If your sales team is not performing well enough, be sure to familiarize yourself with these 17 essential skills to have a strong sales team.

Sales success can have a different meaning for each organization. A successful sale maybe 1 million per month for one small business and 100 million per month for another, it all depends on your goals. But one issue is constant among all businesses and that is sales skills. In other words, if you or your sales team do not have enough skills to sell the product to the buyer, you will probably face stagnation and failure. Therefore, in this article, we talk about the key skills that if your sales team has, your sales will probably be more than you expected. So stay with us in this article.

Basic skills of a successful sales team

If your main job is sales or you have a separate team for your sales, you probably know that selling a product and convincing a buyer will not be so easy. In the following, we list the skills that are among the daily responsibilities of a salesperson and he must cultivate them in himself or his team to be more profitable for the organization.

1- Basic sales knowledge

The first and most basic skill that every salesperson should have is basic sales knowledge. How does the sales system work and what are its principles? Don’t worry if you are new to this field, instead try to read about sales strategies first and update your knowledge every day.

Having basic knowledge in the field of sales means that you must learn how to convert a potential customer into a definite customer, understand the stages of the sales funnel, and know what your role as a salesperson is and how to behave at each stage of the sales funnel. What you need to do to convert a prospect into a buyer.

2- Communication skills

To be successful in sales, having communication skills is a fundamental principle. But what does communication skill mean?

Communication skill means that you should feel comfortable with your customers at any level and be able to communicate with each one easily and have a proper impact. It doesn’t matter whether your sales are face-to-face or online, if your sales are face-to-face, you should be able to improve your speaking skills, and if your sales are online, the text of your email, the text of your chat, etc. should all convey a sense of value to the customer.

One of the most important principles along with speaking and writing skills is good listening skills. That you can listen well to the customer and meet his needs. When you actively listen to the customer, you can take key information from what they are saying and use it to solve their problem.

3- Interest in continuous learning

Whether you are a newbie in the field of sales or have many years of sales experience, you need to renew your knowledge at every stage and constantly learn new methods. The customer is getting smarter day by day and other previous methods may be less effective for him. Try to ask the customer questions at every stage and show that his challenges are important to you. Listen to his problems and see how you can help him solve his problem. Try to act like an analyst. Measure the customer and the market and always be learning new ways to solve the customer’s challenge.

Professional skills of the successful sales team

Now that we are familiar with the basic and basic skills of sales, we must also learn the key and deeper skills that distinguish us from others so that we can act more professionally.

1- Customer Research

Perhaps the first issue that needs to be done in any work is research. At this stage, you should research the customer to find out who is your customer and who is not. Connecting with the right customer is the ultimate goal of research and is essential because it determines the fate of a large portion of sales.

Since many sellers consider this part, i.e. research, to be the most difficult part of sales, we will talk more about it in this section and recount its different stages.

  • Research and search

This step is the most important part of customer research. At this stage, you should identify as many potential customers as you can and check their needs to see if they are a good target for selling your product.

  • Customer Access

After you have identified your target customer, it is time to reach that type of customer. In the research phase, you need to identify the best platform from which you want to find your customers. For example, for B2B businesses, using email phone or a social network such as LinkedIn can be appropriate.

  • communicate

After you have identified the type of customer and found his place of activity, it is time to communicate to present yourself. At this stage, you should be able to communicate well with the customer and try to understand whether your product is suitable for this customer or not.

2- Knowledge of the product

In the next step, you must have a correct understanding of the product.

What exactly are you selling?

How much do you know about it?

What are the features and advantages of your product?

What is the competitive advantage of your product?

Why should the customer buy your product compared to other products?

You must be able to answer the above questions well. Your task is to convince the customer that there is nothing better for him than your product. In addition, you can only encourage the customer to buy if you can somehow relate his problem to one of the product’s features.

3- Customer service

Customer service in some organizations may be the responsibility of the sales team, and in larger organizations, it may be a separate department, however, in both cases, a professional salesperson must have a deep understanding and skill in the field of service to be able to Complete the sales process well.

The customer’s needs and problems should be your priority, and if you want to be able to convert and retain customers, you should be able to provide them with good service and not consider sales as the end of the chain.

4- Data analysis

One of the most critical skills in sales is the ability to read and analyze data. Especially today, when online sales are growing and data is easily stored and separated, there is no need to calculate them manually. But the most important thing is to have the ability to turn this raw data into meaningful analysis and be able to use that information to improve our performance and increase our sales.

5- Solution oriented perspective

To be successful as a salesperson, you must always have a solution to the customer’s excuses and problems. The source of power behind this story is your creativity, the more you can strengthen your creativity, the more solutions will come to your mind. You should be able to identify the customer’s problem, work on the same problem, and convince the customer that the only solution to his problem is to use your product.

6- Upsell & Cross-sell

There are many strategies for selling, but two of these strategies can greatly increase your sales. These strategies are overselling and complementary selling. In upsell, you offer a more expensive product but with more benefits than the product the customer has chosen and try to convince him that the more expensive product will be more economical for him.

For example, let’s say you are a home internet marketer. A customer calls you and asks you to buy a product, in this case, you can offer him a high-speed internet package with a larger volume instead of the product chosen by the customer and tell him about its advantages over the previous product. If the customer buys the more expensive product, in this case, you have oversold.

In complementary sales or cross-selling, you try to sell secondary products related to the main product to the customer. For example, let’s say you have a mobile phone store and a customer buys a mobile phone model from you, mobile phone accessories can be a phone case, hands-free, screen protector shield, etc. If a customer buys a secondary product from you for his main product, you have made a complementary sale.

