The Essential 11 Sales Skills Every Salesperson Needs (2024)

When you’re trying to sell a product or service online and are focused on hitting your sales targets, it can be tempting to fall into a pattern of badgering someone to buy from you and talking their ears off until they agree.

Unfortunately, many salespeople still do this, even at companies who brag about how great they are at sales. 🙄

Don’t do this. No. One. Likes. This.

Instead, work on listening to your prospects. In many cases, they will tell you what their pain points are and what they’re looking for – you just have to listen.

It is, of course, productive to ask questions to guide the conversation in a way that gets you the info you need, but avoid taking over the conversation.

No one wants to hear how great you or your company are without prompting. Listen to what they have to say, and then determine the next best step for them.

Remember: you need to be on the customer’s side, and you need to make them feel good about the exchange! 😍

4. Effective communication

Salespeople spend the majority of their day communicating – so it’s important to be an effective communicator!

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From sending emails to holding meetings, making phone calls and using live chat for sales, there are many ways in which a salesperson needs to communicate in any given day, which makes this all the more crucial. Having a reliable tool or a team communication app that enables you to collaborate with your team or contact your prospects is, therefore, a must.

As an effective communicator, you should be able to keep your audience in mind at all times and adjust accordingly. 🗣

For example, you shouldn’t be speaking to your fellow sales colleagues the same way you would speak to a customer, because they have different needs from you and different goals in mind.

Simply put: being effective in how you communicate helps you get your points across and reach your goals. 🙌

5. Confidence

This one probably isn’t too surprising. To be a great salesperson, you have to exude confidence!

And if you don’t feel confident at the moment? Fake it ‘til you make it. 💪

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Confident people inspire confidence in others – so if you’re confident about what you’re selling, prospects will feel that confidence and “buy into” what you have to say.

If you feel like you could work on this soft skill a bit, there are plenty of resources and exercises available online to help you build your confidence and help you go from a good salesperson to a great salesperson.

6. Flexibility

Working in sales can be a bit of a whirlwind at times. Meetings get moved around, prospects ask questions that aren’t included in a demo, the list goes on…

That’s why flexibility is crucial! You have to be able to change plans at the drop of the hat – in a positive and constructive manner. 🤗

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Rather than approaching changes with panic or frustration, take a step back for a moment, take a few breaths and try to offer up solutions or alternatives.

With that said, it’s great to be flexible, but it’s also important to know when to say “no” to avoid being overloaded.

7. Optimism

Working in sales can mean a lot of unanswered emails from leads, hung-up phone calls, rejections in many forms…so great salespeople understand the importance of staying positive!

Not everyone you speak to will necessarily be interested (or even qualify) for your product or service – and that’s ok. It’s all about being optimistic in the face of any adversity or rejection.

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Optimism is closely tied to confidence. It means that you’re hopeful and confident that things will turn out ok (and spoiler alert: things will turn out ok in one way or another). 😄

This soft skill can also reduce stress and increase longevity.

That’s right: the power of positivity can literally make you live longer! 🖖

8. Time management

Similar to flexibility, time management means that you’re able to work smarter, not harder.

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Working 60 hours per week and barely making your sales targets is not sustainable, or fun.

Working 40 hours per week and blowing your sales targets out of the water is sustainable and fun. 🎉

Time management also means managing your energy. Be sure you’re getting enough rest. This way, when you’re at work, you can always be at your 100%.

Of course, every week is different, but if you’re able to prioritize and delegate your work in an effective way, it can be a gamechanger.

There are plenty of tools out there that can help you with this, but in the end, it’s not always easy to keep up the discipline to make them work for you.

For instance, the core tool in your sales toolset is a CRM, but only a few of us manage to fill out the CRM perfectly and keep all the necessary data in there to be able to make it really useful.

That’s why at Salesflare our focus is on automating the robotic task of inputting data into your CRM, so that you can focus on continually improving your sales skills and on building relationships with customers.

Since it pulls in all your contacts’ data for you and fills up the timeline with your emails, meetings & phone calls just by connecting your email and calendar, it saves you a lot of time. Time you can now spend improving your sales skills and building relationships with customers.

(If you want to give our product a try and up your sales game you can start a trial here. Many of our customers also use it to follow up investors, partnerships, accelerators, and much more.)

9. Public speaking

Some people love speaking in front of a group. Others, not so much.

Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, it’s a great soft skill as a salesperson.

You’re going to be speaking to people on a regular basis, as well as offering demos and presentations, so the last thing you need is to freeze up in the middle of a crucial meeting. 😰

The best thing you can do to overcome public speaking fears is to practice, practice, practice. The more you do it, the more natural it will feel.

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If that intimidates you, try some alternative options, like taking up improv classes or watching TED Talks on YouTube to help you learn from public speaking experts.

10. Integrity

The most fundamental thing that can make or break a top salesperson is their integrity.

Being honest and transparent with prospects is crucial in being a salesperson with strong integrity.

This should be a no-brainer, but bears repeating: salespeople should never push a sale on someone who isn’t a good fit for a product or service. Whether that is in regards to pain points, budget or any other reason.

A salesperson should also never be misleading about what a product or service can do for someone. If you overpromise and underdeliver, that comes back to haunt you in a big way.

It can ruin your entire career. 😵

Carry yourself with integrity – and let’s be real, that’s just good life advice in general.

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11. Growth mindset

It’s incredible what people can accomplish when they have a growth mindset.

What does that mean exactly? Well, it’s the belief that you are capable of strengthening your talents and acquiring new sales skills/abilities over time.

