There are many things that could affect your sales team’s closing rate, but skills (or competencies) would be one of the most crucial contributors. As a sales manager, the goal is not only to continuously improve on your sales professionals’ skills, but to anticipate new skills that will help them succeed in the ever-changing business climate.
We spoke with five sales experts who provided us with the top five skills your team needs to focus on to succeed in the future of sales.
1) Always be concise and engaging
As we take more sales meetings on video, you need to bring your message across in a different way as you would do at a face-to-face meeting. It is much easier to get distracted by their phones or emails so it is crucial for you to know how to deliver your message concisely and engage your customer by asking questions – Ralf Schuering, The Rockport Company
2) Read and Analyze Data
Understanding customer data is essential for building strong value propositions. Such data includes, for example, a 360 degree view of the customer covering current engagements, escalations, satisfaction scores and more. It is also crucial to leverage data on customer behavior on your company’s website because it allows a sales professional to judge how much research the customer has already invested in the proposition to determine what level of detail and expertise to start the discussion. – Elena Parker, SAP
3) Use Social Media
I think customers these days are more interested in the people behind the brands, especially if you sell services. This means that personal branding, who you are in your private life, is becoming more and more important. You have to develop trust online. Learn how to grow with your customers and see how you can stay relevant, which is the challenge. – Nienke Budde, Zezame
4) Digital Technology
Old tech methods that give information to customers via mail or newsletters are outdated; it needs to be more interactive. It is now the duty of companies to adapt, be it with webinars, streaming events or alike. The key is to become closer to your customer and start building on that promising partnership. – Jeroen Huizer, Ekinops
5) Technical Knowledge (where applicable)
If you are selling a technical product, you need to have enough technical knowledge to translate your customer’s needs on a business level. Don’t get too technical – you might lose the customer’s interest! – Cihangir Kocak, Trifork