10 Must-Have Skills For Every Sales & Marketing Professional

Sales is not only about results but also about the way results are achieved. The right way to do it is by being assertive, patient, persistent, and knowledgeable. Everyone does not always possess these skills naturally – mastery in them is often acquired over time. Hence, the best sales team is one that acts as an educational institute – the leader is the teacher and the coach who hones and develops these skills across their team members. Read on to know the top 10 must-have skills that a sales and marketing professional must possess or develop.

1. Know Your Product Well

As a sales professional, you should be able to explain in detail all of your product’s features, its value proposition, and how customers will benefit from using it.

      • To be successful in your profession, you must have an effective sales pitch ready that you can use whenever you are meeting a prospective client for the first time. For this deep product knowledge is of utmost importance.

        TIP: Know about the coolest features of your product – those that differentiate your product from your competitor’s. This will help you grab the attention of leads – be that at a trade show or even when you are making a call.

      • As you meet more leads, keep a track of all questions that are usually asked. Have answers ready for all these. This will come handy when you are speaking to prospective customers.
      • You need to speak clearly, keep your thoughts clear, be able to explain in simple language, and talk of only those features that will benefit the lead.
      • You should be able to show-off demos of your product attractively to potential customers. This is an art that you must learn – you need to know how much to say about the product before addressing queries from the visitors.
      • If you are the leader of a team, always remember to make the new reps go through a product training workshop.
2. Have a Great Memory

Salespeople need to remember a lot of information about product details, the projected ROI, other statistical data. If he has a sharp memory he will be able to share this with prospects without faltering. The more easily he can remember, the more confidence he will have to speak with prospects. Memory power is hence a very strong weapon to have to close deals.

3. Be Assertive

A successful sales rep is one who is assertive.

    • Whether you’re in a one-to-one meeting, a meetup or a trade show, you cannot sit behind a table and come across as being disinterested and timid. Open up to your prospects and push the table against the booth wall and be ready for the visitors.
    • In a group event or trade show setting, you should introduce yourself to anybody who comes to or near your booth and, without getting aggressive, gets across some words to them and gets their contact details. Business card scanning apps like ScanBizCards, the best business card scanner app, will help you here. It quickly scans contacts from a business card or a badge and uploads it into your phone’s address book, or into the CRM.
    • When the interactions are offline, the need to make an impact on your prospects becomes even more imminent as you’re making up for eye contact with your email or phone-skills. For example, you need to personalize communications when, say, you are writing emails, reaching out to connections through LinkedIn mail, and posting direct social media messages.
4. Be Able to Work as a Team

Sales is not about being a one-man army. Hence, a must-have skill to do well in this field is to be able to collaborate with others and work together. So, if you want to do well as a sales rep you need to work as a team.

5. Be a Good Orator

Keep the Tone Right

When you are speaking to your leads on the phone, you need to pay attention to your tone, the pitch, and the speed at which you speak. In sales, how you speak carries as much importance as what you are saying does. When you speak, keep in mind that you have to:

    • Speak clearly and not mumble
    • Not whisper and talk
    • Not speak in a monotone

A sales rep who is good at their job mirrors the tone of the client. For example, If the client is casual and friendly, then the same tone should be maintained instead of getting serious and formal.

Be a Little Dramatic

A good speaker is one who can add some drama to the sales pitch without making it appear false. For example:

    • Studies have revealed that while using statistics, the impact is more when whole numbers are not used. So, saying ‘the product usage has risen by 53.7%’ will have more effect than saying ‘the product usage has risen by 50%’.
    • Add an emotional story to your sales talk. For example, you can speak about how the product helped your family and you, or how your journey with the organization has been.

Build a Rapport

A good sales rep puts in the effort to build a rapport with their leads. This can be done by:

    • Asking insightful questions and taking down notes
    • Researching to find out more about them
    • Making calls or meeting them outside work to talk about other subjects like, say their hobbies, global events, and more
6. Be a Good Listener

Listen to the Person

‘The more a sales rep talks, the more easily he will crack a deal with a lead’ – this is a myth. Talking a lot and not listening to your prospects will not help you to crack the deal. A great sales rep is one who is an active listener. This means that they listen to their lead, and then ask intelligent follow-up questions. You will not be able to empathize with your lead if you are busy thinking about what you will say when your lead is speaking.

Be Prepared to Handle Objections

There might be visitors who will have a lot of queries and even objections to your product’s features. During such time, instead of hearing them out, if you cut them short, you will come across as a rude individual. This would lead to the loss of opportunities to make conversions. Being a good rep means to sincerely understand the prospect’s problem, seek more information from them, and then to offer a solution in the most polite fashion.

7. Be Goal-Oriented

An excellent sales rep is one who is not scared of achieving targets and gets a kick out of setting and reaching goals. So, if you like setting yourself a goal that seems incredible to others and works hard till you attain it, then you are definitely going to make it big in this field.

8. Be Persistent

Keep in Touch

Not all the leads that you generate will become your customers. However, you need to be persistent with the non-conversions without becoming a pest. Keep in touch with them via, say, newsletters.

Thank a Customer

You should never forget to thank your customer even if he buys your product for only one time.

    • This courtesy will go a long way in building your brand’s image.
    • When a customer feels appreciated, they will speak good about your product to others in their network.
    • Years later, when you change your job, you can still reach out to them and maybe a new association will get forged.

Always Be Closing!

You will come across prospects who will keep trying to push the closing date. You need to, however, fix a timeline and compel your prospect to sign on the dotted line to close the deal. This is where your art of mixing the right combination of pressure and value being offered by the product will come into play. If needed, you can offer them some good deals, discounts, or even freebies (without overstepping your budget).

9. Be Proactive

Being proactive helps to drive up sales. Some of the ways you can do this are by:

    • Being prompt with your follow-ups. The more you delay in following up with your leads, the lesser the chances of conversions happening. So that you waste little time, keep a follow-up email drafted from before. A business card scanner app like ScanBizCards will help because it would have already generated the contact database for you.
    • Preventing objections. For this, you should study the most basic objections that prospects usually raise and have answers ready for them. For this, having in-depth knowledge about your product and its USPs becomes extremely important.
10. Be Ready to Learn, Unlearn and Re-learn

You will be a good sales and marketing rep only if you are willing to learn, unlearn, and re-learn. The world of sales is always evolving with tools, technology, and customer demography changing all the time. In such a situation if you refuse to let go of outdated practices you will be beaten by the competition. To be successful at sales, you must be willing to embrace change and do things in new ways. For example, in today’s age, a sales and marketing rep must know and stay updated on the latest software, platforms, and more.

Do you have these traits in you? If you do, then be sure that you can become an excellent sales and marketing professional. However, always remember that the best in sales is one who never stops learning and improving themselves.

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