It means that you understand the importance of hard work and constantly trying to improve, rather that just staying stuck in your ways. 🚀

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As a salesperson, this is a valuable soft skill to have.

If you’re barely hitting your sales targets each quarter and you’re perfectly satisfied with that, then maybe sales isn’t for you.

It’s important to try to push yourself to constantly improve over time. To learn. To grow. To SMASH those goals!

This is also tied to the idea of high achievement and its connection to “grit.” I’ll let expert Angela Lee Duckworth explain that one. 😎

There you have it, 11 soft sales skills that will help you reach your goals faster… and in style! 🎊

Ready to close some deals with these skills?

Compliment your top-notch sales skills with a top-notch CRM. By letting Salesflare automate all the robotic tasks for you, you have more time to focus on being flexible, optimistic, confident and growth-minded.

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When your emails, meetings, phone calls, files, website visits and more are already pulled in for you, your motivation stays on track. With all that time and motivation, it gives you more energy to improve your soft sales skills and close more deals. 💪

So, when you’re ready to take the next step in sales, improve your time management and keep track of your prospects by giving Salesflare a try.

What are some other soft sales skills you think are essential to being a great salesperson? Let us know in the comments!

We hope you liked this post. If you did, spread the word!

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The Essential 11 Sales Skills Every Salesperson Needs (2024)


What is the #1 skill a salesperson should have? ›

Effective Communication

Effective communication – both written and verbal – are fundamental skills that your salespeople need to persuade customers into buying your product or service. Your salespeople also need to understand that tone and manner of delivery also matter.

What are the key skills for salesperson? ›

Examples of inside sales representative skills
  • Product knowledge. ...
  • Communication skills. ...
  • Active listening skills. ...
  • Rapport-building skills. ...
  • Time-management skills. ...
  • Organizational skills. ...
  • Social media skills. ...
  • Problem-solving skills.
Feb 27, 2023

What is the #1 trait skill is to be a great salesperson? ›


Confidence is important, but remember that there's a fine line between confidence and arrogance. For a salesperson to succeed, they must believe in the product or the service they're selling.

What 5 things are important in sales? ›

  • No. 1: Understand what the buyer wants. ...
  • No. 2: Sell in a buyer-responsive manner. ...
  • No. 3: Use psychology to engage the buyer. ...
  • No. 4: Establish trust with the buyer. ...
  • No. 5: Communicate succinctly. ...
  • No. 6: Act on what the customer is saying. ...
  • No. 7: Demonstrate subject matter expertise. ...
  • No. 8: Help (as opposed to close) prospects.

What are the 7 keys of selling? ›

Covering the entire sales process from start to finish, these seven factors are integral to boosting performance and attaining goals.
  • Prospecting. Prospecting is one of the most challenging parts of sales. ...
  • Building rapport. ...
  • Identifying needs. ...
  • Presenting. ...
  • Answering objections. ...
  • Closing the sale. ...
  • Getting resales and referrals.
Nov 6, 2018

What are the 3 most important aspects of sales? ›

Three of the most important sales skills to have are strategic communication, product knowledge, and empathy.

What are 4 duties of a salesperson? ›

  • Present, promote and sell products/services using solid arguments to existing and prospective customers.
  • Perform cost-benefit and needs analysis of existing/potential customers to meet their needs.
  • Establish, develop and maintain positive business and customer relationships.

What personality type makes the best salesman? ›

Considered as born leaders, an ENTJ personality type makes a good salesperson because they are outcome driven. An ENTJ salesperson will be prepared to play a long game and nurture a lead through to a successful close.

What are your two greatest strengths as a salesperson? ›

Some examples of strengths you might highlight as a sales professional include:
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Determination.
  • Negotiation skills.
  • Patience.
  • Customer service.
Mar 10, 2023

How do you master sales? ›

Enhance listening skills.
  1. Attend sales training. Sales training and professional development opportunities can keep your skills fresh. ...
  2. Implement roleplay. ...
  3. Practice public speaking. ...
  4. Find a mentor. ...
  5. Ask questions. ...
  6. Become a lifelong learner. ...
  7. Improve prospecting skills. ...
  8. Review your sales calls.
Oct 19, 2022

What are the 5 A's of sales? ›

Named by Dr. Philip Kotler, the five stages (Awareness, Appeal, Ask, Act and Advocacy) allow marketing and sales professionals to create a map of the customer's needs and priorities during the different parts of their purchase process.

What are the 4 C's in sales? ›

The 4 C's of Marketing are Customer, Cost, Convenience, and Communication. These 4 C's determine whether a company is likely to succeed or fail in the long run. The customer is the heart of any marketing strategy.

What are the 5 W's sales? ›

The 5 W's of Asking Open-Ended Questions in Sales

Open-ended questions for sales often begin with the five Ws: who, what, where, when, why. These five, along with one “H” – how – are basic interrogative or question words used by journalists, law enforcement, researchers, and others to gather information.

What is the number 1 function of a sales person? ›

The Sales Representative is responsible for selling products and meeting customer needs while obtaining orders from existing or potential sales outlets. They ensure that the customer is satisfied and adequately taken care of while making a purchase.

What are the three skills in sales? ›

If you want to boost sales and learn to enjoy the sales process, cultivate these three skills.
  • Relating To People. Your prospects need to trust you before they become a customer. ...
  • Identifying A Need. Your business exists because it meets customers' needs. ...
  • Instilling Trust.
Oct 26, 2020

What is the skill of selling? ›

The sales skills that empower professionals to win opportunities include; planning and strategizing, understanding needs, driving consensus, positioning value, storytelling, resolving objections, presenting effectively, selling with teams, and negotiating to close.

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