9 Essential Sales Skills For Success

Posted by Jacob Goodwin in Insights - Last updated

Every customer facing role, no matter the job title, requires an essential knowledge of core sales skills.

The risk, for both managers and individuals alike, comes when staff in these positions aren’t adequately prepared.

In other words, they aren’t sales ready.

And, trained or not, every customer interaction can leave a lasting impression. Don’t forget, we tell 10 times more people about a negative experience than a positive one.

Ultimately, the actions of customer facing teams have a direct impact upon your overall ability to close deals and win revenue.

Get it wrong and you leave yourself vulnerable to both competition and countless missed opportunities.

Sales Skills Essentials

However, there’s no need to sound the alarm. At least not just yet.

Sales, like every profession, requires consistent practice to master. And whether or not your sole focus lies in the discipline, there are certain core competencies that can set you on the path to success.

Add these to your sales skills arsenal and no matter how you engage with customers, you’ll guarantee to delight.

Here are the 9 essential sales skills, for your whole customer facing team, to help convert great fit prospects into great fit clients…

Problem Solving

Each opportunity is unique; therefore it requires a unique offering.

Rather than offering an “out of the box” solution, you should instead collaborate with the customer on their specific project.

In doing so, you can find the perfect solution and avoid trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

This will also help you stand out as an organisation that cares about the result. Not only for your own balance books but for the customer themselves.

Storytelling

Prospects feel reassured when engaging with someone knowledgeable in the field they require assistance.

By storytelling of a similar project you worked on, you can secure buy in through building trustworthiness.

Across your team, you have the accumulated expertise; storytelling allows you to showcase precisely how you’ve used it before.

Communication

Ask more questions!

Open up the discussion and investigate precisely what the customer is looking for.

Rather than presume, encourage the prospect to share their thoughts.

In order to accurately assess their needs and prescribe your perfect solution, you need to hear from the customer precisely what it is the are looking for.

Effective communication, through questions, allows you to achieve this..

Active Listening

We have two ears and one mouth. Ensure you reflect that ratio in your customer interactions.

Equally, do your teams listen for similarities or differences?

When speaking with customers, listening for similarities can engage “auto-pilot”.

Looking out for common trigger words can lead to one solution being consistently provided to multiple, unique problems.

By contrast, listening for differences directly leads to more effective business communication.

You are keeping your ears open for gaps and shortcomings which your offering can fill.

It’s in the gaps where can you provide your true value.

Emotional Intelligence & Empathy

Mirroring the sentiment and emotion of your prospect makes you more relatable.

It also makes you feel human; people love people; not brands. You can connect with customers by being personal with them.

If you’re able to pick up on a prospect’s mood, you’ll be able to gauge the next required action for the best outcome.

Likewise, from a support perspective, empathise first.

In an ideal world there would be no need for them to be contacting you with a problem so understand their frustration and work toward a solution together.

Extensive Company & Product Knowledge

When appropriate, showcase your knowledge.

With concrete understanding of your offering, you can direct prospects quickly and easily to the perfect option for their needs.

However, there is no need to overload. Whether that’s through industry jargon or too great a level of detail, doing so can risk confusing or boring a customer.

The right knowledge at the right moment can often seal the deal.

Time Management & Task Prioritisation

Work smarter, not harder.

Effective time management will allow you to identify how to structure your day and focus on which opportunity needs immediate action to get it over the line.

Time is precious, don’t waste it on activities that can wait or will reap lesser rewards.

Having individual dashboards enables increased efficiency, across your team, through enhanced task management.

Closing

At some point, you’ve got to seal the deal.

This may feel an exclusive remit of the sales process itself, but asking to progress is a vital skill across the whole customer journey and beyond.

Having the confidence to do so, backed up by the knowledge you’ve provided the best option for your prospect, makes asking for the business a straightforward affair.

Closing becomes much easier when you’ve collaborated with the customer to find the best solution for their needs.

If you’ve done your job well, they’ll be reaching for their credit card before you even ask.

Embrace Feedback & Coaching

Only by reflecting on what happened can you improve.

Be open to constructive criticism to facilitate growth and to guarantee if one opportunity is missed, next time you know how to act differently.

No matter your profession, it’s vital to be constantly seeking new ways to develop.

By investing in your sales skills, you’re directly investing in your ability to better serve your customers.


Intrigued to learn more? Check out our Insights Hub to keep your business at the cutting edge.


Jacob Goodwin -

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