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The Crucial Skills and Qualities of Great Salespeople

Revenue Blog  > The Crucial Skills and Qualities of Great Salespeople
3 min readSeptember 19, 2020

The average NBA player is 6 foot 7 inches and the typical NFL wide receiver can run a 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds. While being tall or fast doesn’t necessarily qualify you to play professional sports, the basic skills and qualities are part of a foundation that makes these athletes successful.

The same goes for sales. There are several crucial qualities of salespeople that establish a foundation for success. These traits make them better at situations like prospecting, discovery conversations, objection handling, presentations, negotiating, and closing. Much like professional athletes, great salespeople are not only skilled in their own right, but they also are excellent team players that challenge and uplift those around them.

Fortunately, unlike being tall, these qualities can be learned, coached or trained. According to CSO Insights, win rates improve by up to 16.5% when a dynamic coach approach is used. Coach your reps on these qualities to make them even more successful:

Great salespeople are team players

The days of the solo sales rep are gone. It nows takes It takes teamwork to effectively drive sales in an ever-changing market. Educate and encourage your sales rep to collaborate and support one another, as well as other departments. Hold regular meetings to discuss ongoing deals, help one another overcome stopping points, and schedule regular group trainings, group outings, and team-building activities. Reps should participate in peer coaching, as well as share knowledge during team meetings. Everyone will benefit while continually improving and closing more deals.

Great salespeople are optimistic

Great salespeople should not be stopped in their tracks by simple obstacles, like gatekeepers, objections, or difficult to reach executives. Reps should not only be capable of successfully navigating these, but they should also tackle them with a positive confidence, and not let difficulties get them down. This attitude will spur reps forward to capturing more highly qualified prospects and advancing more deals through the pipeline. In fact, MetLife crafted its own optimism test for hiring salespeople. In the second year using the test, the reps hired for their outlook outsold the others by 31 percent.

Great salespeople are experts

Prospects today expect salespeople to be knowledgeable. In fact, industry and product knowledge are one of the best ways that salespeople can provide value on every sales call. This enables reps to devise the most suitable solutions, build trust and close more satisfied long-term customers.

To turn your salespeople into experts, hold regular training with your product team so reps can learn what new features you have, and why. Furthermore, they should also receive information from your support and success teams so they can learn how current customers are successful with your products, and how they use them.

Your sales team should also constantly stay up to date on industry happenings and competitive intel. Reps should read industry publications and have a central depository for both industry and competitive knowledge.

Great salespeople dig deeper

Your team members need to understand that sales isn’t just about hitting their numbers. Coach them so they learn that isn’t just about following the process and checking boxes, they need to focus on providing value at every level and develop long-term relationships. Reps should seek to become the salesperson that prospects want to speak to.

Reps should seek to gain a deep understanding of their prospect’s goals through research, inquisitive questioning, and active listening. With this, they can effectively guide potential customers through the sales process. Uncovering these additional insights also facilitates the disqualification of prospects who are less than a perfect fit, which frees your reps to focus on only the highest quality leads while building potential solid referral sources.
Show your reps the right questions to ask, and utilize call recording libraries to save excellent examples of calls with the right questioning.

Great salespeople manage time effectively

We all know that salespeople have a litany of tasks to manage each day. Coaching them on how to plan their days, weeks, and months effectively prevents them from becoming overwhelmed, freeing them to focus on quality selling activities to build on their success. This, in turn, increases their overall productivity while allowing them to accomplish more. You should not only provide lessons on time management, but also the tools to do so.

A focus on developing these skills your team will arm them with the qualities of great salespeople. Plus, you’ll increase their productivity in the process.