7 most important sales skills
In business sales plays most important role.Effective salespeople excel at communication, active listening, public speaking, social psychology and many other things besides negotiation and closing. Dedicating your time and effort to improving these skills will propel you into a future where your highest ambitions become a reality.
Sales skills are a subset of the skills necessary for many jobs, while other skills you need will vary from position to position, so be sure to read job descriptions carefully. In the meantime, you can use the following to identify which sales skills you have, where you might need to brush up, and how you can present your abilities in the best possible light when you apply for a sales position. It may also help for you to review our list of skills listed by job and type of skill.
1. Product Knowledge
A sales rep who doesn’t perfectly understand the product they’re selling is a completely ineffective rep. Product training should be one of the very first things you teach new reps – they should be able to explain in detail how each product works, what business value it offers, and the reasons it appeals to your company’s ideal customers. This will help ISRs (Inside Sales Reps) craft their sales pitch effectively, and ensure they highlight each product’s strongest features. Deep product knowledge is honestly one of the few things that separates the top 1% of reps from the rest.
The ability to positively engage other people, build long-term relationships, and form mutually beneficial networks will find frequent use in any salesperson’s workflow. From meeting clients and gathering referrals to soliciting advice and achieving team objectives, relationship-building skills enable a salesperson to accomplish tasks easier and make better-informed decisions. Relationship-building involves trust, rapport, and a genuine desire to help other people. Relationship-building leads to relationship selling, so don’t think it’s just a bunch of fluff. This creates opportunities if you play your cards right!
3.Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
Having an ocean of data is hardly enough to get you anywhere, however. You still need critical thinking skills to process information, analyze disparate data, and sift through the heap for relevant bits of information that will help you formulate solutions for problems your prospects or your team are experiencing.
4. Business Communication
Your talent at engaging prospects during the sales conversation or articulating a concept can still be honed for the business landscape. It is imperative that sales professionals learn the best practices in both oral (e.g., phone calls, presentations, pitches, etc.) and written (e.g., proposals, memos, referral requests, etc) communications. This will help you become more effective at connecting with clients and making a positive impact in how they perceive your brand.
5. Active Listening
Most sales reps feel comfortable talking to prospects, but listening is another story. ISRs need to become proficient in active listening, or listening with a strict focus and asking intelligent follow-up questions. People can usually tell if you’re really listening to them, rather than just thinking about what you’ll say next – and most people appreciate a good listener. Great listening skills can help reps empathize with prospects to learn more about their business and pain points. With that knowledge, they can then sell more effectively and offer a better solution.
The most effective ISRs are able to make the most of their time, with more dials and more connects than other reps. The key to being highly productive is using good time management skills. You need to train each rep to sort through leads to find the most promising ones, and not waste too much time on a deal that isn’t going anywhere. You can use analytics to identify the industry, business size, and other characteristics of ideal leads, and share the information with your team. It’s vital to make the most of the hours in the day to bring in more deals per rep.
Excellent sales professionals are motivated by the notion that:
There’s an ambitious goal to be reached.
It is an attainable goal.
Achieving it feels incredible.
There’s a reward at the finish line.
Given this mindset, these sellers will exert all effort to meet or surpass targets.
Top notch sales leadership is the driving force behind building highly motivated, goal oriented sales reps.