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Soft Skills & Hard Skills

What makes a salesperson successful today?

eye 1074 Published on 18 Oct. 2022
tag #Commercial skills

Good sales performance is an integral part of every business’s development strategy. 

The added value brought by good salespeople comes from their customer focus and expertise because, much more than just selling, they also have to be a consultant, facilitator, and challenger, bringing unique expertise and a range of different experiences along with them.

Therefore, the approach of salespeople in this evolving environment must be about gaining more expertise and intelligence, while also adopting a more individualised and humane approach.
But, above all, when faced with increasingly demanding customers, the attitudes of salespeople and their authenticity are what will make the real difference.

Although sales profiles are highly varied nowadays and calls for a variety of sales and technical skills for different industries, individuals who wish to succeed must demonstrate the following three skills.

Passion and motivation for selling

Being passionate about one’s job and finding genuine pleasure in it cannot be faked, just as much as it can’t be developed overnight. Motivation and passion are key to any role driving us to the highest level and making us want to put our heart and soul into our work.
And passionate salespeople do exactly that. They take up different challenges every day and keep trying until they succeed, because they like to win, excel and make a real difference.
Their curious, open-minded nature makes them think outside the box, helping them find new solutions to everyday challenges.

This communicative enthusiasm, linked with determination and perseverance, makes all the difference, especially in a role where failure is a common occurrence.
According to a study in the Harvard Business Review, 84% of high-performing salespeople are capable of constantly exceeding their targets because they are very strongly motivated by success. They naturally make more effort to bounce back and create their own success.

Therefore, if this flame doesn’t burn brightly within your sales team, neither will their desire to succeed nor their ambition to beat their targets. And any level of combativeness to conquer the biggest markets will be short-circuited before they even begin.

Listening and relationship skills

When faced with very demanding and highly-informed customers, a good salesperson will redouble their efforts to gain their trust and establish a relationship based on authenticity and transparency.
A high level of relationship skills, as well as an ability to listen and show empathy, are therefore essential qualities that really show the difference between a good salesperson and a great one.

Knowing how to put themselves in their customer’s shoes, understanding their needs, anticipating their feelings and identifying any apprehensions will provide salespeople a head start in showing that they want to build qualitative and sustainable relationships, rather than just selling another product.

Product knowledge and expertise

Needless to say, solid knowledge of their products and market is essential. But salespeople 2.0 now need to wear two hats, for both marketing and technical expertise.

Indeed, customers are now looking for very specific knowledge and sharp advice that they simply cannot find online. What sets brilliant salespeople apart from the ordinary is their understanding of market difficulties, as well as their ability to challenge customers and offer them a brand-new experience.

All of this requires new intellectual skills for aspects such as critical analysis, the ability to summarise and memorise, as well as a real thirst for learning. And of course, perfect mastery over IT tools (CRM, SRM, mailing software, social selling, etc.) is a must. New-generation salespeople now draw their efficiency from digital tools because it not only saves time but also enables them to effectively target and seize opportunities while exceeding their targets more easily.

To learn how to identify sales potential, download our ebook.

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