Developing a Good Sales Rep Profile

19 Dec 2022

Sales rep at work with laptop and computer screen on desk. Remembering essential qualities of a good sales rep.

What is the definition of a good sales rep? This definition may vary according to the company, culture, product, and market. Some experts describe the meaning in conjunction with work experience or performance; others are firm with character and communication skills. In brief, a good sales rep can be defined both using qualitative and quantitative skills. The key is understanding the essential points of improving these skills to achieve a successful sales experience. Let’s examine some of the crucial traits and skills every salesperson should cover.

Know your product or service

Put yourself in the position of buyer in the sales process. Suppose the seller does not give off a knowledgeable impression about the product or service you will soon buy. Wouldn't you hesitate to buy it? Furthermore, let's examine the sales reps' side; understanding what they sell and every detail about the product helps them provide value to their customers. Another benefit is; since the sales rep knows the weaknesses and strengths very closely, this person will be prepared for any questions and objections coming from the customers.

Listen more than you talk

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” This quote is attributed to Epictetus

Good sales reps treat prospect calls as a chance to understand the needs of their customers and find critical pain points for their company before trying to sell anything. Calls should be more relevant to the customer and more solution-focused. When sales reps listen to their prospects, aligning their needs with the offer becomes easier. When analyzing the top performers from 25,537 conversationsGong.io discovered that the top closers never spoke more than they listened. While average performers spoke over 50% of the time, they determined that the ideal talk-to-listen ratio is 43:57 in favor of listening.

Be curious

Curiosity is the desire to learn, explore and investigate a topic more deeply. Curiosity about other people - specifically their needs and situations - is crucial to a salesperson's success. According to HBR research, 82% of top salespeople scored extremely high curiosity levels on tests. Curiosity leads salespeople to ask questions and arouses the need to understand their customers more deeply. For example, reps that asked 11 to 14 discovery call questions had a 74% success rate - considerably higher than the other reps that asked fewer questions.

Show empathy

Empathy in sales refers to prioritizing the emotions and feelings of your customers, which builds a solid and long-lasting relationship. Reps with compassion can focus more clearly on how to solve a customer's business problems. When customers experience an established bond, they are most likely to continue to purchase products/services and spread the word to others. A 2019 study by Gartner proves that; customers are most motivated toward growth purchases when they see the sales rep as a trusted adviser. Especially one who boosts their confidence in their purchase decisions.

Boost optimism

Recently, a study, "Applying Learned Optimism to Increase Sales Productivity," conducted on over 1 million participants over 30 years, uncovered a new predictor of achievement — optimism.

Working in sales can be challenging because many say no to buying your product. Customers might not reply to your calls or messages and might even go as far as swearing you out. In the face of failure, the sales reps who know that customers' refusal is not about themselves and keep their positive view of the process are the ones that reach success. Optimism is what allows you to continue. Always keep this in mind and trust the process.

Start to develop good sales reps

We have listed some of the essential qualities that make a sales rep a great sales rep above. Who is responsible when it comes to developing good sales reps? The answer is; sales managers and sales reps personally.

Sales managers should;

  • encourage continuous training
  • understand their team's weaknesses and strengths
  • give feedback early and often
  • place a high priority on coaching

Sales reps should:

  • stay open to coaching and development
  • improve self-learning
  • track your progress
  • practice people skills


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