“They are a born salesperson.”
Most commonly heard phrase to describe someone with enviable sales skills. While some have the natural ability to fit into the sales role, these are not genetic. Sales skills can be learned and mastered easily just like any other skill in today’s workforce.
Once you master the sales skills, you will have an optimum performance with a success as a salesperson. Above all, these skills are easily transferable skills and the most sought-after skills in the market besides the industry or company you are in.
If you want to grow in the world of business development, there are certain sales skills you must possess. As easy as it sounds, business development actually requires a lot of strategies, planning, and certain basic skills.
Sales Skills That Sales Reps Should Master
There are diverse aspects that define a sale as a good sale. Some factors like the duration of a call, the nurturing process, convincing pitch, fostering relationships, upgrading the sale from basic to advance, etc. – are measured as efficient metrics of a sale.
If a sales rep drives a sale without the above metrics, then this is the time to coach the rep to polish their sales skills. Most of the juvenile reps lack the quality of being a good salesperson and the required skill set that is needed in the world of business development.
How to be a better salesperson?
A better salesperson always looks for continuous growth by showing his/her enthusiasm to learn something new every day. In some cases, the salesperson’s quality is inbuilt and in some cases, it comes through a plethora of experience.
However, in order to escalate your coaching process, we have curated a few sales skills that will help your reps to scale themselves as salespeople.
- Being Discipline
- Be good to the customers but beneficial to the company
- Possess lots of knowledge
- Be resourceful
- Be passionate
- Be honest
Most Important Sales Skills to Learn
Without knowing what sales skills the sales reps require, nurturing and caring for them will not deliver good results. In order to have healthy revenue, you need to look after the sales skills, listed below, every sales rep needs to develop.
- Inquiring Mind
- Need identification
- Emotional Intelligence
- Listening skill
- Objection prevention skill
- Objection handling skill
- Post sale relationship management
- Time management
- Strategic prospecting Skill
- Manage pipeline
Strong communication is the key to closing deals and building relationships with prospective clients, setting expectations, and smartly discussing the buyer’s pain point.
It seems obvious, but it is important to remember how important is communication. It is much more than just speaking clearly. Communication also includes emails, messages, presentations, social media, and more. Interaction has to be sound whether online or in-person.
Salespeople are required to communicate effectively throughout the cycle to move the client along in the sales cycle to the purchase decision.
Product and process knowledge are two of the major factors that differentiate a good and better sales rep. A good rep knows only that much he has to know but a better rep knows more than what he has to know. The urge of knowing more drives a rep from good to better.
If a rep is self-driven, there is no need to boost him. On the other hand, if a rep is not an initiative to learn, more than a manager he needs a leader/coach.
Having good knowledge of product/service, a sales rep can craft his/her pitch naturally and fluently than by hearting the script. That flow provides confidence to the customer to proceed with.
Having the urge to gain more intellect persistently is another agility ladder to become an excellent salesperson. This skill pushes a rep to know more about a customer and his/her requirement. This type of rep researches well about the prospects before making a call.
Also, curiosity skill demands to have more knowledge and it enhances fast learning skills. If a rep has good knowledge about a prospect and the product, he finds a smoother way to bridge the gap between the two. Curiosity is a great-to-have sales skill.
Unless a rep knows about the requirement of a prospect, his effort to sell the product will go in vain. Therefore, the need identification skill is required for each sales rep. This skill can be developed by a few practices:
- The habit of researching the prospect’s account
- Start asking question tactfully, that will give you additional information
- Go for objective questions
- Psychology study
The history of your prospect will provide you with a clue of his/her requirement. Based on the researched data, ask questions tactfully, so that s/he can answer you with additional information. While asking the questions, go for ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ type question. The response from the prospect will help you to understand his/her psychology.
Story Telling might seem to be a component of good communication, but it is an entirely distinct skill. It requires reps to be concise and clear considering the engagement and authenticity of the client.
What does an authentic story tell about a company?
- Help company to stand out in the minds of buyers
- Leverage buyers’ emotions and encourage relevant action
- Help buyers understand how similar clients have had the same challenges and you provided them a successful solution
In order to learn this skill, you need to have an exercise with your team, including your coach. Let them learn how to tell stories- mostly how to position case studies for conversions and other pain-proof points.
Emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success. A sales rep should develop this skill to control any spontaneous conversation. Though the flow sounds natural, sometimes, the conversation goes in a different way where consequences may create a negative impression on the brand. In that case, emotional intelligence skill manages the situation to provide the WOW experience.
