The DriveSales™ | Salespeople regularly work on their Soft Skills: Here’s how to sharpen yours!
For any salesperson to succeed in the sales business, it is absolutely imperative to be proficient in the soft skills department. The majority of the work of a sales rep is to interact with various prospects and convert potential clients into obvious customers.
This can only be achieved if a sales rep is a hundred percent confident in his conversing and situation-handling skills. As per a sales report published in 2020, more than 85% of sales professionals actively and ardently show enthusiasm in improving their soft skills. Moreover, another-lesser known fact is that as you work on your soft skills, your chances of landing a successful deal increase almost by 11%.
Now that you have understood the basic stats about the benefit of sharpening your soft skills, let us further deep dive into the how, when, and why.
What exactly entails soft skills?
Before you learn how to work on this particular trait, you need to clearly understand what is soft skill and how exactly it differs from hard skill.
Hard skill is the ability that helps you to overcome job-specific problems. This is done with the help of courses, internal training, and on-site learning.
There are various important and basic hard skills that are absolutely essential for you to know in today’s competitive market such as:
· Microsoft Office(Word, Powerpoint, Excel)
· Project Management
· Writing Skills
· Role-specific Certifications
· Presentation know-how
· Basic Computer Familiarity
On the other hand, soft skill is that trait that is not job-specific i.e., it is a part of your personality and can be transferred across various job profiles.
Several essential soft skills include:
· Critical Thinking
· Situation Adaptation
The most essential and in-demand soft skills are:
1) Teamwork — Teamwork is the effective collaboration and open-ended communication between a working group that has a common goal and works together to achieve the desired results. Good team members not only focus on their individual targets but also work collectively to uplift the team goals as a whole.
2) Effective communication — Communication plays a very big role in the sales business. Almost 70% of the sales business of a company depends upon an effective and smooth communication strategy. Sharp conversing skills will ensure clarity and professionalism in the work of your sales reps.
As a result, open-ended communication provides a comfortable platform to identify and highlight various individual and team-specific issues which ultimately leads to fewer errors.
3) Network building — Network or relationship building plays a very vital role in establishing long-term meaningful contact with your clients. This not only helps to get deals in the present scenario but also creates a future working prospect that can further bring in more leads and clients.
Ways to sharpen soft skills
1) Be responsible — Sales quotas and tasks are very important in the sales business. Every salesperson wants to complete his target effectively in the stipulated amount of time. However, wanting something and making it actually possible are two different things.
Sales reps are often overworked and underpaid. And due to this fact, it seems almost ironic to ask them to put in more effort to achieve their targets.
However, as a sales rep, you must realize the fact that your ambition and drive can become that advantage that puts you above your competitors.
Be responsible for your work and at the same time try to improve your skills as much as possible. This will ensure that your learning curve never falls and you are regularly working on your personality to excel in this business.
Also, always remember that practice is the key. You need to actually effectively implement this trait as a part of your personality to sustain in sales in the long run.
It is easier to give excuses but much more difficult to actually complete the assigned task. The one who does it efficiently is the one who succeeds amongst others.
This great can be inculcated in your personality through various measures:
· Develop a curiosity for new learnings
· Manage your time effectively
· Be patient and deal with stress and pressure in a calm and composed manner
· Develop a habit of research as you move on to your tasks
2) Communication and network building are the way to go — Sales reps spend a lot of time actually conversing with their leads and clients, either in-person or remotely. A sales rep is supposed to effectively tackle the problems and challenges in the client’s business and suggest how to eliminate and overcome those hurdles through his business product or service.
This particular job can only be possible with effective communication and open-ended conversations. This not only results in fewer errors and desired results but also leads to building a meaningful long-term relationship that comes in handy for future dealings and business.
A few ways to actually create a comfortable and smooth environment for a conversation are:
· Be an active listener
· Focus on engaging your client
· Help in satisfying the curiosity of your customer
· Rather than working on your targets think about the client’s problem
· Be honest and patient with your prospect
3) Identify opportunities to improve — As a sales rep, you are required to devote a lot of time to the generation and lead qualification process. However, you must realize this fact that not every day is as strenuous as the past one. You will definitely encounter a few quiet periods as well.
And this is the time where you must show your integrity and teamwork capability and lend a helping hand to your colleagues. This will not only help you to develop a long and meaningful relationship with your colleagues but also will showcase your empathy and problem-solving ability.
Moreover, this will allow you to develop new skills and learn and explore new avenues. This will actually result in your team recognizing your efforts and will give you greater job satisfaction at the same time will hone your personality.
4) Adopt a proactive approach — As a sales rep, you should be hungry for more growth and development within your role or across your colleague’s role.
In order to develop an all-rounder personality, you much proactively engage yourself in enhancing your growth curve.
You can inculcate this proactiveness in your personality by actually involving yourself in various tasks of your company voluntarily. This shows your need to learn and makes you credible, reliable, and trustworthy.
By having a proactive approach towards your work you can actually showcase your problem-solving skills and your ability to adapt to various situations. Through this, you can explore new avenues and inculcate various important traits in your personality.
5) Enhance your skills and knowledge without fail — The current market trend demands people who are full of innovation and technologically sound personalities. The same is with the sales department. The world has actively been moving towards automation and innovation in terms of business prospects.
The industry today demands people who are well familiar with the present modern market needs and have the ability to quickly adapt to any situation or role. Thus, you need to effectively and proactively engage yourself in enhancing your skills and developing new ones.
You can effectively achieve this through a number of ways such as:
· Subscribe to informative industry publications like magazines and newsletters
· Actively attend industry events
· Build a powerful social presence
· Try to look for courses that would give you maximum output with respect to your industry
Now, as an effective SALESPERSON! We can do three things from here.
1. Not ignoring the opportunity and blaming the situation for revenue loss.
2. Taking important notes and going back to revisit your sales strategy with the growth mindset.
3. Reaching out to The DriveSales™ if you need any specialized help for sales.
To conclude, what you choose to think also provides some idea of your development as a consultative salesperson. It is something like Tiffani Bova quotes “How you sell matters, what your process is matters, but how your customers feel when they engage with you matters more.”