Looking for the right sales characteristics in the flood of technological improvements, along with the drastic differences in the emerging millennial workforce, has become much harder than previous decades. So what should you be looking for?
There are many skills an inside salesperson needs to be successful, but these six stand above the rest as core necessary foundational capabilities.
You must have a holistic approach
You need a closed-loop process for uncovering, qualifying and cultivating opportunities. This includes speaking only with viable prospects, not kicking tires with people who have no intention of ever buying from you. An outbound cloud call center solution featuring a predictive dialer can help automate and improve the success rate of this process. Your approach must also have a means of tracking qualified opportunities and working them until you receive a “yes” or “no” answer. You cannot leave any potential sale on the table because it was forgotten on some sticky note somewhere.
You must be dedicated
You must possess the necessary skills, discipline and determination to follow through to the end with your holistic approach. Far too many salespersons uncover potential sales leads and then fail to bring them over the finish line. It is not enough to simply fill up an Excel spreadsheet with your calling activities. You have to do whatever it takes to get that definitive “yes” or “no” answer from each and every prospect you believe was initially viable.
You must have effective communication skills
You must have the ability to professionally and effectively communicate with prospects in a manner that entices and encourages interest and action. This can be via telephone, email or sometimes fax but the words you choose must be succinct, crisp, brief and on message. A good approach is to draft some key messages before you ever make contact with your first target. NOTE: It is imperative you possess the aptitude to read a situation and adjust your rhetoric accordingly. Canned messaging does not always work, as every single prospect is unique.
You must have faith
You need to really believe in the product or service you are selling. If you do not, and you are not an award winning actor/actress, this non-belief will come through loud and clear in your voice. If you do have a firm belief in the product/service, then it is far easier to convince someone else that they should too. So get to know your solution inside and out and make yourself really trust in its viability to do what it proposes it will.
You must have the desire to get better
Every salesperson (and just about every business person for that matter) has ways in which he/she can improve, and so do you. Don’t be full of yourself and think you are the very best at your job. Even if you are at the top of your game, there are still techniques and approaches you have yet to learn or be introduced to. Be open to improvement and you will keep getting better and better.
You must be honest
If a prospect feels you are untrusting, then your credibility is shot and so is the sales opportunity. Don’t oversell your honesty but rather just make sure it comes through in your communication. This includes following through on what you promise. There is nothing worse than a salesperson who makes hollow commitments (By tomorrow morning I’ll send you three references you can call, e.g.) and never completes them.
While these principles are hardly the only important skills a salesperson must possess, they are indeed critical enough to focus heavily on or you are likely to falter and not realize your full sales closure potential.