Core Selling Skills for Inbound Salespeople


Core selling skills for inbound salespeople can differ from outbound or enterprise type selling. So, we have prepared a guide to help with the skills that stand out and excel at this sales role. Let’s take a look at the core skills an inbound salesperson should ideally have or be trained on.

Sales adaptability and memory.

As an inbound salesperson, their job is to provide outstanding service, advice, and recommendations   to your customers. In order to do that, they must be able to learn and remember everything about the company, the products and services, the sales process plus all the correct procedures. Continuous sales training on the job will help them but the traits and basic skills need to be present in the first place. Ideally, the salesperson should be sales focused, not afraid of rejection, is persistent  as well as a good listener. After training and practice, salespeople should be aware of every single aspect regarding the services, pricing, competitors, and differentiators the company sells on.

Core selling skills and the voice.

In an inbound selling environment, one’s physical appearance does not play any external role when interacting with customers (except on video/remote calls). However, one physical aspect we must pay attention to is the voice. Salespeople should be trained to speak clearly, at an even pace and use the voice as a substitute for physical gestures. Knowing how to use the voice to communicate agreement, understanding, positivity, interest, and helpfulness.  

The impression they leave any customer during a sales conversation can be a major factor when deciding to buy.

Empathy with customers.

One of the core selling skills is empathy, which is a soft sale skill. Customers want to feel they have been heard, understood and the salesperson can relate to their situation etc. A good salesperson will give them the comfort that they can solve the problem and ensure that the customer feels they are the only priority in this moment. Sales is a human to human activity and every customer should feel that they are treated with a high level of regard.

The ability to bring attention to every call.

Inbound sales can be repetitive, and process driven. Salespeople need to be trained that every call is different (and maybe unique to that customer). They know that language is the key that opens doors in selling. More specifically, they understand what they say can make all the difference in getting a buyer to buy. They are always attentive and ready to maximize the next call. No cutting corners with a customer. They reset themselves and approach every call to expect the unexpected plus give that customer 100% of their attention.


Demonstrate patience and calm with customers.

Again, one of the core selling skills that is actually a soft skill. Salespeople need to be able to control their emotions especially in the face of objections or challenging conversations. They have the ability to listen, understand the meaning behind the words and then clarify without raising their voice. They can acknowledge without headbutting, they know it’s not personal, so they speak evenly and calmly to get their point across. They are a problem solver which means staying in control.  

Customer first core selling skills.

Every business needs customers. Every salesperson needs people to sell to. Customers (not sales, marketing, or product) are responsible for the company’s success. Simple gestures such as  “thank you” “lovely speaking with you” “I understand” “You are welcome” “I really appreciate your business” shows the customer they are not being taken for granted. They leave every call feeling that they are central to your success.

Own their role plus teamwork.

Once trained, the salesperson must be able to own their role and have the ability to work independently, without being supervised or instructed. They add value to every call but also follow the procedures or processes. They are accountable for their results and avoid blaming tools or mishaps. They also know that a sales team is a team who solves problems. That work together to find solutions to improve their role as well as the customer experience.

Sales effectiveness.

Every inbound salesperson understands that sales effectiveness comes down metrics such as win rates, closed deals, and revenue generated. They are persistent throughout the sales deal cycle, following up on every lead and quote. They effectively use their time between inbound and follow up calls. They can use multiple touchpoints effectively and repeat this success time and time again. They also know when to fold and move on.

Organizational core selling skills.

Salespeople need to master the various organizational skills that allows them to stay focused on different tasks, and use their time, resources, and energy, etc. efficiently in order to achieve the desired outcome expected of them. They can research and analyze situations, prepare documentation, and think through situations. They have the ability to perform your tasks in a timely manner, schedule, and stick to deadlines.

Sales creativity.

Creativity is another soft sale skill that also forms part of the core selling skills a salesperson needs in the digital first era. Salespeople need to blend process with creativity to provide solutions when the need arises. They can help to generate new ideas, solve problems, adapt to different situations, and get themselves to stand out from the crowd in the eyes of the customer. They seek challenges to stretch their sales capabilities and are constantly learning new skills on how to interact with customers, which they share.  

Persuasion sales skills.

The salesperson has mastered persuasion, which requires effective communication plus the ability to articulate their points clearly and effectively. They take the to understand their customers and their challenges. They let the customer know that they respect their point of view. Persuasion is also the ability to influence thoughts, opinions, and decisions, by using credible arguments and facts. When used correctly, it helps customers appreciate alternate points of view and opens the way for buying to happen.


Core selling skills warning signs.

Finding the right core selling skills and personality traits may be difficult, there are some signs to help you filter the types of employees you don’t want to deal with. As soon as you notice any of these warning signs in an applicant, thank them and keep looking for a better candidate.

Inability to learn.

Every salesperson needs to be trained. Not everyone has lots and lots of selling experience working in a sales role, and that’s okay. However, if a salesperson doesn’t show the aptitude to learn, upskill themselves, attend sales training, and reach a certain standard, then this is a red flag.

Loack of emotional control.

No one wants to deal with a salesperson who can’t hold a give and take sales conversation or and gets annoyed easily. Working one-on-one with certain profiles of customers requires calmness and self-discipline. A business needs salespeople who won’t inflame a situation but rather works to control their own feelings and focus on the outcomes.

Lack of professionalism

Every salesperson needs to be able to hold professional and polite sales conversation, each day, and every day. Successful salespeople have values such as honesty and credibility. They hold themselves to a high standard. They put the customers’ needs and the needs of the business above their own. A salesperson who lacks professionalism will mis-sell to customers and compromise themselves or even over promise and under deliver. Ask what the salesperson stands for, their ethics and view of selling.  

So, you have a quick list of core selling skills for inbound salespeople, however these skills are equally applicable to customer care or any type of sales role.

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