Essential Sales Skills You Need to Master

The best sales teams are a lot like great schools: They care about results, but the way they achieve them is by being relentless about developing the inside sales skills of their reps. In fact, the best sales teams are most often led by someone who is more like a sales coach than a sales manager. This dedication to developing inside sales skills ultimately creates a sales team that not only hits its short-term goals but instills a culture of learning and self-improvement in order to achieve its long-term goals as well.

Educate prospects with new ideas

Before you meet with your prospect, it’s likely that they’ll have already done some research on your product or service. When you do meet or speak, they’ll already have an idea of your services and pricing. Focus on educating your prospects. Show them new ideas and perspectives they haven’t seen before. Introducing new ideas will cause your prospects to view you as a valuable source of knowledge. This will help you in winning them over.


One of the biggest causes of failing to sell is not collaborating enough with prospects. In today’s sales world, buyers want to be a part of the selling process. They want to collaborate to ensure they get the best solution for their organization. Collaboration is one of the key selling skills you need to develop in order to be successful with buyers.

Product Knowledge

A sales rep who doesn’t know the ins and outs of their product is completely ineffective. Having strong selling skills means being able to explain how your product works, the value it provides, and why your prospects need it. Knowing everything about your product also helps you develop credibility with your prospects—they’ll know they can trust you when you easily answer any question they throw at you.

Active Listening

The sales process isn’t about you—it’s about your prospects. Spending your entire meeting lecturing your prospect almost always results in failure. Instead, learn how to actively listen to your prospects so you can better understand their pain points and find them the perfect solution.

Understand your prospect’s needs

This selling skill goes hand-in-hand with being a good listener. As you’re talking with your prospect, you need to get an understanding of what their needs are, whether it be reducing costs, streamlining a process, or increasing revenue. Ask questions that will help you quickly uncover their goals and pain points.

Help prospects avoid obstacles

By researching your product, your prospect might get an idea of some of the potential obstacles. One of the basic sales skills you need to develop is turning an objection into an opportunity. Someone with strong selling skills can empathize with a prospect’s objections, ask questions, and offer clarity to help the prospect overcome their hesitations.

Show your value

Demonstrate how your product is the best solution to your prospect’s problems. There’s no faster way to lose a customer than by only focusing on your product’s features and capabilities. While it’s important to touch on these factors, you should spend more time discussing the value your product provides and how it helps the customer meet their goals.

Connect on a personal level

People buy from people they like. Form personal connections with the prospect, and make sure you are sincere—you don’t want your small talk to seem rehearsed or uninterested. Developing a personal relationship increases a prospect’s trust in you and makes them more eager to do business with you.

Ask for commitment

Your entire sales pitch is pointless if you don’t—at some point—ask your prospect to commit. However, you want to make sure you do this in the right way. Typically, you should ask for commitment after you’ve developed a relationship with your prospect. Asking for commitment too early makes you appear pushy.

Set minimums

Many sales reps ask too much of their prospects during the first sales pitch. One of the key selling skills you need to learn is focusing on the minimum action needed to keep the sale moving forward. This can be as simple as getting prospects to respond to an email, subscribe for a free trial, or set up another training. Let your prospect know what is required to move forward to encourage them to take action

Be tenacious

Tenacity is an essential sales skill needed to survive in this new environment. However, someone with good selling skills knows when to draw the line between pursuing a potential sale and pestering a prospect. It may take a few tries to close a deal, which means you might need to send an email or make a phone call. But you should never call or email so many times that your prospect asks you not to contact them again

Develop a positive, motivated attitude

One of the best selling skills you can learn is to be optimistic and focused. Successful sales reps show a lot of initiative and don’t need a lot of reminders to keep working. They also view setbacks and failures as opportunities to learn and refine their basic sales skills.

Create an engaging presentation style

You want to ensure that your prospects leave your presentations feeling excited and invigorated. Learning how to engage your audience and keep things interesting is an essential sales skill—especially since it can help you in other parts of the selling process.

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