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12 Best Sales Skills That Every Rep Needs

Sales Skills

12 Best Sales Skills every rep should master

1. Buyer research

2. Communication

3. Product knowledge

4. Strategic Prospecting

5. Active Listening

6. Objection Handling

7. Demo Skills

8. Gaining Commitment

9. Closing Techniques

10. Empathetic

11. Goal Oriented

12. Responsible

You cannot become a great salesperson unless you have mastered the right sales skills.

Sales Skills like communication, product knowledge, objection handling, demo skills, etc., are needed if you need to have a meaningful conversation with the buyer.

You might possess some of these skills but, most of them you will develop through proper training and coaching.

Once you mastered these sales skills, you can see yourself closing more deals than before.


In this guide, you’ll find:

  • Meaning of sales skills 
  •  Top 12 sales skills for salesperson
  • What do expert’s say?

A. What are sales skills ?

Sales skills are the abilities, knowledge, and techniques necessary to successfully persuade potential customers to buy a product or service. 

These skills include effective communication, active listening, empathy, and problem-solving, social selling as well as a deep understanding of the product or service being sold and the needs of the customer. 

Sales skills also involve the ability to build relationships with customers, overcome objections, negotiate effectively, and close deals.

In addition, salespeople need to have a high level of resilience and a positive attitude, as well as the ability to work well under pressure and meet sales targets. 

Overall, strong sales skills are crucial for anyone who wants to be successful in a sales role.

B. Top 12 sales skills for salesperson

1. Buyer research

If you need to close more deals, then you need to reach out to those prospects that have higher chances of converting into a client.

But for that, you need to do research. You must gather information about different types of buyers, the competitive landscape, market trends, and other business intelligence. \

Sales Skills- Buyer Research

All this data will help you reach the right prospects and close more deals.

You can start your research by checking out social media accounts, news articles, websites, public financial documents, etc.

2. Communication

One of the most important sales skills is how well you communicate with the prospects and the clients.

Because the way you say it matters more than what you say.

So, to be a great salesperson, you must be good at both oral(presentations, phone calls, pitches) and written(email, social media, proposals, memos) communications.

Another thing that you need to focus on is that you talk the same way your prospect is talking. For example, if he is speaking formally, do the same. 

It helps you to create rapport with the prospect and have a positive impact on how he perceives your brand.

To improve your communication skills, you can use conversation intelligence software like Enthu that will analyze your calls and inform you about the areas where you can improve.

See Enthu.AI in action

Enthu.AI demo link

3. Product knowledge

If you don’t know about the product that you are going to sell, how will you sell it?

Every sales rep must know the product inside out, i.e., the features, benefits, weaknesses, etc.

Knowing the product will help sales reps to answer any questions that prospects have and also present customized solutions as per his needs.

Product knowledge

This sales skill is a prerequisite for an effective sales pitch and high sales performance.

To track your rep’s knowledge you can analyse his pitch by using various call recording software available in the market.

4. Strategic Prospecting

In this, not only do you need to find and add prospects to the sales funnel but also qualify them whether they are an ideal customer for your product or not.

Strategic Prospecting- Sales Skills

Prospecting is a crucial step because this is the starting of your sales process. It means if you are not finding leads that can be your ideal customers, you are delaying your entire sales process.

Also, if you master the art of prospecting, you will have much less work at the qualification stage, so strategic prospecting helps in improving sales and achieving targets.

5. Active Listening

If you want to succeed in sales, then you need to listen more and talk less.

Active listening is all about showing your concern towards the buyer’s needs and problems, i.e., listening to the buyer, and not interrupting in between with follow-up questions.

Active Listening

When you give time to prospects to speak, they will automatically share all the pain points they are facing.

So, whether you are in face-to-face conversation or cold calling, you need to let prospects complete first and then speak.

6. Objection Handling

Every prospect who is interested in your product will have objections against your products. So, every sales rep must know how to handle sales objections.

