Nearly everyone has a story about when a salesperson made their buying decision easy: They understood the business, asked well-thought-out questions and listened (instead of talking), connected the product or service to stated (or unstated but very real) needs and grasped the conversation’s subtleties. These skills are what make salespeople truly valuable to customers, and it’s why many companies invest in ongoing seller training to develop them.
Despite the focus on the importance of seller skills, little research has explored how these competencies relate to B2B sales performance in specific settings. This study seeks to fill this gap by empirically assessing how the seven seller skill categories—communication, customer-centricity, presentation, negotiation, product knowledge and personal motivation/aptitude—interact with each other and with sellers’ role perceptions, motivations and aptitudes in predicting their sales performance in B2B contexts.
1. Demonstrate insight up front
The most important sales skill is demonstrating value to prospects, whether they’re warm or cold. If you don’t, they will quickly become frustrated and disengage. This includes being able to ask the right questions that uncover key pain points and disqualify prospects that aren’t a good fit for your product.
Having the ability to communicate with prospects over email, social media, video conference or in person is key to successful sales. It’s also critical for articulating your value to the prospect, and communicating your vision of how you can solve their problem. It’s a hard skill to teach, but one that can be learned with practice and the right sales tools, like a phone validator. Freelance