3 must have skills for the modern sales professional

Whether you’re hiring a senior sales professional with 10 years’ experience, or a fresh grad out of College for a junior sales role, these are the three MUST-HAVE skills they need in order to do business with today’s modern-day buyer.

Although you’ll likely think of more skills, these three in our minds are the foundational basis for success today.

Collaborative in committee

The data now shows that the majority of B2B purchasing is done with many stakeholders and players at the table. The modern sales pro has to be willing to work with everyone, understand their unique needs and position your solution accordingly.

It’s no longer a one-way street in terms of delivering information. As an example, this means the sales professional has to be willing to use content to get people excited at various stages of the buying cycle.

It’s now critical to understand how your solution will fit into the overall scheme of things. Typically, it boils down to two things: can your solution help make more money or save money? If you’re able to articulate this in a way that’s easy to understand for all buyers at the table, you’ve got a great sales pro on your hands!

Willing to move at the buyer’s pace

The modern day buyer is a fierce creature. They’ve got the power in their hands when it comes to choice. They can find another solution with (virtually) a click. It’s no longer about your sales cycle but about the buying cycle instead.

It’s therefore imperative that the modern day sales professional be willing to work as an extension of the potential buyer’s research committee. That’s the key role they must have a goal of occupying. Without embedding themselves that deeply in the process, the chances of failure are high.

While the sales cycle shoved, prodded and goaded a buyer down your desired speed and direction, the buyer cycle allows them to move at their own pace.

More keen on listening

From a modern-day perspective, “listening” means being very connected and knowing what is happening in your customer base at virtually all times. Information is flying around and the modern day sales person must have a knack of finding it, organizing it and then acting on it.

Buyers are leaving lots of digital clues and insights on what they’re up to online. Although this may seem very cumbersome at times, the modern sales pro meets this challenge because they’ve got a system in place to make sense of all this info.

Social selling delivers

As you hire sales professionals for your team today, ask these questions next time:

  • Are you able to work with multiple stakeholders in every deal?
  • Do you have the patience to move at the buyer’s pace?
  • Are you able to see what the buyer is up to online?

These will become the key three skills your sales team will need to have in order to be successful today. If you’ve got ideas on the skills modern sales people need to have, please share them with us.

Written by:

Amar Seth, Principal, Sales for Life


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