The sales skills to master and the qualities needed to become a successful salesperson can be acquired with some learning and dedication to the art of selling. A sales career is a mixture of perspiration and inspiration with usually no shortcuts to becoming successful. Whether its SaaS, Inbound, Digital or Old Fashioned selling, all of them require competent sales professionals with a mixture of talents, skills and abilities. However, within the hyper changing, social media influenced selling landscape, they are some critical sales skills to master (or develop) in order for any salesperson to exceed their targets and deliver a consistent level of sales performance. At The Digital Sales Institute, we have done some research with leading coaches, trainers and sales managers to compile some of the crucial sales skills for salespeople to master.
So, what does it take to become a component salesperson?
Ah, the endless debate on what it takes to become a component or successful salesperson. Is it having the gift of the gab? ability to sell sand in the desert? Or could it be the skill to really understand a customers needs and then take them on a journey which ends with the salesperson presenting them with a solution they feel compelled to act upon?
Experts say that when you boil down selling to its key parts, it’s about two critical things – Conversations and Commitments. Sounds straightforward enough, right?, but how do salespeople kick-start conversations when cold calling has diminishing returns. The stark reality is that buyers just don’t pick up the phone anymore. So getting a sales conversation started with a prospect has become both art and science. In fact, selling in general has become both easier and harder thanks to social media and technology.
In B2B sales today even selling smaller ticket items means a longer sales cycle with probably 3 or 4 people involved in the buying decision. For a salesperson who wants to be in a sales career for the long-haul they must be able to create and nurture relationships over time. This requires that there are certain key sales skills to master to have real sales conversations and to get commitments to explore solutions that leads to purchasing decisions. This is the key to long lasting sales success.
Sales skills to master should allow any salesperson to network, provide value and build relationships by opening conversation that build rapport. Great salespeople know how to communicate precisely what the true value of their product or service means to each and every customer. They will also know how to walk in a customers shoes, provide unique insights, understand their needs and make buying easier, which in turn helps any potential customer to feel at ease and trust them enough to give commitments to explore further.
Getting someone to buy is no mystery, if the potential customer feels valued and understood plus they see the need for the solution, then they will be motivated to take action and make the deal happen. Salespeople need to understand the psychology of selling, have a winning mindset and develop a range of soft selling skills to take them to the top of their career.
Sales Skills To Master for Great Salespeople….
- Have empathy and constantly use active listening
- Learn to understand a prospect’s needs
- Can engage with customers on their level
- Will use a multi-channel approach to selling
- Can add value to the customers role and make buying easier
- Are skilled at discovery questions to uncover opportunities
- Are comfortable overcoming hesitations or objections
- Can pinpoint the value that their proposal will bring to the customer
- Know their why, why they undertake each action and activity
- Are great at storytelling, stories that resonate with the customer
- Can educate prospects with new ideas and ways of seeing things
- Know that collaboration is critical in the sales process
- Are experts on their product and market
- Are seen as being a helpful, useful and valuable connection by a buyer
- Get Commitments from every sales conversation that moves things forward
- Have a Sales Mindset, comfortable with rejection and goal orientated
- Practice the “Sales Habit Loop” – a consistent approach to everything they do
The sales skills to master in a sales role may sound harder than learning to fly a fighter jet, however once a salesperson puts the sales skills in “Conversation” and “Commitment” lists, then they are not as many or complicated as many sales trainers would lead you to believe. Whether its social selling, sales prospecting or general selling skills, they just take time, learning and determination or even taking a sales course online.