Many businesses in many industries rely on the sales team to follow leads and close deals to ensure the company grows and succeeds. The sales profession is quite unique in terms of the skillset required that defines a successful professional.

Across all industries and sectors, the demand for talent is higher than ever and top candidates are rarely available in the market for long. It is vital you recognise the leading talent on your team – and know what skills to look for when hiring.

See the five hottest skills the best candidates will have:

Negotiating the deal

Negotiation is a key skill for any sales professional. The ability to effectively negotiate with, and influence, stakeholders is fundamental to the success of any deal.

Talented sales professionals are excellent communicators who can build fast rapport, have a sharp mind for conversation and a friendly manner that instills confidence and trust in customers. Every winning team needs salespeople with top negotiating skills.  

Solution selling

Information regarding products is widely available to consumers, and reviews on products and services are available in real time – meaning customer complaints are often public knowledge. Customers want more than a sales pitch when they meet with a sales representative. They want a consultation. 

Professionals who understand and develop bespoke customer solutions add true value, because selling solutions is a core ability for sales professionals. Can your team develop innovative solutions and pitch a compelling, needs-based sell for your products and services? 

A good sales person can sell the service or product a few times, a great sales person in the other hand is forming a bond with the client and is not only giving the expected quality of service but exceeds it. Therefore, to become great, the sales person has to help out and add value to the client even in matters which are not related to the service at all. Even suggesting a great new restaurant they recently went, or a vacation tip will create a stronger bond which will result in longer relations and create a loyal client.

Planning and strategy

Sales planning lies at the heart of any successful sales team. Professionals experienced in setting targets, developing sales strategies, and tracking and managing targets are highly prized in sales. Sound business decisions are data-driven and strategic to achieve overall business goals – and sales is no different.

Territory mapping

Territory mapping helps with analysing sales regions, essential for tracking performance, determining strategies, and identifying areas for growth and improvement. Measuring sales is essential in monitoring the progress and profitability of your business regions. It is important for identifying high performing staff – or employees who may need further development.

Professionals who are skilled and experienced with territory mapping gather essential data on the performance of the team, and can help with long-term development of individual members – helping to ensure top talent stays in-house.

Competitor analysis

Competition is increasing in every industry, meaning you need to know your competitor’s plans, strategy, and future vision. It is essential that thorough competitor analyses are carried out regularly to assess and monitor your market. Professionals experienced in identifying threats and opportunities in the market and then creating solutions to mitigate the risks and act upon the prospects are highly prized. The most effective sales professionals will have a deep understanding of your market and will strive to stay one-step ahead of the competition. 

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