Businesses rely on sales teams to promote their products and services. If your sales team doesn’t do its job, your sales will drop. As a result, profits will suffer and your business will feel the effects across every department, not to mention your bottom line.
But hiring a salesperson to join your team can be a challenge. It’s tough to tell whether someone will have great sales skills based on their resume alone. Even if they were successful in a previous sales job, other factors, like the type of product they sold or the support they had from their team, can have an impact on that success.
To find great sales talent, you’ll have to look beyond the resume. There are a variety of skills and qualities that can help you decide whether a person is likely to have strong sales skills.
Strong Research Skills
When most people think about sales skills, they think of individuals who are friendly and engaging. But the reality is that the most important part of the sales process starts before a salesperson reaches out to a prospect.
Research on prospects is key to landing a sale. Without it, salespeople are left with their personalities alone to land the sale. Often, even this isn’t enough.
The average successful sales employee spends around 6 hours each week on research about their sales prospects. Knowing how to find the information that you need about a prospect, and having the dedication to spend time researching each prospect, are key to being a great salesperson.
Finding individuals with strong research skills can help you build a better sales team. But if you run a small business, providing enough time for your employees to complete the necessary prospect research may be just as challenging. Outsourcing some of the duties of your sales team can help with this.
Great Communication, Especially Listening
Great communication alone isn’t enough to be a great salesperson. But strong communication skills are still an important indicator that someone has the potential for strong sales skills.
Strong communication skills are actually a combination of many different skills. Someone who communicates well knows how to listen, how to adapt their communication to their audience, how to speak clearly, and how to explain themselves well.
When it comes to sales, having the ability to talk in a friendly but professional manner is key. If someone is too stiff in their communication or overly casual, this might not translate well to a sales position.
Great communication skills do more than just make for a great salesperson. It can also make a person a better employee and team player. This is key to building a great sales team.
About 60 percent of customers will say “no” four times before they say “yes.” Despite this, nearly half of all salespeople never try to follow up with a prospect after that first “no.”
Failing to follow up with prospects is a problem for several reasons. First, it means that the time spent researching that prospect is often wasted. It can also be detrimental to your bottom line, as you lose out on a large percentage of buyers who just need a little more exposure and convincing.
Salespeople may fail to follow up with prospects because they feel it is a waste of time, or because they doubt their ability to change a prospect’s mind. But individuals with great sales skills will demonstrate perseverance. They’ll be willing to follow up several times with a prospect, investing more time and energy in the hopes of turning the contact into a sale.
While you might be looking to build a successful sales team, much of the sales process is a solo operation.
Self-discipline is an important skill to have if you want to be good at sales. Each sales employee will spend a lot of time each day working on their own. This might include researching their own prospects and reaching out to them.
Their ultimate goal might be to land sales that will help the sales team’s bottom line. But the work they do will largely be done alone. For that reason, another skill to look for to identify strong sales skills is self-discipline.
No one wants to buy a product or service from someone who clearly lacks confidence in what they’re selling. If an individual doesn’t have a general confidence in their skills and abilities, they likely won’t find much success in sales.
Natural confidence can be a great trait in a successful salesperson. But learned confidence, alongside the other sales skills on this list, can be a good alternative.
If a person has gained confidence by advancing their skills and knowledge, they’ll be more likely to showcase that confidence when talking with prospects. Prospects are likely to pick up on this confidence, and feel more confident or secure in working with that salesperson as a result.
Building a Team With Strong Sales Skills
Knowing the signs that someone has great sales skills can help you hire better employees. Unfortunately, cultivating a talented team of individuals with the sales skills your business needs is often easier said than done. The Selling Factory can help.
The Selling Factory manages top college students, training them to do research, generate leads, and make calls. We have candidates who have already worked for us while in college and are ready to begin a career in sales. They are familiar with the sales process, confident on the phone, and are ready to quickly ramp up. Your business gets high-performing sales team members, without having to go through the time-consuming hiring process. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.