11 Essential Qualities to Become a Good Sales Rep in 2023

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Discover the Characteristics of a Good Sales Rep in 2023

A good programmer may not be good at selling, and a person great at sales may not be good at marketing.

This implies that every job requires a specific set of skills to get the job done well.

And sales isn’t an exception.

Selling isn’t an easy feat, and the best sales reps understand this, and are constantly updating and upskilling themselves to stay ahead of the game.

Today’s consumers are more aware than ever before and have multiple options, and sellers will need to be more empathetic, understand the true needs of the consumers and customize the pitch to improve engagement.

Sales reps to be successful, need to be able to build genuine rapport with the consumers and be their friend and advisor without coming across as too salesy.

So, how can a sales rep be more successful? And what qualities and attributes can help them stand out from the rest?

Read on to know more!

What are Selling Skills?

In essence, selling skills are the fundamental strategies and processes salespeople must master to incorporate their efforts, that result in a sale.

Salespeople are typically taught through coaching and peer learning, and experience, and are leveraged to a wide variety of prospects on a personal, thoughtful level.

11 Essential Qualities to Become a Good Sales Rep in 2023

Here are 11 essential qualities that must be followed by sales reps to become a good salesperson in 2023 -

#1 Be a Great Listener and Ask Good Questions

To achieve better sales results, ask questions about your buyer's goals and pain points.

If you're wondering how to become a good salesperson, you need to pay attention to your prospects and customers and be fully present any time you have a conversation with them.

One of the most effective selling tactics is to listen to the customer carefully. This way, you can understand their pain points, challenges, fears, and expectations to connect with them on a personal level and show them that you genuinely want to help them out.

When prospects are relaxed, they typically discuss their actual issues at hand and be open to providing you with all the information. Ask the right questions to move further and understand your prospect better.

#2 Practice Team Selling

A handful of sales reps assume that the fastest way to make a name for yourself in the company is by blowing away your competition.

This approach is not only isolating, but you will also miss out on a lot of bonding and learning. Modern salespeople, regardless of their experience level, must practice and embrace team selling.

Bring in experts such as product managers, senior sales reps, or anyone relevant to the conversation to close more deals. You'll also learn valuable skills along the way, and regularly meet your quota at the end of each quarter.

It's a win-win!

#3 Build Lasting Relationships with your Customers

The most important quality to imbibe is to build long-lasting relationships with customers.

As a good sales rep, your goal must be to help the customer and get the results they want. Remember that customers are less interested in your product but more inclined towards the results your product can help them achieve.

Your product may only help them solve a part of their problem; but you can help them solve other parts, too.

#4 Extensive Product Knowledge

According to the LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021, the number one deal-breaker revolves around the lack of product knowledge. 48% of buyers agree that misleading about the product can be an instant deal-killer.

Sales reps need to understand the product’s USP, benefits, features, competitor’s products’ weaknesses and effectively communicate to the lead. It is essential for the reps to know all the sales collaterals inside-out to ensure that they don’t undersell or oversell the product benefits, and ensure long term customer retention.

Organizations typically have sales enablement content and collateral to ensure consistent messaging and positioning of the product at every stage of the customer journey and touch point. 

But, a good sales rep must be able to tweak and add in a more personalized touch to the communication to ensure maximum success.

#5 Objection Handling

In sales, dealing with objections and roadblocks is inevitable, and also, challenging for most sales reps.

Objection handling is an art and the process entails following specific actions and skills that involve a bit of learning. Some soft skills to learn to manage objections easily are -

  • Gathering background knowledge about the prospect
  • Mindfulness
  • Leading with compassion
  • Asking open-ended questions

In general, objection handling requires a certain level of deftness. It requires a level of product, industry knowledge, and prospect background to handle.

This insinuates that knowing how to overcome objections respectfully and with compassion, even in unexpected situations, is a must.

#6 Understand the Right Lead to Sell to

This sales quality is one of the most important and leading qualities of inbound sales.

Marketing teams spend most of their time pushing out leads in the sales funnel, however, not all the leads they send are relevant to your product.

When asked which marketing tactic provides a higher quality of leads for the sales team, 59% of marketers said inbound, and 16% reported outbound.

This is the power of inbound marketing.