7- Negotiation skills

Negotiation skills are one of the most critical skills in sales. In the sense that you can lead the conversation process well, have a convincing answer for every question and finally lead the customer to buy the product. Note that negotiation skills are acquired through study, practice, and experience and require high self-confidence.

8- Relationship building

Building a network of relationships in the field of sales will always benefit you. Building a good relationship with potential customers, with members of the marketing team and other departments, with other members of your team, etc. will all affect your future work.

But building relationships with customers is more important. When you build a long-term relationship with a customer, you make him come back and buy from you, and as long as you are in contact with him, you are always in the corner of his mind and you can offer him an offer at the right time.

9- Being result oriented

Finally, a salesperson should be result-oriented and always compare the results of his work with his previous activities to fix if there is a problem. A good result can be creating a sense of satisfaction within the customer, selling more products, full product support, etc. It is important that your results are better than your previous results and that you are improving day by day.

Successful sales leadership skills

Now that we have learned about the basic and professional skills in successful sales, it is time to go one step higher and learn about leadership skills in sales.

1- Management changes

When you lead a sales team, you need to be comfortable with any changes and be able to apply those changes to your subordinates. In the sales process, many changes may occur and you must be prepared for any leadership that fits the situation to be able to manage the team and maintain your competitive advantage.

2- Developing a strategy

As we said, many changes happen in the sales process and a leader must have the ability to apply the appropriate strategy depending on each change. This strategy should have a clear purpose and be well communicated to the sales team so that they can change their approach accordingly.

Skill in formulating a strategy is a problem that is acquired with the passage of time and gaining experience, and it requires knowledge of the market and a variety of marketing methods such as joint marketing.

3- Effective coaching and leadership

A sales leader may have a team whose members have different skill levels. An efficient leader is a leader who knows the ability of each member well and can be a good coach for each of them and assign them a task according to their skills. He should also encourage other team members who have more professional sales skills to help and train new members so that responsibilities are evenly distributed across the group.

4- Trust building

For sales leaders, building trust in their team members is one of the most important priorities in team development. A successful sales team has a leader who creates a two-way trust between the members and the leader, as well as among the group members themselves. According to Harvard Business, people who work in teams with high levels of trust have 74% less stress and 50% more efficiency.

5- Management system

In efficient organizations, all team members work in an effective system and all their work processes are done regularly through a specific system. It is the leadership’s job to ensure the efficiency of the system, eliminate time-consuming and redundant parts, and lead a fast-paced system.

Practice with the sales team through the game

There are many ways to strengthen your sales team. But the practice of selling through games is not only more exciting, it is embedded in the salesperson’s mind for a longer period.

1- Sell me this pen

Have you ever seen the movie The Wolf of Wall Street?

This movie is based on the real life of Jordan Belfort and David DiCaprio has taken the lead role. In the last scenes of this movie, we see that Jordan Belfort is giving a speech to new salespeople, and while holding a pen, he turns to one of them and says: “Sell me this pen.”

While the rookie salesman can’t do that, Jordan Belfort asks him to write his name on a piece of paper, and of course, he needs a pen for that. Jordan Belfort is teaching him that to sell a product to a customer, you have to make him feel a need, and the answer to that need is your product. You can also practice this with your team members based on the product you have and think carefully about what needs there are in the customer that your product can answer.

2- Matching game

Suppose you have a business that sells different products, such as different software, different plans, etc. In the matching game, you have to raise one or more needs or problems for each product separately, the answer of which is the desired product. In this case, you write the need statements on one side and the product list on the other side, and the sales team members must connect each problem or need to a product. For example, in the picture below, number 5 shows a customer who needs to send messages to his customers continuously. The product related to this need is naturally email marketing software, which is one of the company’s products.

3- Using quizzes

When you have provided enough product descriptions to the team, you can take a quiz from them and ask different questions from easy to difficult. You can use test questions, but if you design the questions descriptively, you can get to know the team members better and identify their strengths and weaknesses. This game is especially suitable for large organizations and extensive teams. Smaller and multi-member teams can do this test one by one.

4- Elevator pitch technique

The elevator speech technique is clear, suppose you meet another person in the elevator and you have 30 to 60 seconds until you reach the destination floor to convince him to buy a product from you.

This technique focuses on speed because today’s customer is busy and doesn’t have much time to stop and listen to you. As a result, you finally have 1 minute to convince him. What do you say in this precious minute?

Challenge your team with this game and give each one a minute to present the product to you and gauge their creativity. In addition, you can choose topics or products randomly for different groups and ask them to brainstorm for that topic and start a competition between groups to choose the best ideas.

5- Competition between groups

In this game, the sales manager or whoever is in charge of the sales team divides the team members into different groups and gives each group a device. This device can even be randomly selected from among the objects in the room. In this competition, each group must choose a goal for their device, identify the need or problem that the device solves, write an advertising message for it, and sell it to the other group.

At the end of the contest, vote and award the best advertising message. This work encourages the group and on the other hand, it strengthens various skills such as creativity and the ability to present the product to amateur sellers.

and finally…

As an organization or someone who is in charge of the sales team, it doesn’t matter which type of game you use to practice with the sales team. It is important that the purpose of all these activities and games is to strengthen the skills of the sales team members and ultimately their better performance. However, as a sales leader, you should ask yourself the following questions:

What skills or knowledge do I want to impart and teach to sales team members?

Why is this skill necessary to improve business performance and growth?

How do I ensure these skills are learned by sales team members?

How can I help each member of the sales team learn more?

Each of your actions must have a purpose. And don’t forget that as a leader or sales supervisor, it is your responsibility to train your team members and inform them of the day’s tips. Try to have a monthly or quarterly plan for training and keep your team updated and coordinated.

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