Is your sales team putting its best foot forward in order to make sales for your company? There’s more to the art of selling than simply being there to have a few words with your customers. And when you’re selling remotely, your salespeople will need some very sharp sales skills if they’re to succeed.
Your team will need a range of technical and human skills associated with sales, and in this article, we’ll consider them in greater detail.
Technical skills refer to specialised knowledge and the use of tools and programs. Here’s what your sales team needs.
No matter what questions your customers ask about your products, your salespeople need to be able to respond as experts. From recommending products that will match your customers’ needs to answering questions about functionality, their product knowledge must be extensive.
Strategic Prospecting Skills
It’s possible to gather a lot of market intelligence using tech tools. Strategic prospecting requires sales professionals to evaluate the data, seek common ground with the possible leads it contains, and plan a messaging sequence that will capture their interest.
Social Selling Skills
Your brand is active on social media, and its following is engaging with its content. Can this be turned into sales? A skilled salesperson must know how to identify promising engagements, find ways to turn them into relationships and use those relationships to make sales.
Objection Handling Skills
Just as a sales prospect seems ready to convert, they come up with an objection. Perhaps they think the price is too high, or they find a reason why the product isn’t right for them. There are specific ways to handle objections and using them with the right level of skill can turn a “ditherer” into a buyer.
Ability to Adapt to New Technology and Software
Sales are the heartbeat of any business, and a great deal of innovation goes into the technology and software sales agents can use to boost their deal-making abilities. A top sales agent should be ready, willing, and able to leverage every tool at their disposal, even if that means adapting the way they work to take advantage of the improvement.
Making sales is all about closing deals. Knowing the right time to introduce closing techniques, and choosing the right ones to use, is at the core of deal-making. Knowledge can help, but genuine closing skills in sales transcend mere knowledge, seem natural, and finalise deals.
Post-Sale Relationship Skills
A customer who buys from you might do so again, or you might be able to get leads from them. But the last thing you want is for your customers to feel as if they’re being hounded. Targeting the right time to contact your customers, how to do it, and how to use the post-sale relationship to generate even more sales is an art your sales team should master.
A busy salesperson has a lot going on. They’re dealing with new sales prospects, they’ve promised callbacks and must live up to their promises, and they’re feeding finalised sales through your organisation so that your fulfilment teams can go ahead with delivery. In short, they’re juggling a lot of balls and can’t afford to drop one. Achieving this, and knowing what to prioritise, means having solid time management skills.
So-called “soft skills” are very difficult to learn. A successful sales representative already has them and uses them to boost your revenue. Here’s what to look for.
Active Listening Skills
Active listening is one of the most important skills you need for sales. Active listening shows your customers that the sales representative is really listening to what they have to say instead of thinking about something else. It involves using a range of techniques that help the salesperson to fully understand the customer, connect with them, and formulate the most appropriate responses possible.
While active listening is often seen as part of communication, the ability to convey ideas in such a way that the sales agent elicits a positive response is one of the key sales communication skills. Being able to express themselves well in writing, verbally, remotely, or in person, and adjust the delivery of messages to suit the recipient’s frame of reference is a skill that’s worth its weight in gold.
The stereotypical glib salesperson who lacks sincerity is alive and well and can be spotted from a mile off. Real integrity and a genuine desire to ensure customer satisfaction are as easily recognised. It breaks down barriers and promotes trust. It builds relationships. And it reflects on your company’s ability to “walk in the light.”
In interpersonal communication of any kind, a salesperson needs to be aware of emotional undercurrents and respond appropriately in the moment. Has a salesperson ever latched onto you when you were in a hurry or having a bad day and refused to let go? You can be sure that he or she lacked emotional intelligence, and the experience probably led you to swear that you’d never buy anything from their company! Your sales team needs emotional intelligence to deal effectively with your customers.
Tough deadlines, difficult customers, challenging sales targets, deals gone wrong: it takes resilience to make a good salesperson. Resilience means remaining motivated even when things aren’t going as well as they might have hoped, bouncing back with undiminished enthusiasm for their work. It’s infectious: your customers feel that undiminished positivity.
How to Find First-Rate Salespeople
Building your own sales team from scratch, managing it, and helping its members to develop their skills can be a full-time job. Expect a trial-and-error process in which some hires are a perfect fit while others lag behind the rest. Look for people who are enthusiastic about selling, organised, and who love working with people. As an alternative, you might want to consider outsourcing.
Surprised? Is it really possible to outsource something as important as selling? At RSVP, our first guarantee is in-house equivalence. Our sales representatives will do at least as well as your in-house team. Our next goal? Doing even better!
Our London-based call centre has chosen some of its most skilled agents to work on our outbound sales team. Now, all you need to make that team your own is for you to make the move to RSVP. We have the salespeople. You have the products. Contact us today and let’s bring them together!