the attitude of successful salespeople.
The 13 Most Important Sales Skills
As you might assume, the precise sales abilities required differ based on the type of sales position you have or the industry you work in.
However, there are a few talents that every salesperson should have. Here’s a list of the most crucial sales talents you’ll need to master as a salesperson.
Some people refer to these abilities as “hard,” but it implies that the others are soft or simple, which they are not. Technical abilities are those that can be taught more easily through content and repetition. They are more context-specific, referring to a specific product or service being sold, or a tool, platform, or program being used.
Let’s have a look at some of the most important technical skills:
1. Product knowledge: One of the most critical hard skills in any sales career is knowing everything there is to know about your product or service.
Your sales training program will provide you with the tools you need to get that knowledge. However, it is up to you to develop reputation and trust in your sector by becoming an expert.
Having a thorough understanding of what you’re selling instills trust in your client. It also allows you to quickly respond to any client questions or complaints.
Clients aren’t the only ones that appreciate this ability.
Industry experience is one of the top skills prized by employers, according to LinkedIn’s State of Sales Report.
2. Skills in strategic prospecting: Strategic prospecting entails efficiently discovering sales prospects.
This entails taking a deliberate approach to locating and forming relationships with clients, which includes:
- Selling on social media
- Marketing via email
- Content production of high quality
Salespeople who can use this talent to their advantage have a better success rate than those who rely on ‘old school’ approaches like cold calling or referrals.
3. Selling on social media requires a salesperson to go where their clients are. Social networking sites will be used by 3.96 billion individuals by 2022.
This is why social selling has become one of the most popular sales tactics in the world today. The process of creating relationships with potential consumers through social media platforms like as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook is known as social selling.
According to LinkedIn, 78 percent of social sellers outsell their counterparts who don’t use social media.
4. Dealing with objections: In sales, objections are unavoidable. It’s natural for your buyer to be skeptical of your prices or product.
A salesperson’s response to these client concerns is known as objection handling.
To be successful, salespeople must be able to address these concerns without being overbearing. When done correctly, objection management can change a “no” into a “yes.”
5. Ability to adapt to new technology and software: The COVID-19 pandemic completely changed the way we work. Sales teams who adapted to remote selling through chat and phone outperformed their peers during this time.
In a sales role, being willing to use technology to your advantage will remain a key skill.
Adapting to working remotely or utilizing tools such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems to boost efficiency and productivity are examples of this.
6. Closing techniques: Throughout the sales cycle, everything leads up to the final step: closing the deal. When your buyer ultimately decides to buy something.
One of the most important talents in sales is mastering closing strategies that get your client to commit to buying. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Report, closing more deals is the top priority for 75% of businesses.
7. Relationship after the sale: Successful salespeople understand that the ideal time to create trust with their customers is after the sale. Even after a client has made a purchase, things like providing continuing assistance, resolving any concerns, and offering loyalty discounts continue to bring value to them.
Continued business, loyalty, and referrals are all possible outcomes of a healthy post-sale relationship.
These are what are known as “soft talents,” which are crucial in sales. They are difficult to train, but once mastered, they are extremely transferrable to a variety of situations. With the help of coaching, mentorship, and peer support, we acquire these human talents through time through experience.
Let’s take a look at some crucial human abilities for sales job:
8. Time management: When it comes to sales, the adage “time is money” has never been more accurate.
The truth is that time spent ineffectively in sales results in revenue loss. If you want to be a successful salesperson, learning to manage your time effectively is a crucial soft skill to master.
And it isn’t always simple.
Managing your time between prospecting, client meetings, and phone calls can be difficult. According to a Data Well poll, one of the main difficulties facing sales managers in 2019 is a shortage of time.
Salespeople who know how to effectively manage their time have a better degree of productivity. They’re also good candidates for sales positions.
9. Active Listening: Buyers can tell when you’re truly paying attention to them and when you’re just waiting for your moment to talk.
That is why a successful salesperson must have active listening abilities. The capacity to focus on what someone is saying while making them feel understood and respected is known as active listening.
When you actively listen to a customer, you’re giving them your full attention and attempting to comprehend their point of view. This not only helps you comprehend their problems better, but it also shows respect.
According to LinkedIn, 46 percent of buyers consider active listening to be the most important ability in a salesperson.
10. Communication: Communication abilities are in high demand in any industry, but particularly in sales. What good is being an expert in a product or service if you can’t sell it to potential customers?
In sales, effective communication is a valuable ability for establishing connections with customers and communicating value. Among the most effective communication tactics are:
- Keeping your customer interested
- Being conscientious about their time
- When giving your sales pitch, keep it short and sweet.
11. Integrity is one of the most important qualities in any job. A sales representative with integrity has strong moral convictions and always tells it like it is with their consumers.
Buyers admire this quality because they know that sales representatives with honesty will work in their best interests. According to LinkedIn, 88 percent of buyers have bought items or services from salespeople they trusted.
12. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to recognize, comprehend, and control one’s own emotions. It’s also the ability to sense other people’s emotions. This trait is especially crucial in a sales position since it allows you to communicate effectively.
A salesperson with a high EQ has an easy time forming relationships with clients and gaining their trust. This is due to their ability to make clients feel at ease in their presence.
13. Resilience: The year 2020 brought unprecedented stress and disruption to people and organizations. Those that were resilient emerged stronger than ever before throughout these times.
The ability to bounce back from adversity is referred to as resilience. It’s a must-have trait in a high-pressure position like sales.
Assume you’re a sales manager with a team that isn’t doing well. If you aren’t resilient, you will easily break down under pressure and have a negative impact on your team’s morale. However, if you’re tenacious, you’ll overcome this obstacle by taking action, such as increasing exercise.