The Top Skills Every Sales Rep Should Have
Sales skills must be practiced diligently and routinely. If you treat each sales call as a single step in the process of becoming a great salesperson, and not a potential commission, you’re much more likely to improve and develop these skills. But you must be disciplined and persistent with each customer in order to rise up the ranks.
Know your product
You have to fully understand the product you’re selling—how it works, why your customers need it and how your product is superior to those of your competitors. Demonstrate this expertise and highlight each product’s strongest features.
Focus on strategic prospecting skills
While cold-calling reps must rely on their presentation skills and multifaceted marketing techniques, it’s often more efficient to search for referrals through existing connections and discovering new prospects that fit your ideal customer profile. It never hurts to try to revive lost opportunities nor ask current clients for referrals.
Ask good, open-ended questions and customize each interaction to fit the personality and background of your clients. You can chat about sports, attending the same college, travel, weather, anything to establish trust with the buyer. Be an active listener to find out what the buyer wants, but also tell compelling stories to keep them engaged. And though it’s encouraged and sometimes necessary to socialize with target buyers, a good sales rep can sell over the phone and not just rely on a face-to-face interaction.
You should tie all of your daily activities to achieving your quota. Pre-call research is important—to get to know personal details about the client, the industry and business size—but too much research might limit your call volume. Use your company’s sales technology to efficiently sort through leads and study analytics. Prioritize the most promising leads and don’t waste time with ones that aren’t going anywhere.
Objection prevention and handling
Great sales reps can think ahead and study what typical objections are for every product. A great sales rep will never hear “I don’t need this” because he’s already convinced them they do!
And since no rep can possibly plan for every objection, you have to be prepared to empathize with concerns and ask genuine questions to gather more information. Then, offer clear, reassuring responses and you can overcome the objection.
To gain commitment and start the closing process, you need to make sure the right people with the right approval power are brought into the process at the appropriate times. Once you get the commitment, push the customer to sign the order fast. If they hesitate or want to push back the sale, suggest a deadline when they’ll want to have that product in place.
Finally, it’s important to nurture the relationship after you make the sale and manage the client’s pipeline of orders like a portfolio. Respond to their needs and concerns with immediacy and persistence.
For more tips on how to develop great sales skills or advance your career, contact our staffing professionals today.