15 Must Have Skills Of A Sales Representative

Selling does not happen automatically. Especially not at this time. Yet, many sales representatives are still very successful. This is not due only to the product or service they do offer, but has everything is related to their own beliefs, abilities and behaviour. Research has shown that it is always possible to be successful in sales, no matter which product or service you are selling. Sales success is not just a mysterious science, mainly determined by smart and hard work in combination with knowledge, talent, experience and a correct mindset. And, if sales do not yet deliver the desired results, it is nice to know that most character traits or skills can be learned or improved. Let us give an overview of the most critical aspects of the capabilities of a sales representative.

1st Sales Representative Skill - Appearance
- positive and appropriate to the product and business representative for the company
- a naturally friendly look, service friendly
- approachable which is expressed in; enthusiasm, confidence, openness, solidity and service orientation
- a pleasant and businesslike non-verbal communication/body language
- are unique, distinctive, leave a good lasting / indelible impression
- are business driven but also entertaining (storytelling, but do strike the right tone)

2nd Sales Representative Skill - Attitude
- is task-oriented in realising the sales targets and managing the sales and budgets
- treats customers always correctly and with respect (even in difficult situations)
- realises and acts on the fact that the quantity and quality of customer turnover is decisive for the profitable existence of the company
- will do everything possible to serve the customer optimally and to keep them
- is driven to realise an ultimate customer experience and initiates (in consultation) measures in the event of possible disruptions, and is thereby leading in customer contact
- do not be put off by setbacks or rejections and can endure
- is assertive in finding the right balance in interests
- never promise occasions that cannot be fulfilled, sales is always about trust
- wants to be constantly challenged
- also wants to achieve specific objectives
- wants to develop further in his profession
- and wants to improve their performance

3rd Sales Representative Skill - Working Method
- is to the point, a professional not wasting unnecessary time of the customer (going through the sales process or concept as effectively as possible)
- has empathy, is helpful in resolving purchase decisions and can put themselves in the position of the customer
- has self-confidence without being arrogant
- knows how to make the client the purchase
- knows how to alert the customer to hidden needs (additional sales)
- ensures that the customer will choose the company also for the next time
- continues to persevere even after an disappointment
- has commercial competence and wants to develop this
- deals effectively with time
- has an eye for details
- is flexible
- meets appointments and sees to it that the organisation keeps appointments

4th Sales Representative Skill - Presentation
- presents the company professionally
- the intended goal is strong - directly or indirectly - emphasised in a visit, discussion and presentation
- has pleasant and effective presentation techniques
- presents with a clear goal
- coordinates presentation to the target group concerning content, structure, examples, choice, use of voice, tools etc.
- is competent, stimulating and motivating when presenting business, products and/or services

5th Sales Representative Skill - Conversation and Interview Techniques
- communication focus is to obtain all opinions and guiding principles of the customer
Note: often in early sales stages it is not clear
--- the actual needs of the customer,
--- the (alternative) offers and options and the customer knowledge about these, and
--- the decision-making stage of the purchasing process in which the customer is located.
- no boring standard sales pitch
- asks the right questions
- can listen well
- will not interrupt people, are quiet when they speak
- can find out the actual needs of the customer
- also knows how to manifest latent needs and sales barriers
- is able to match the customer's needs and to adjust their sales and services accordingly

6xt Sales Representative Skill - Negotiation Techniques
- knows how to achieve optimal returns in a 'deal'
- will try to find out what the prospects really want (a prospect, will often not be completely open and transparent - the things that are not said are often of importance)
- recognises the style and strategic motives of the customer (arguments, ambitions, behaviour, competencies)
- anticipates the negotiation style and motives of the customer, and adjusts accordingly (If-Then scenarios)
- is creative and knowledgeable in finding solutions (such as upselling, cross-selling, contractual terms, etc.)
- negotiation outcome must lead to an excellent long-term co-operation ("win-win")

7th Sales Representative Skill - Relationship Management
- is a valued, interesting and engaging personality
- can interact with various types of people
- is able to build a good relationship with customers
- is interested in customers and knows their businesses
- knows how to create a relationship of trust and mutual respect
- has the skill prospecting/lead generating (including cold calls) and has no aversion to this
- has the competence to network successfully

8th Sales Representative Skill - Commercial Feeling & Insight
- is customer-oriented
- knows and understands the needs and customer requirements
- recognises the success factors of certain products or services and the application of the sales process
- has an understanding of market mechanisms inside and outside the company, knows how it works and knows how to use it
- anticipates any problems and devises solutions for bringing in new customers and entering new markets
- anticipates future trends and market developments and signals them early
- knows the competition and is capable of successfully positioning own products/services in the market
- has analytical skills, conducts market research and can interpret the results correctly
- has no problems with and is successful in generating leads, prospecting and networking
- works according to the different phases of the sales funnel and continues this flow of orders
-knows how and succeed to increase turnover in size, quality and new possibilities

