What are Soft Skills for Sales Representatives?

Written by Kira Grieve

Kira is a Senior Campaign Manager at The Selling Factory. Over the last year and a half, she has used her education (Double Gator from UF) and experiences from traveling to coach and encourage over 100 college/UF students on sales outreach, sales tactics and personal goals. 

You’re in a competitive industry, and you want to increase your team’s sales, but you aren’t sure how. 

You could provide your staff with additional training on your products and services. No doubt greater product knowledge is valuable. 

However, working with your team to enhance their soft skills might be a better option. 

Sales soft skills are an underrated set of tools that your team needs if they want to attract prospects and close sales. What are soft skills, and which ones are essential to a good sales team? Here’s what you need to know.

What are Sales Soft Skills

First, let’s talk about hard vs soft skills. Hard skills are easily quantifiable. They are acquired through education and formal training.

In sales, hard skills include product knowledge, qualifying leads, delivering a sales pitch, conducting a product demo, and closing deals.

Soft skills are equally important but more difficult to quantify. Soft skills peronsal attributes that equip an individual to work well with people. 

Both hard and soft skills are important career skills. Yet, soft skills are usually underrated and not worked on enough. No matter one’s career, but especially for salespeople, focusing energy on upskilling soft skills will lead to greater sales succes.  

What are Soft Skills for Sales Representatives

What soft skills are important for sales reps? At the very least, a sales rep should work on these skills:

Growth Mindset

A good sales representative needs a growth mindset. In a fixed mindset, someone believes their basic skills and traits such as talent and intelligence do not change. They stick to what they know and do not like to be challenged. 

With a growth mindset, someone believes they can improve their skills via practice and effort. They see challenges and failure as something to overcome and work through.

Can a fixed mindset be turned into a growth mindset? Absolutely. 

To change to a growth mindset, an employee must do three things: pay attention to their self-talk, remind themselves they can’t do something yet, and see what they can learn from their failures.

There are many new situations in sales. Helping sales representatives shift to a growth mindset will help them meet challenges more positiviely thus leading to an increase in deals. 

Humility

Humility a valuable trait in building rapport with prospects. You are not born with humility. It can be learned. A great way to practice humility is when speaking to a prospect acknowledge that you don’t have the exact answer to something, but are willing to find out for them. 

Additionally, start owning your mistakes. When you mess something up, instead of trying to shift the blame to others or external factors out of your control, state it was your fault and that you will work to make it right. 

These small gestures lead to greater trustworthiness and stronger sales relationships. 

Time Management

Strong time management skills ensures that a sales rep is planning their day to do the necessary things, showing up time to meetings, and using their time wisely. When a sales rep gets to the end of their day and realizes that they were not as productive as desired, it effects their mindset and their goals.  

While there are many tools available to help with time management, it is essential to work on behavior changes. It is vital to continue to teach teams how to honestly assess how much time certain actions take, block out a schedule accordlingly, and break down large goals into micro-goals. This will aid salespeople to create and commit to a regular routine leading to more predictable daily and weekly actions.

Good Communication

Good communication doesn’t mean reading from a script or checklist. It means being assertive about your message, being authentic in your interactions with others, having empathy, and delivering a clear and timely message.

Part of good communication is active listening. Active listening is intentional focus on the other person. This allows a sales person to learn about the other person, their challenges, and interests in growth. To do this well it takes effort. 

One way to improving sale team’s communication skills is by practicing. Set up times for salespeople to strengthen their messaging, listen to peers without distractions, and use different techiques to showcase they care. 

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (sometimes called EQ), is another essential skill. EQ allows a salesperson to discern the feelings and thoughts of others, as well as how they relate to others. A higher EQ equates to a better chance to see things from the customer’s perspective and understand their needs – and the solutions you can provide.

EQ requires self-regulation. You need to control and manage your emotions. 

Good social skills are needed too. You need to be socially aware of others’ emotions so you can develop empathy, and you need to be self-aware of your own emotions.

Building EQ on your sales team starts with assessing your team’s current EQ level, so that you can focus on which skills to work on first. Expanding a team’s EQ will lead to better communication, group performance, motivation, and organization – all necessary to increase low sales.  

Resilience

Your average sales representative faces more rejection in a day than most other professionals do. Enough rejection and even top performers in your organization may begin to doubt themselves. 

However, resilient people are able to bounce back from rejection. That’s not to say that they don’t feel it, but they can acknowledge it and not take a “no” personally. 

Resilience isn’t an easy skill to build. For many in sales, it comes with time. Rarely does a sale happen on first contact with a prospect. 

Embracing a “no” doesn’t mean you have failed, it simply means you took a step towards a “yes.”

How can a sales rep build resilience? Having a workplace mentor can help, as can additional sales training. Both can give you tools to overcome objections and the confidence required to bounce back. 

Don’t forget to celebrate your wins too. They serve as a great reminder that your effort has paid off.

Expand Your Sales Team With Our No Hassle Solution

Are you looking for representatives with sales soft skills? Our turnkey sales team solutions and on-demand sales support allow you to build or upgrade your sales team. Our team acts as an extension of your brand in the sales process.

For more information on how to fuel your organization’s growth, contact us.

Victoria Zamitalo

Campaign Manager

Victoria received a BA in History and Economics from the University of Florida in May 2023. She is a driven sales professional with over 5 years combined experience in customer service, consumer relations and outbound sales, and is deeply passionate about fostering close relationships between consumers and sellers. She aims to train the next generation of sales professionals in not only the tricks of the trade, but also interpersonal skills that make sales the exciting and ever-changing industry that it is.

victoria@thesellingfactory.com

Mia Semel

Campaign Manager

Before graduating with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies, Mia took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, recruiting, and leading campaigns. She is an active listener and effective communicator, specializing in fostering genuine connections and finding common ground among differing perspectives. She aims to find practical, creative solutions regarding sustainable development, biodiversity and the climate crisis.

mia.semel@thesellingfactory.com

Kira Grieve

Senior Campaign Manager

Kira graduated from the University of Florida and received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hopes to visit all of the National Parks one day!

kira@thesellingfactory.com

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

jared@thesellingfactory.com

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

ian@thesellingfactory.com

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

damien@thesellingfactory.com

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

brendan@thesellingfactory.com

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

savannah@thesellingfactory.com

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

zack@thesellingfactory.com

Josiah Blakemore

Growth Manager

Josiah has over 10 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

josiah@thesellingfactory.com

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. She enjoys refining her taste in music and visual art, engaging in mindfulness and meditative practices, and frolicking outside with her sidekick pup.

sueming@thesellingfactory.com

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led Slingshotfund.org to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

adam@thesellingfactory.com

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.

brad@thesellingfactory.com