Numbers, numbers and only numbers. Numbers are the main occupation of sales consultants. The goal of each of them is to achieve the set number, whether it is the number of new customers, profit or used opportunities. To achieve them, sales representatives must have a wide range of knowledge and skills
An effective sales strategy is key to sales success. Continuous training of sales representatives will lead to their ability to conclude deals with higher and more profitable offers, but at the same time it will lead to the development of the ability to establish quality relationships with customers based on trust.
But the question is: what are the most important skills that every sales representative must possess?
Find them below:
Communication skills may seem obvious, however communication is much more than clear speech. It involves online as well as personal communication with customers.
Strong communication skills are the foundation of building stable customer relationships, setting expectations and (tactically) discussing customer „pain points“.
Unfortunately, we all had poor sales predictions. To be more effective, salespeople need to develop a strategic approach in finding and identifying new business opportunities. This means that they must have the ability to research potential customers, create new opportunities and listen the market pulse.
Deep understanding of the client and asking the right questions
Sales representatives must know how to ask intelligent, insightful questions, identify the real needs of the customer and accordingly provide them a solution to their problems.
Today’s sales reps must be able to gain an excellent understanding of any potential company, business challenges, and current priorities. Asking well-informed questions can help you identify the client’s sore points, desired outcomes, and give your organization a better sense of political approach to the issue.
Although sales is one of the oldest professions, the fact is that we live and operate in a 21st century that is almost completely digitalized. Rarely will any business succeed today if it is not on social media or if it does not use digital advertising. Your sales representatives therefore don’t need to be experts on the latest trends on social media (yet), but still, they should at least know the basics of using major networks like LinkedIn and Facebook.
Although storytelling is a communication skill, it is a skill worth emphasizing. Why? Because it requires precision, clarity, interestingness and authenticity in communication from sales representatives.
An authentic story will:
- Allow the company to stand out in the minds of the customer
- Activate the customer’s feelings and encourage them to take the action
- Give the customer an insight into how you have solved similar problems, which specifically plague them, with other customers
It takes a lot of training for your sales representatives to perfect “storytelling”.
Conduct training at work, play the roles of buyer and seller, use all the resources available to you!
In order to know how to use their communication skills, but also to know how to connect with customers, sales representatives must first master the skill of active listening.
Paraphrasing what is said or slowing down the conversation if needed is the most common trick used by sales representatives to give their customers the impression that they are actively listening to them and mastering the topic.
Successful complaint management
Approaching complaints the right way, not letting them to get you off the track, being willing to take relevant action and responding, are often key in retaining or gaining new customers, but also of good communication with skeptic who most often makes complaints.
After making a service offer, representatives must lead a disciplined negotiation process.
Be careful that negotiations with high stakes do not lead you to one of the most common mistakes in negotiation, and that is offering too big discount.
Knowledge is power and can be a true differentiator. Representatives need to be up to date with different customers, market trends and competitive environment. By researching specific customers and companies, you can better identify potential sales triggers. Before you meet with potential customers, try to gather as much information as possible about their business. In this way, you will show that you possess another valuable skill, and that is:
Curiosity sends the message that the representative is not focused only on sales. Instead, they are interested in challenges, problems, successes and customer’s competition. Excellent sales representatives are curious and ready to understand why certain business segments are “painful” for the customer.
Business acumen is the ability to combine experience, knowledge, perspective and awareness to make good business decisions. It is a practice of good judgment and the ability to take a holistic, long-term view of an organization’s needs.
Business acumen is a particularly complex skill that deserves deeper and more detailed elaboration, so the topic of our next blog will be just that.
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