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In our evolving economy and professional world, it has become evident that sales is turning into one of those professions where the only thing harder than getting in is staying in. With buyer habits changing frequently, many sales reps are being left in the dust in exchange for online reviews and the aid of the internet. We’ve compiled a list of the top skills necessary to overcome many of today’s buyer obstacles.


Be Proactive

Go beyond completing customer visits, making prospecting calls, and closing appointment targets. Being proactive means working smart to ensure that you not only meet your current quarter targets, but that you set your foundations for success in the next quarter. By setting routine goals, and tracking your progress you can become a more proactive sales rep.


Be Helpful

Sometimes the best thing you can do is just give a helping hand to a customer instead of constantly trying to sell, sell, sell. The tables have turned and today, our consumers can sniff out a salesperson from a mile away. While they may be turned off by the prospect of having someone talk at them and persuade them to buy their product, no one ever turned away some courteous advice. Act as a passionate and educated adviser on your topic of expertise and listen to what the consumer has to say, then you can gently guide them in the right direction.


Embrace Change

Time moves extremely quickly in the new age of sales, and if you don’t stay up to date on the latest trends and technology you’re likely to fall behind the competition -- internally and externally. Be prepared to embrace new techniques, technologies, and developments to impact your business. Learn what works for your peers, especially those outside your company, and implement those best practices without fear.



All sales professionals must master the art of storytelling. Stories have the ability to capture customer’s emotions and attention especially when they’re customized to their unique situation. Study after study has shown that emotion is a bigger predictor in purchasing decisions than logic. Learn how to aim for your customer’s pain points through intriguing stories and you’ll see a lot more sales.


Strengthen your writing skills

Indispensable sales reps have the ability to clearly and concisely convey their message. Whether you’re writing a proposal, a blog post, or an email, business writing skills are of the utmost importance in keeping your job in sales. You can strengthen your writing skills by seeking the review of peers and working with professionally crafted templates, so you always have a great start.


Build Trust

Trust is an inevitable and crucial part of your business. In order for your customer to be willing to share their business details with you, you must obtain a certain level of intimacy and trust. This process starts the first time you’re in contact with a potential customer. Build this trust by always following through on your commitments, being conscious of your customers’ wants and needs, and giving them your full attention.


Ensure you’re Tech-Savvy

There’s a whole new world out there in sales tech, and a lot of untapped potential if you haven’t started communicating with your customers via social media. Likewise, if your team hasn’t moved to a mobile CRM system you’re burning precious efficiency fuels. Tech-Savvy salespeople are communicating more effectively and reaching a broader audience.


Don’t be a Complainer

Optimistic and encouraging sales reps are generally more pleasant to work with and more productive in sales. Everyone gets stressed out at times (especially during the rough times) but whatever you do, work is not the place to complain about it. Even if you’re just venting to a co-worker you never know when they could turn around and use that against you. Instead of complaining, think about the positive things that keep you coming back to your job, smile, and remain focused on your goals.


Listen Actively

Actually listening to your customers and what they have to say can go a long way. Listening allows you to understand your buyers’ needs and emotions. When you tune into what they’re looking for you can find a better plan equipped for them, and gain yourself a happier and more loyal customer.


Present with confidence

Presentational skills are timeless, and extremely powerful tools in the sales arena. It’s essential for sales reps to be comfortable presenting their pitch across any media. Good news is that these skills can always be improved upon by making your presentation time shorter and your pitch simpler and by practicing over and over again.


Sales pros in today’s era have a need for a lot more skills than cold calling and closing deals. In order to keep your job in sales you need to possess a lot of well-rounded skills. Once you’ve mastered and embodied all of these skills you’ll have successfully placed yourself as an invaluable asset to your business.

About The Author

Stacey Woods
Stacey Woods
Stacey Woods is the Senior Business Development Manager at Pepperi. She has extensive experience in B2B sales and understands the many benefits that can be gained by automating and syncing the different sales channels in a company.