Nov 13

What qualities differentiate successful sales people?

Posted by Caroline Longstaffe at Thursday, November 13, 2014

With so much focus on trying to help sales people to develop a consultative sales approach, to help them move from a product-led approach to a more consultative, solutions-led approach, what are the qualities which are most important to success in sales?

What makes a sales person successful

He/she is a born sales person' – we hear that all the time, but what does that mean to you? What is itAre sales people born or made? that makes a sales person successful? Is it really just based on some magical innate ability, or is it based on hard work and determination?

There are certainly many, many different types of sales person. If you look at the cadre of sales people in any large enterprise you will find many different types of personality. You will also find many different types of background (in terms of career experience and education), not every sales person is cut from the same mold. So why do some people succeed and other’s do not?

Qualities of a successful sales person

Having a great product to sell

Some people would argue that it’s all about the product. If you have a great product, it’s easy to sell. That might be true up to a point but it’s rare to find a sales person, or company, who has the luxury of having the best product in the market all the time. The nature of the competitive market means that other players get involved and create differentiated solutions.

Having good luck

Some people might say it’s luck. Being in the right place at the right time. Having an account which just happens to be in the market for a major upgrade. If you’re lucky in sales, you take over the account just as they are about to spend big!

Success in sales is due to following a process & developing skillsFollowing a process

Some people might say it’s all about following a sales process. Sales is a numbers game. The more sales calls you make, the harder you work, the more hours you put in, the more successful you will be. Focus on analyzing the customer, plan and prepare methodically. Follow the process, do what’s required and the results will follow.

Building relationships

Some people might think it’s all about relationships. Successful sales people are the ones that are able to build and maintain great relationships with their prospects and customers, and business flows as a result. It’s all about people. People and relationships are all that matter.

Sales skills

Others might argue it’s all about skills, sales skills. Sales people who develop their selling skills will be more successful than those who rely on their so-called ‘innate’ ability. Successful sales people have developed better questioning and listening skills, they are better able to articulate value to the customer, they can close deals effectively because they have good qualifying and closing skills.


What do you think?


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