Create and curate high-quality and highly relevant content for prospects to genuinely help them with the issues they are facing, and let them come to you. This not only brings in high-quality leads to the funnel but also improves your chances of closing a sale.

#7 Be Tech-Savvy

Technology is a crucial part of the sales process.

Modern-day customers are highly evolved and purchasing trends have drastically changed over the years. Applying the sales tactics of 2011 with the hopes of increasing sales volume in 2023 will most definitely not work.

Understanding and implementing the latest sales technologies such as sales automation, sales enablement, and optimization is the key to not just improving as a sales rep but also running your business more effectively.

Automation tools make sales reps live much easier, giving them the leeway to actually focus on making a sale, as opposed to spending half their time doing administrative tasks.

Tech-savvy customers know who exactly to purchase from without even going through an endless list of options if they feel their needs are not catered to.

Ensure you leverage the right technology to make the sales process seamless.

#8 Ambition to Sell

The most successful sales reps have clear goals and are constantly updating and upskilling themselves to ensure career progression.

They are aware of the industry trends (both theirs and their buyer’s), know their competitors inside out, are aware of the buyer’s needs and concerns, and personalize the pitch to improve engagements.

Also, successful sales reps network to build relationships within the seller’s community and are open to learning from both practitioners and other sources.

Their willingness to learn, clear career goals and perseverance, and patience, and sales reps put them on the path to success.

#9 Competitor Understanding

The saying, "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer", could not be more true in this context.

Regardless of how evolved your product may be, learning about your competitors in the market is absolutely necessary to succeed.

To learn about your competitors, you need to do a SWOT analysis of your competitors. Read through review aggregators like G2, TrustRadius, Software Reviews and other online communities, and know how your competitors are viewed by the market.

“Your competitor is charging 30% lower as compared to you” - this is one of the most common objections you’ll face when talking to the leads, and you need to be in a position to clearly articulate the benefits of your product and explain how you deliver better ROIs than your competitors. 

This can only come from thorough research and knowing your competitors inside-out.

#10 Interact with Sales Reps in your Network to Always Be on your Toes

The sales world is practically different than any other profession.

As a successful sales rep, you must constantly be on the lookout to learn new skills, whilst chasing monthly and quarterly quotas and goals - this can, indeed, be quite stressful.

To make this easier, talk to people from your network to understand how they upskill themselves, and how their positions function and be wary of current trends to get a general sense of the skills you should be focusing on to be successful.

Be consistently active on social media channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with peers and leaders from your industry. This way, you're always up to date and can move progressively further in your career.

#11 Critical Thinking 

TalentLens, a Pearson company, surveyed over 400 HR professionals and found out that -
  • The most crucial skill HRs look out for from their employees is critical thinking. In addition, critical thinking ranked first among a range of personality traits and skills.
  • Critical thinking exceeded the need for innovation and IT applications at workplaces.

Critical thinking is a necessity in most occupations, and sales are no different.

Critical thinking entails decision-making, problem-solving, and a myriad of ranges of thinking possibilities to resolve issues, close deals, and push forward prospects in the sales cycle.

With critical thinking, sales reps can solve any customer challenges with ease.

To promote critical thinking when selling, follow these quick tips -

  • Identify the customer's challenges and expectations
  • Research existing solutions that may help your customer accomplish their goals
  • Discuss and interact with the possible solutions
  • Present a personalized offer
  • Analyze their final decision

The Takeaway

Sales is a complicated business.

And competent sales persons can improve the sales processes of any sales team by bringing in their own perspectives and constantly innovating and improving outcomes. 

To become a good sales rep in 2023, you need to be driven, committed, and highly passionate. To put it in simple words, to be a successful sales rep, you need to work smarter.

Although we're slowly inching back towards adjusting to the new normal, do not allow it to obstruct your sales goals and hamper your success. Sales success, truly, comes down to being tuned into the market, being an expert in your niche, constantly learning, and asking the right questions.

Although we discuss a lot about B2B and B2C, at the end of it, you're selling to people - people who are experiencing roadblocks and people who cannot solve them.

If you're looking to have access to a sales intelligent tool to help you master the above-listed skills and become a good sales rep, book a demo with our experts to learn how!

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