ForceManager recently announced completion of a further round of funding, putting us in a great position to continuing growing our technology-based sales management system. This milestone in our development led us to reflect on the core of our business – helping our clients increase their sales efficiency. With our years of combined experience in managing sales, we like to think we have a good idea of just what it takes to be a star salesperson.

We all want top talent for our sales team. But how do you identify the people who have that talent? What are the personality traits and skills that tell us that person is going to make a valuable contribution to our sales force?

Here’s our list of 7 things a successful salesperson should do:

Show enthusiasm. You need to build a team that conveys optimism, passion for the sales world and willingness. A successful salesperson loves to talk about their sales career and has a revealing habit: they always carry a notebook. Proactivity is essential in this sector; a person who takes notes regularly in their daily lives also does so with the customer, and will more easily find a solution to their needs.

Communicate effectively. A salesperson needs to have excellent verbal and writing skills, as well as empathy. Salespeople are able to improvise and have a high level of self-confidence. A sense of security and a way with words is a great motivating factor for the team.

Listen. Following on from this, a salesperson also needs to listen in order to adapt their sales pitch based on customer feedback. As well as presenting their company and product range in an attractive way, they need to pay attention to the input they receive. They are then well placed to propose a solution, and offer value to their prospect.

Ask relevant questions. A good salesperson succeeds in dispelling customers’ concerns. If their questions are pertinent and get to the gist of the problem, your salesperson will likely know how to elicit the objectives, concerns and doubts of their clients.

Be analytical. Communication skills make up 50% of the profile you’re looking for. The other half is a 100% analytical mind, someone who is great with statistics and can calculate rapidly. You need to be sure that the person behind the blueprint can focus, and doesn’t get distracted by data.

Show persistence. A good salesperson never gives up. The ones who are leadership material have met with obstacles throughout their career, but they seek new solutions and are guided by their determination.

Have high resilience.The ideal mix is someone who’s both honest and influential. In the sales profession we come across a lot of closed doors; a salesperson therefore needs to apply positive psychology and emerge reinforced by each “no” they hear. They need to focus on strengths rather than weaknesses.

In addition to these characteristics, here are some more outlined in the book Sell or be Sold, by Grant Cardone. He goes beyond qualities and highlights the importance of knowing the salesperson’s perspective, and having an idea of how they manage in the field.

A good salesperson doesn’t think in terms of sales, but in participating and contributing to the development of a business, according to Cardone. Would you form a good team together?

Find out whether they invested their time in activities that increased the revenue of their previous companies. They should be active, constantly looking for ways to optimise the efforts of the sales force and close transactions.

The most important thing for a star salesperson is their client portfolio. Once the sale is closed, they stay in contact with the customer to broaden their experience and network. And they are people of their word: they deliver more than they promised to the customer, and maintain contact because they build lasting relationships based on confidence.

Great salespeople set themselves high standards but don’t see sales that don’t work out as failures. They know that investing time and effort will bring its reward. They opt for training programmes, and each day plan new activities to contribute to the efficiency of the sales cycle.

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