Published March 9, 2020

What are the most important skills in sales?

Salespeople rely on many important skills to help them sell their product effectively. From excellent communication to in-depth product knowledge, mastering certain skills can greatly enhance a salesperson’s ability to deliver a successful pitch and build long-lasting relationships with their customers.

While the importance of some skills will vary depending on the industry, target market and the nature of the salesperson’s role, these essential skills can ensure a higher rate of success in any sales situation.


  1. Product Knowledge

The best salespeople know everything there is to know about their product – how it works, the value it offers and why their customers want or need it. Excellent product knowledge ensures a salesperson will never be caught out by a question they don’t know the answer to.


  1. Communication

Communication is not just about what a person says, but how they say it – their tone of voice, volume, emphasis and non-verbal cues can all make a big difference to how successfully their message is conveyed. Salespeople with strong communication skills will not only tell their product’s story effectively but will also show a better understanding of their prospective customer’s responses, knowing when to talk and when to listen.


  1. Active Listening

Customers feel more valued when a salesperson shows a genuine interest in their challenges and pain points. Asking qualifying questions and learning about the prospect’s needs allows a salesperson to offer personalised solutions and highlight the most beneficial product features.


  1. Rapport Building

Trust is vital in the buying experience, and salespeople that can build a good rapport with their customers will also develop the trust and credibility that leads to sales. Finding common ground with prospects, showing personality and encouraging engaging conversation can all help to build positive relationships.


  1. Objection Handling and Prevention

Successful salespeople are not only skilled in handling objections, but can also reduce the number of objections their prospects make. By being proactive and preparing for common objections, a good salesperson can offer clarity and overcome the potential issue before it is even raised.


  1. Adaptability

The ability to adapt in unexpected scenarios is essential to ensure a sales pitch is not derailed if something doesn’t go to plan. The best salespeople can adapt their approach quickly to deal with any surprising objections or unforeseen circumstances.


  1. Resilience

Not every pitch will lead to a sale, so it’s important that salespeople can demonstrate resilience when faced with rejection. Reacting positively to knock-backs by taking feedback on board and learning from criticism can help to ensure their future success.


Check out our Sales & Revenue Technologies Track at the Smart X Conference:

Sales & Revenue at Smart X


Nikki Swift

Content Manager

Inspired Business Media