Looks can be deceiving, and nowhere is that more true than in business. So remember that behind every effortless agent who seems to take everything in their stride, there are countless hours spent working on sales representative skills.
Sure, there are some qualities that no amount of sales training can teach, such as being goal-driven, energetic, and persistent. But in this article, we’re going to focus solely on what you can control. So without further ado, here are the 10 sales representative skills that will make you a sales rockstar.
Effective communication is among the most critical sales representative skills for building rapport, understanding customer needs, and closing deals. And, as technologies such as social media and automation develop, communication should always be relevant to the platform you’re conversing on.
It's essential to recognize that not all customers will communicate in the same way. Some prefer email, while others like phone or face-to-face meetings. As a sales representative, it's your job to adapt to their style to make them feel more comfortable.
However, communication skills aren’t just for customer-facing tasks; you also need to know how to communicate within your team. For example, standardized note-taking is an important factor when using customer relationship management software. Without clear and concise communication, you can quickly run into internal frustration and misunderstandings.
As a manager, you can provide sales training to improve communication skills such as being more engaging over the phone or honing active listening skills. This will make your team far more effective both with clients and with each other.
While some people may have a natural talent for empathy, it's on our list of sales representative skills because it can be developed with training.
Reading emotions is crucial to understanding how to approach your customers. This can be done by observing their body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. With a bit of practice, you can make small adjustments to make customers feel more at ease, which is one of the keys to a sale.
A basic way of building your team’s empathy is to promote role-playing exercises. In a risk-free environment, you can rehearse different customer scenarios, with you as the manager offering feedback.
Storytelling is also an important aspect of empathy, as it elicits feelings from your clients. So much of humanity is based on storytelling, and when you share personal experiences, it can really pull at the heartstrings. Your customers are more likely to be emotionally engaged in what you’re saying, which can be especially effective when dealing with more complex products or services.
It may seem obvious, but if you don’t know what you’re selling, you’ll have a tough time getting people to buy it. But having a deep understanding of your product is on our list of sales representative skills because it is too often overlooked.
To gain product knowledge, the easiest route is to get sales agents to read product manuals, attend training sessions, and take online courses. Give them access to accurate and up-to-date information and store it in cloud-based storage for easy access. However, as a manager, it's your responsibility to bring the learning experience to life.
Clearly, the best way is to get your team to use the product themselves wherever possible. Encourage your team to ask questions and share their knowledge with each other. Regular team meetings and discussions can help ensure that everyone is on-the-ball and sending a consistent message to your clients. To train field sales representatives, use video conferencing to share knowledge and experience, but try to get hands-on experience through team meetups as a priority.
Following on nicely from the previous point, it’s essential to know who your sales team is speaking to. You need to be able to explain how your product solves your customers' problems and how it provides value.
This means understanding your customer's pain points and being able to communicate how your product addresses them. Similarly, understanding how different demographics make purchasing decisions is one of the key sales representative skills that can help you tailor your approach to each individual customer.
By understanding your audience, you can boost your prospecting efforts. You should be constantly sharpening your sales development representative skills to look for new leads and opportunities to expand your customer base. This means understanding where your target customers are, and how to reach them through various channels.
As a manager, you can encourage your team to expand their knowledge by providing training on customer research and profiling. Part of this will involve analyzing your customer relationship management software, so make sure it’s set up to track interactions and gather significant data.
Equally applicable to any job profile, effective time management features in our list of sales representative skills because it helps maximize your team’s productivity and achieve your goals.
As a manager, you can help your team develop effective time management skills through smart planning practices. This means setting clear goals and prioritizing tasks based on their importance and urgency. Avoid multitasking as it can often lead to decreased productivity and lower-quality work. On a more granular level, use time-tracking technology to make workers aware of how they use their time and identify areas where they can improve their efficiency.
Encourage your team to focus on one task at a time and break larger projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. Sales workflows are a way of helping your team to structure their work without skipping steps or forgetting key aspects. With automatic dependencies, you don’t even need to assign each task as they come — once one task is marked complete, the next is launched automatically.
Regularly reviewing your progress against your sales targets is also an important aspect of time management. This allows you to adjust your approach and make any necessary changes to ensure that you stay on track to achieve your goals.
