Five Critical Skills for Your Career in Sales

Sales professionals juggle many responsibilities and must have well-rounded skills to succeed. Developing a career in sales takes passion, determination and enthusiasm, and many of the top skills required to excel in sales should be practiced and honed over time. An online Bachelor of Science in Professional Sales from William Paterson University (WPU) can prepare students to become impactful sales professionals in a variety of fields. Students will learn to evolve and apply strategies to increase profit. This online program can help students gain valuable and highly sought-after aptitudes.

Focusing on developing and enhancing sales abilities can have many benefits for individuals and organizations, including improving customer relationships, increasing revenue numbers and helping professionals stand out to potential employers.

Top Sales Skills Every Sales Professional Needs

To reach their sales goals, sales professionals need strong product knowledge, market expertise and dynamic interpersonal skills. These interpersonal abilities are incredibly valuable for connecting with people, and professionals should prioritize and regularly practice them. Here are five important skills that every sales professional needs:

  1. Effective communication is the cornerstone of building relationships with clients, customers, vendors, suppliers and peers. Strong written and verbal communication are invaluable skills that salespeople need to sell their products and generate results. Sales professionals need to be comfortable communicating in an assortment of channels and approaches — such as emails, phone calls, in-person meetings and social media posts. Active listening, making customers feel valued, creating a comfortable rapport, negotiating, networking, pitching and building relationships are all part of effective communication skills. Storytelling is an important aspect of sales since it portrays the sales process as authentic while making the product attractive to the client.
  2. Having confidence in yourself and remaining self-assured in your sales skills is crucial. Displaying confidence in the product or service you’re selling will also translate to customer and client confidence in the brand. Being confident and showing positivity in the face of failure is vital.
  3. Strong negotiation skills develop over time with consistent practice. Solid negotiation skills allow sales professionals to be flexible with client and customer concerns and objections. Prepared salespeople have alternative proposals at the ready to ensure the transaction benefits both the company and the client. By learning and practicing specific negotiation techniques, sales professionals can be prepared to tackle difficult problem-solving scenarios and guide customers through the negotiation process.
  4. Business intelligence. Salespeople who know how to provide ideal solutions to a client’s problems are highly sought-after. Understanding the ins and outs of the business can help shape a sales strategy and align it with the customer’s needs. The success and failure of sales professionals provide insight into marketing and purchasing teams within an organization. Understanding the client’s objectives and needs can help a salesperson approach them with the product they’re trying to sell. Sales professionals should understand and use business-level information to move the business process forward.
  5. Understanding a customer’s worries, fears, frustrations and pain points is an essential skill in sales. Creating emotional connections with people, building long-term relationships and understanding the emotions of their clients can transform a good salesperson into an outstanding salesperson. Being respectful, carefully considering a client’s point of view and actively listening instead of simply waiting for their chance to speak can influence a customer’s decision-making process.

Next Steps

This 100% online degree program can help students become better negotiators, communicators and leaders by gaining highly sought-after skills that are needed to generate revenue, make smart business decisions and effectively sell products and services. Students will develop and implement tactical and strategic plans to support organizational sales goals, apply analytical skills to business decisions and use leadership skills to build professional relationships.

Learn more about William Paterson University’s online Bachelor of Science in Professional Sales program.

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