You can use this opportunity to ask more questions to the prospect that can help you understand the needs of the individual more clearly.

Sales reps must be well-prepared in advance to handle such sales objections.

7. Demo Skills

The one thing that you can practice in advance and be confident about in a sales process is your sales presentation and demo skills.

Mastering demo skill is necessary because it shows that you know your product and builds trust around your brand.

The more demos you give, the better you will be at handling different situations that arise in demos.

8. Gaining Commitment

A great sales rep is the one who makes the prospect commit to a deal quickly.

But it is only possible if you are talking to a decision-maker. So, you must bring the decision-maker into the sales process soon.

Gaining commitment

To make a prospect commit to a deal, you must make him understand the value of your product and how it can help you.

9. Closing Techniques

Once you gain the confidence of the decision-maker, it is time to close the deal.

For that, sales reps must know all about the different sales closing techniques

call closing - sales skills

Learning how to close a deal is necessary because it defines all the hard work that you have put into the previous steps of the sales process.

Sales reps should practice these closing techniques a lot if they want to close the deals effectively and efficiently. 

10. Empathetic

Closing a sale is a good thing. But it becomes better when your product provides real value to the prospect.

So you should be buyer-centric. You must understand the pain points of the prospects and provide them a solution as per their needs.

Developing empathy for prospects is one of the sales skills that a salesperson should have. And what a better way to showcase than using empathy statements.

11. Goal Oriented

Sales reps must have a goal in sight and the determination to achieve it.

Setting goals is essential because it provides you with a destination that you have to reach.

Goal Oriented

So, sales reps must be goal-oriented. And if they are not, then sales leaders must help them to become goal-oriented.

12. Responsible

Sales reps must know when they are wrong and should take full responsibility for the mistake.

They should never make excuses or pin-point the mistake on someone else.

Taking responsibility is what makes you a great salesperson.


C. What do expert’s say?

Experts in the field of sales have highlighted the importance of honing sales skills in order to be successful in the profession. Here are a few insights from experts:

  • According to Jill Konrath, author of “SNAP Selling” and “Agile Selling,” “Sales is an outcome, not a goal. It’s a function of doing numerous things right, starting from the moment you target a potential prospect until you finalize the deal.”

In other words, sales skills are not just about closing the deal, but also about effectively managing the sales process from beginning to end.


  • Jeb Blount, author of “Fanatical Prospecting” and “Sales EQ,” emphasizes the role of emotional intelligence in sales.

He says that sales skills such as empathy, active listening, and building rapport are critical for establishing trust with customers, which in turn leads to better sales outcomes.


  • Sandler Training, a sales training organization, highlights the importance of asking the right questions in the sales process. They argue that effective questioning skills are key to understanding the customer’s needs and identifying the best solutions to meet those needs.

Overall, experts agree that sales skills are a crucial component of success in sales. Effective salespeople must be able to build relationships, understand customer needs, communicate effectively, and manage the sales process from start to finish.

Tip: Analyse  your reps and customers conversation through speech analytics software such as Enthu.AI

Conclusion

Sales is a very competitive field.

You have to be focused and give your best shot every time.

Because if you miss your target, then there is always someone out there to grab the opportunity.

Even within the organization, you have to compete as teams or individuals.

So, you need to develop(and possess) the required sales skills if you want to succeed in this competitive world.


FAQs

What is the most important skill in sales?

Effective communication - is a critical skill in sales as it enables sales professionals to understand customer needs, build rapport, articulate value, and ultimately close deals. It involves active listening, empathy, and clear, concise language.

What 5 things are important in sales?

a) Effective communication b) Active listening c) Empathy d) Product knowledge e) Relationship building These are key elements for sales success, along with setting targets, time management, and problem-solving skills.

What are hard skills in sales?

Hard skills in sales include product knowledge, market research, CRM management, sales analysis, and proficiency in sales technologies. These technical skills are necessary for effective selling and meeting sales targets.

 

 

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