9nd Sales Representative Skill - Strategic Insight
- has a sense of both, reality and ambition
- knows and works to realise goals and/or a task
- determines and operates according to a particular framework and route to achieve those goals
- keeps overview, knows how to improve the current position/situation, to correct, to temporise, etc.
- is flexible but does not lose sight of the ultimate goal
- can maintain and communicate contacts at a strategic level
- is able to think along with the customer in the long term

10th Sales Representative Skill - Administrative Skill
- is honest and shares information with others
- effectively reports
- use the company’s sales systems and keeps these sales information up-to-date
- is accurate in keeping records of administrative systems

11th Sales Representative Skill - Industry Knowledge
- has ready industry knowledge, through analysis, study and structuring this information
- actively follows developments in the market
- knows the alternatives and competition and their solutions
- understand the questions and needs that exist in the industry
- has an affinity with the sector, the product or the service

12th Sales Representative Skill - Product Knowledge (and/or service)
- knows the range of products and services from their own organisation
- can name the strengths of products and explain them clearly
- has an abundance of product and service knowledge, but can filter it, to share only relevant and factual information with prospects/customers

13th Sales Representative Skill - Customer Knowledge
- will study customer's business; their products and services, distinctive capability, news and developments, financial status etc.
- deduces personal information (interests, career, family, etc.) from the discussion partners
- uncover the existing suppliers of the customer and/or knows the competition

14th Sales Representative Skill - Sales Preparation
- find out the discussion topics requested by the prospect
- know the already present product knowledge at the prospect
- has already verified, if possible,  the needs and potential barriers
- do have a plan and agenda
- practice the sales meeting/discussion with possible evolutions and optional continuation - 'what if.'

15th Sales Representative Skill - Sales Methods
- knows and uses the various sales process methods or models effectively, as there are;
--- conceptual selling
--- customer centric selling
--- inbound selling
--- N.E.A.T. selling
--- SNAP selling
--- Solution selling
--- SPIN selling
--- the Challenger Sale
--- the Sandler System
Roughly such a sales process proceeds in succession
- attract attention from a potential buyer
- explore the wishes and needs of the buyer
- make an appropriate offer
- counter buyers ‘ifs and buts’
- convince to purchase
- negotiate if necessary
- close the deal
- and always take care of customer satisfaction (even if it does not end up in a sale)

Failure Factors
Research shows that many sales representatives do not sell well because of they:
- escape in non-sales-generating activities
- do not dare or want not to enter into a customer contact
- are afraid to be rejected
- have a depressed approach or make negative statements
- have trouble to listen
- do not dare to ask for the order
- have a fear of criticism from customers
- do not know how to negotiate
- do not know how to make contacts fail in prospecting
- experience customer doubt as something negative
- cannot handle objections
- do not really believe in their own products or services
- do not recognise customer’s buying signals
- do not ask for intermediate commitment (check expectations)
- cannot yield the patience or the calmness, or are too eager

Success Factors
Successful sales representatives, on the other hand, have the following qualities:
- have ambition and do invest in themselves
- have self-confidence through knowledge and their approach
- dare to make and maintain sales contacts
- are respectful towards customers (also in more difficult situations)
- spend their time effectively on sales (and not or less on concealing side activities)
- listen more than they talk
- ask more than they say
- ask the right questions at the right time
- work systematically from goals
- are strong communicators
- identify the real needs through a strategic analysis
- are skilled in creative, inventive and solution-oriented advising and concluding agreements
- do know how to convince (knows how to move the customer into a sale)
- has empathy, is helpful in resolving purchase decisions
- they are proactive, prepared for every conversation (upcoming direction and subjects)
- always do have a positive attitude
- do have the emotional intelligence to obtain customer appreciation
- work in any discussion/consultation with an agenda
- do summarise and let the customer confirm of the summary correctness and completeness
- do not make assumptions, but do know for sure
- do sell from customer benefits and not just from product characteristics
- only give something away if they get something in return
- dare and can negotiate as they have the negotiation skills

In sales Consultdustry Interim Management & Business Consulting offers for the ASEAN & China - B2B Tech industry sector (manufacturing, engineering, construction, energy oil & gas, food processing, logistics and trade) - the following services;
• operational consulting to plan and improve sales for both established and (foreign) market entrants,hire a sales representative/business representative (read more at business transactions)
• temporary sales managers  & temporary staff (contract staffing / temporary management)
• recruitment for sales positions
• training & coaching programs to develop and improve sales staff/departments



Category8 : business transactions

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