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Problem-solving is a far-reaching skill that affects almost every aspect of a sales rockstar’s job. It involves the ability to think creatively and find solutions to complex problems, from difficult customer objections to technical issues with your product. By exercising your problem-solving muscles, you can keep your composure and think clearly even when the pressure is on.
It’s no secret that problem-solving relies on an ability to think outside the box, but that’s often easier said than done. As a manager, you can encourage your team to develop their problem-solving skills in sessions where there are no wrong answers. Once you’ve created a company culture of acceptance and support, you give each individual the freedom to speak their mind and see things from new angles.
Problem-solving has wide-ranging benefits for sales representatives, from improving customer satisfaction to increasing sales revenue. It can also help you build stronger relationships with your customers by demonstrating your commitment to finding solutions to their problems.
When you think of skills for sales representatives, relationship building is surely high on the list. A sprinkling of charm, an injection of trust, and a genuine desire to help combine to make the same clients come back again and again. Relationship building is one of the most far-reaching sales development representative skills, as shmoozing the right contact can boost your business as a whole.
The first step in relationship building is making a good first impression. This means being friendly, approachable, and professional. Be analytical about your first impressions. If you get snubbed, ask yourself why — perhaps you’re coming across as aloof.
But your work isn’t done with a first impression. To move onto the next step, work on active listening skills to fully understand where your client is coming from and where they want to get to. Maintaining a business relationship requires ongoing communication and follow-up. But you don’t need the world’s greatest memory to check in. Instead, put your reminders in a calendar and key talking points in your CRM. Simple.
Relationship building requires a lot of different sales representative skills, but it can be a highly effective way to improve customer satisfaction and increase sales revenue. Encourage your team to make relationship building a priority, and recognize the value that loyal customers can bring to your sales team.
In the world of sales, each customer is unique, and their needs and preferences are constantly changing. Therefore, one of the most important sales representative skills is adaptability.
Adaptability involves being able to adjust your approach to each customer and keeping your sales techniques flexible. This means being able to think on your feet and coming up with creative solutions to new challenges.
As a manager, you can help your team develop their adaptability skills by running case studies. You’ll be able to find plenty of examples in-house from your team, whether in their current roles or in past jobs. Focus on a specific issue, and run workshops on how to think creatively and look at the problem from different perspectives.
For your newer team members, it’s worth creating a cheat sheet for unexpected situations — we all have to learn somewhere. As they grow in confidence, they’ll offer their own solutions and naturally gain flexibility.
When applied correctly, negotiation skills can save what looks like a lost cause. However, effective negotiation requires field sales representatives to listen actively, think creatively, and find a win-win solution for both parties.
Two key aspects to bear in mind are your customer's pain points and the unique selling proposition you bring. These two pillars help you negotiate effectively at every stage of the sales pipeline. However, it's necessary to remember that negotiation isn't simply about getting the best deal for your company. It's also about keeping the customer happy and allowing them to feel successful in the negotiation process. This helps you hit your targets while generating customer loyalty.
In terms of sales techniques, there are a wide range of training materials out there that show the importance of negotiation skills in sales. But there is no replacement for real-world experience, so ghost each individual as they practice their craft and provide constructive feedback.
Closing is the final step in the sales process and therefore one of the most important sales representative skills. Closing a deal requires a delicate balance of assertiveness and empathy. You need to be confident and clear, but also respect the customer's needs and preferences.
As a manager, you can help your team develop their closing skills by making them aware of effective closing techniques, such as the assumptive close or the alternative close. You can also set up KPIs to monitor closing rates and provide feedback and coaching to help your team improve.
Fear of failure can often prevent sales representatives from confidently closing a deal. But if you set realistic, achievable targets for each individual, they will gradually gain confidence and avoid burnout.
No matter how good your sales rockstars are, if you don’t have the tools to support them, you’ll never get the best out of your team.
That’s the thinking behind Bitrix24 — an all-in-one business platform that takes care of all the admin while your sales reps focus on the human side of things. With a powerful CRM to track your leads, automated sales workflows to keep everyone on track, and a full arsenal of communications channels all in one place, it’s the ideal online headquarters for ambitious teams.
So if you want to work on skills for sales representatives, set the foundations first: sign up for Bitrix24 today!
A sales representative is a professional who is responsible for promoting and selling products or services to potential customers on behalf of a company.
Sales representatives do a series of tasks, such as:
The four basic sales representative skills are: