The stories about technology replacing human talent no longer look like science fiction. As a matter of fact, this process is underway and it has already called forth large-scale automation of jobs in numerous industries, including logistics, healthcare, and retail. However, this trend hasn’t penetrated so deeply into sales. Why? The answer boils down to sales skills, something soulless machines can hardly be taught.
So, what is it specifically that helps top sellers outstrip AI systems or the average layman? It’s a well-balanced combo of soft, hard, and job-specific skills that help close deals. There is so much more to excelling in the profession than mere product knowledge. The modern sales process is about communication, active listening, persuasiveness, customer focus, honesty, resilience, self-motivation, empathy, and many more great things.
5 Sales Skills That Guarantee Consistent Sales
There are a few sales skills, though, that stand out from the rest and make a good sales professional regardless of industry. What are they?
In today’s busy world, respecting your client’s time and yours is a prerequisite for success. This skill increases productivity and helps you prioritize leads to single out the most promising ones, thereby driving the ROI to a maximum. Plus it nurtures punctuality that constitutes the invaluable first impression and makes it easier to build rapport with customers. As a sales rep, you can also optimize your time by employing software automation, such as social prospecting, customer analytics, and business intelligence tools. But always mind the security and do not let rogue software penetrate your systems.
As per Sales force research findings, 73% of sales professionals say collaborating across departments is absolutely critical to the overall sales process. Lone wolves don’t dominate the sales landscape anymore. If you want to prosper in this profession, learn to coordinate your own efforts and roles with those of your colleagues. The multi-pronged sales process is a matter of collective endeavors nowadays, so be a team player to succeed.
The art of asking the right questions
When it comes to determining what exactly a prospect needs, no one has invented a more effective way than asking. Appropriate questions help figure out customers’ expectations about the product or service, their priorities, and pain points.
Yes-No questions can be helpful but they may as well turn the dialog into a riddle game that goes on until you hear the sacramental “Yes”. On the other hand, answers to WH-questions tend to be more informative. Being able to combine different types of questions is a precious skill that shouldn’t be underestimated. Complemented with active listening, it can really hit the sweet spot in sales.
Things don’t always go smooth in the sales workflow that might get cutthroat at times. Misunderstandings and complaints happen, and they aren’t necessarily isolated to your relationship with the customers – there can also be conflicts with co-workers you’ll need to sort out. Have a plan B for such scenarios and develop a resilient mindset to proactively fend them off.
According to a recent study, closing more deals is a top sales priority for 75% of companies. The closing skill isn’t about signing the contract – it’s about being good at identifying the subtle moment when the customer realizes your product is exactly what they need. Best-performing sellers strike while the iron is hot. But, they can maintain a trade-off between pressure and patience so that the closing is natural and hassle-free.
Bear in mind that mastering these sales skills is half the battle. The fundamental difference between mediocre and top sellers is that the latter never stop fine-tuning their sales skills and know it pays off to be customer-centric.