What Skills Are the Most Essential to Succeed in Sales Today?

We all know that training is an important part of business. We all know the value of working for an organization that invests in their people and looks to further develop their skillset. Reports show that in the US alone, businesses spend $15 billion per year on sales training. Yet, many sales people find the training they receive either ineffective or less than useful. We can do better.

Sales 2.0 as many call it; is en route for another revolution. Traditional sales methods are still engrained in many organizations and old school sales techniques are still rewarded and expected. Customers are no longer responding to these tactics and a new skillset is required.

Here are a few of the skills that are differentiating the best from the rest:

The Ability To Manage & Inspire

Professionals in sales roles need to understand the value of those around them. Furthermore, they need to have the ability to manage multi-level relationships and understand how to inspire their team to do great work. These skills don’t happen overnight as they’re established through experience and constant learning.

In B2B sales, it’s more often than ever to find that the selling process is done in teams and has multiple functions. As such, it’s important to have a deep understanding of people management skills along with the ability to keep those around you motivated and inspired.

A Commitment to Technology & Insight

Competition is fierce and buyers are more informed than ever before. As such, it’s important for sales teams to embrace any opportunity that could give them a competitive advantage within their industry. Technology continues to change sales for the better and give early adopters an opportunity to excel.

Sales professionals who have an openness to change and adaptability are more likely to succeed as they embrace the benefits of technology. These professional recognize that technology can arm them with insights and information to make more educated and strategic decisions. It allows their team to be more effective and efficient while ultimately driving their business forward.

A Relentless focus on Relationships

Through our research, sales professionals across North America repeatedly cite relationships as the most important piece of sales success. Relationships with suppliers, customers, partners, colleagues and employers are at the foundation of successful businesses and sales careers.

In a world where 64% of B2B sales professionals express that cold calling hasn’t improved in 3 years, relationships matter more than ever. Relationships can be the difference between winning and losing a potential business deal. The best sales professionals recognize this and use their relationships to unlock new opportunities through referrals and introductions.

A Student of The Buying Process

The buying process is becoming more and more fragmented. You need to understand how your buyers make decisions along with why they make decisions. From this knowledge, it’s important to be able to facilitate the buyer down the buying process as you provide different value at different times. Understanding the process makes it easier for sales professionals to build a compelling business case that considers everything from cost-benefits to strategic fit.

These skills and traits are at the core of what is needed to succeed in today’s landscape. People in a sales role need a broad skillset to not only compete but also excel. Sales leaders, HR Directors and CEOs need to ask whether their own organizations are hiring for these traits or creating a culture in which these skills are rewarded.

What other skills are needed to succeed in today’s landscape?

Comments (1)

A Relentless focus on Relationships is definitely #1…. Without this focus on others, no other skill matters. “Reverse Networking” is promoting others rather than yourself. Someone else should tell you I am the best at what I do, so I don’t have to…. And I can focus on others. Great Article!!

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