For instance, a prospect is not ready to have a conversation and he tries to disconnect. A skilful rep holds him for a long time engaging him with product/service promotion. Prospect got angry and started shouting, in that situation the rep should manage the situation to end the conversation in a smoother way without reacting. This is where emotional intelligence is required.
Confidence is not only required in the realm of sales but everywhere. There are two types of confidence.
- Confidence fueled by ego
- Confidence equipped by fact and research
These days informed buyers are not ready to be sold. If they sense the empty rhetoric, they will signal you to drop the weapon. Therefore, confidence triggered by knowledge always earns respect and is thus, one of the most important skills of a sales rep.
Exchanging knowledge and collaborations are always result-driven. That is the reason, every company keeps a separate budget for the team outing. Team bonding provokes teamwork.
For instance, a team of 10 members should achieve a certain amount of sales per week. Let’s say it is already achieved, but there are two members who have zero sales. In this case, the team has achieved the target but those two members lost their confidence.
A good sales manager should coach their sales rep to give a part of their sale to the weak performers. This practice will provide team bonding skills and will lift to the weak performer.
A good listener can be a good speaker. Generally, sales reps like to talk to prospects. But the listening skill is something that makes the conversion process easy. An active listener can throw smart follow-up questions to convince the prospect.
If a sales rep listens to the prospect actively, it will be easier for him to study the prospect’s psychology and his/her requirement. Here the need identification works with listening skills.
Objection Prevention Skill
No matter how good your sales reps are, in the process of sales, all reps encounter objections about price, quality, competitor’s product, etc. Collecting all the common questions that are raised from the prospects and preparing to answer skillfully can prevent objections. Most of the objections arise from the way you present your pitch.
Therefore, learning how to present the pitch skillfully can prevent objections. Your initial pitch should contain all the information and a valid explanation of each point.
For instance, your prospect told you that s/he doesn’t have enough budget. For this objection, reducing prices or providing discounts will work more than explaining features.
Objection Handling Skill
Though your reps are overloaded with objection prevention skills, sometimes they are stuck with the objections that arise from the prospects. You can prevent objection by preparing tactful responses for common issues. What if an objection is unique? That is why you need to coach your sales reps on how to handle the objections.
There are a few tips to handle the objection:
- Embrace objections
- Be calm while speaking
- Start asking questions when you encounter objections
- Take authority and control the conversation
- Take the help of your senior
Post Sale Relationship Management
Most of the sales reps don’t mind going back to the customers once they get the business from them. This is one of the key areas your sales rep can work on to build a good relationship and generate more prospects further.
Once all the selling processes are done and connect to the customer after a short period. Show interest to talk and get feedback on the product/service. This will create an impression that you care about them.
After a few days, you can contact him/her again and show common courtesy thanking him/her. This is how a relationship is built with the existing customer and they may refer to other prospects by sharing his/her experience.
Generally, sales leaders focus on the number of dials per day and most of the sales reps fail to achieve that. This happens because the sales reps are lacking time management skills. Therefore, coaching your sales reps on time management will indirectly provide you with more sales. The more numbers of the dial will provide you the more sales.
Break down the entire working hours of the day into minutes and divide the number of minutes per call. If a call is going lengthy, coach your reps to find the opportunity to send the follow-up email to the prospects with all the information s/he need instead of spending time in the call.
Strategic Prospecting Skill
Prospecting is looking for prospects whereas strategic prospecting is researching and finding the “potential” and “qualified” prospects. Contacting prospects who are not your target audience is the waste of time.
Therefore, developing strategic prospecting skills is essential for every sales rep. Once a sales rep is ready with product knowledge, s/he can go to the past records and find the list of probable records. Also, your rep can go for a referral to get the prospects by building a good rapport with the existing customers.
Pipeline Managing Skill
A pipeline is one of the strongest elements in sales. A company measures the achievements of the day based on the pipelines. Hence, managing the pipeline at an individual level is most important.
According to the Harvard Business Review, “Companies with effective pipeline management had an average growth rate of 5.3, a 15 percent increase. Even more, interestingly, companies that mastered three specific pipeline practices saw 28 percent higher revenue growth.”
The best practices of a good sales rep are:
- Proper follow-up
- Dropping the dead leads
- Keep a backup for dropped payment
Once your sales reps are trained and ready to sell the products, measure the above sales skills and rate them. Start testing them often to know how far their sales skills have been developed and keep sharing with them.
Of course, all sales reps will not have excellence in each skill. Hence, make different groups where each rep covers all the skills in each group. So that they will learn from each other to fill the gap.