What are the key competencies to be an effective salesperson?
Working in sales can be the most rewarding role but at the same time can present many challenges and frustrations, sales is a fast moving industry, It’s a high-pressured role where you will face rejection and failure every day, to be consistently successful in sales there are a number of traits that are required including strong self awareness and self management skills.
Below I have listed what I believe to be some of the key competencies that will get you thinking about how you can approach developing yourself or your salespeople to improve performance and increase revenue.
Adaptability - The ability to change and adapt your own behaviour or work procedures when there is a change in the work environment is critical to long term sales success, sales constantly reminds us that every situation we face is different and it punishes those that fail to adapt.
Relationship Building – it puzzles me deeply when I hear that the value of relationships is diminishing and that buyers are becoming more and more transactional and that sales people are wasting their time building relationships, in more than 25 years of being in sales relationships have always been critical to sales success and I would argue that today relationships are even more important and even more valuable than ever.
Resilience – Emotional resilience isn’t a new idea (although we do now have a name for it) sales is full of challenges and obstacles, it is straightforward but by no means easy and the ability to take setbacks and difficulties in your stride so that you remain focused and are able to continue on your path to sales success.
Influence – The ability to influence prospects and customers and to ensure that you message is received and understand is another critical elements that makes a successful salesperson, the ability to make others listen and understand what you are saying and persuade them into following a course of action using both emotional and rational arguments has huge positive benefits to your ability to close sales and gain trust from you clients.
Innovation - The ability to visualise and create new ways of doing things and finding creative solutions to problems is one of the key elements that separates good salespeople from great salespeople, some of the world’s most successful organisations encourage and even coach innovative thinking within their sales teams.
Business Insight – Salespeople that successfully complete the journey from supplier to trusted advisor have undoubtedly demonstrated the ability to harness a superior understanding of their clients world, the industry they operate within, the challenges they face and the current or future needs their clients may have and by translating this insight through the solutions they offer they provide greater value and trust which provides the solid foundation of the trusted advisor relationship.
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