Gone are the sales training trends of yesterday. These days, buyers are more empowered than ever. Research has shown that the average buyer is up to 70% invested in the sales process before they even decide to contact a rep.
How can you reach today’s buyers and still achieve sales success? Here are the top 25 sales skills every sales rep must master.
1. Qualify Your Prospects
The better you are at qualifying your prospects, the more sales you are likely to close. As you qualify prospects faster, less time will be spent on those prospects that are less likely to convert.
2. The Right Attitude
Unsuccessful sales people take themselves out of the game before it even begins by having a poor attitude. Take steps to figure out how you can bounce back better from the rejections so that you are prepared to deal with the opportunities.
3. Use Technology
Savvy salespeople use technology to their advantage. Whether it helps them to stay organised or communicate with prospects, using the right tools can make all of the difference. Have you tried Sales Navigator yet. If not you’re behind the play
4. Do Your Homework
Experienced salespeople make sure that they know as much as possible about their prospects before launching into a sales pitch. Use sales intelligence software to get the details on your prospects before you get started.
5. Listening Skills
At the end of the day, your prospects really don’t care about what you’re trying to sell. They want to know what’s in it for them and how they will benefit. Listening carefully will uncover your buyers’ exact needs and emotions.
6. Remove Objections
Every salesperson runs into a ‘no.’ However, the ability to distinguish a closed door from one that can be pushed open separates the weak salespeople from the best ones. Figure out how to deal with the most common objections to improve your odds of success.
7. Building Trust
The best sales reps know how to make their prospects feel comfortable. Show your prospects that you have their best interests in mind.
8. Buyer-responsive Selling
Buyer-responsive selling is a tool that you can use to provide your buyer with what they want at the moment when it is most relevant to them, such as a free trial.
9. Direct Communications
Sales reps need to make communication as easy as possible for buyers. The days of wordy, intentionally deceptive sales pitches are over. Today, buyers prefer direct communications that give them the exact information that they want and nothing more.
It is not enough for a sales rep to know how to speak to prospects. Successful sales reps are also highly knowledgeable about the sales subject matter, not only the product or service, but also the industry itself.
11. Story Telling
Good sales reps understand that the product or service that they’re selling is actually part of a larger story about the prospect’s business. You’ll need to communicate to potential buyers how your solution solves bigger, longer term problems.
12. Phone-based Sales
Too many sales reps are still shy about doing business over the phone. Learning skills, such as the ability to read your prospects voice or measure the conversation are essential for determining if your efforts are actually meeting your prospects’ needs.
13. Helping Buyers Close
It is not enough to simply pitch your solution and hope that buyers take action. Good sales reps actually help buyers get to the next steps. Provide prospects with the exact information or tools they need to persuade management as to why your product or service is the best solution.
14. Meeting Quota
Achieving your quota doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The best sales reps understand how the daily tasks they perform each day make it possible for them to achieve or fail to meet their quota. Figure out what variables are needed in advance to meet your quota, such as having a certain number of prospects or meetings throughout the month.
15. Rapport Building
When sales reps don’t have the opportunity to meet with prospects face-to-face they are already at an inherent disadvantage. Honing your ability to create instant rapport with a prospect can help you to avoid hostile interactions and disinterest from busy prospects.
16. Setting Expectations
The best sales reps set expectations for every contact with a prospect. This helps prospects to understand what will happen next so that no one feels overwhelmed. It also opens up an avenue for the prospect to communicate with the sales rep about his or her own needs to reach a win-win outcome for both parties.
17. Note Taking
It is simply impossible for you to remember every single detail of interactions with prospects, especially if you meet with many different prospects over the course of a daily or week. Honing your note taking skills so that you record the information you need most will improve your odds of reaching a successful outcome as the sales process progresses.
18. Time Management
Time management skills are what set great sales reps apart from average ones. When you manage your time effectively, you can make the most of the hours in your day and bring in more deals.
19. Demo Skills
In addition to knowing about the features of your product or service, you should be able to demonstrate them effectively to a prospect via a demo. Figure out which features will be most important to solving your prospects problems and highlight those features throughout the demo.
Once the prospect has agreed to a deal, it’s time to stop talking. Doing more than you need to do to get your prospect to commit can cost you sales.
21. Writing Skills
Great sales reps are exceptional gifted at conveying ideas in a clear and concise manners. Learn to write emails, blog posts, referral requests, and proposals more effectively.
22. Presentation Skills
Today’s sales reps need to be prepared to deliver presentations across many different mediums. As technology advances, sales reps need to be able to adjust to using different presentation and communication tools effectively so that they can meet buyers at their level. Removing industry jargon can also help to differentiate you from other reps when selling products or services that are highly technical.
From your initial call scripts to your sales presentation, sales reps need to prepare. Losing a potential buyer is as easy as not knowing the answer to a question that you could have researched in advance. Practice and rehearsal are also important for improving your delivery and refining your presentation style.
Referrals are often the easiest leads to convert. Unfortunately, most sales reps fail to ask for referrals. There’s no reason to feel awkward about asking for them. In fact, you’ll often find that your contacts will be more than happy to share referrals with you. One way to get more referrals is to let your current customers know that you are looking for referrals by reinforcing the fact that you always provide referrals with best in class offerings and service.
25. Relationship Management
The relationships with your prospects don’t end at a failed proposal or a closed deal. In fact, many sales reps forget to thank their prospects for the opportunity while also working on building and maintaining the relationship after that first sale.
As you read these 25 skills, try not to feel overwhelmed. Superb sales skills don’t always come naturally to those sales reps who are just starting out. Even those sales reps who have been at it for awhile might have a bit of trouble adjusting to today’s buyer-centric sales landscape. You may even feel like you don’t actually have the time that you need to master these important skills. That is where sales training can help.
In addition, the sales profession is changing so fast that this list probably doesn’t include every essential sales skill that sales reps need to survive. What are your thoughts? What do you think that sales reps need today in order to be effective?
Whatever business training courses you’re looking for such as sales management training, B2B Selling skills, Consultative Selling Skills or any other business training course you have an extensive resource of professional development training programs with Preferred Training Networks.