5 Soft skills of a successful salesperson

5 Soft skills of a successful salesperson

William Clement Stone once said that “Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect.” – This can be true when we examine both the salesperson and the customer’s attitude. But, let’s focus on the salesperson, what are the sales skills needed to be a successful salesperson?

Sales skills can be divided into different areas: hard skills and soft skills. The first ones are the ones directly related to the job and can be developed and learned with training and practice. Under the hard skills, we can have for example the ability to find new opportunities, qualifying the leads, doing demonstrations and so on. Hard skills are for sure important but they are not enough for you to be as a successful salesperson if you don’t combine them with the soft skills.

Soft skills or People skills are the glue that holds things together, they are all about human interaction and they play a huge part when it comes to human-to-human communication.

So, what are the most 5 important soft skills included in a successful salesperson?

1. Communication

The ability to communicate is the base of every successful salesperson, it’s all about empathy, transparency, honesty and the ability to interact and engage over the phone, via email and most importantly, face-to-face.

2. People Management

This can seem easy but it’s not. Working in sales, every day you interact with different people from different backgrounds. The sales process involves different steps and different people. Managing people through this process is critical. It is important for you to have listening capabilities to value the teamwork and the collaboration.

3. Business Management

Understanding how to help business succeed is a must. A successful salesperson needs to have the ability to bring the most value to their prospects and customers.


4. Time Management

This is a must-have skill and understanding how to prioritize and manage your own time is essential to succeed.

5. Leadership

Leadership isn’t management. Leadership is a force which manages organisational procedures and coordinates the employees to achieve the company’s objectives and having effective leadership is necessary. A good leader has the ability to influence people towards the attainment of organisational goals.

Learning the techniques and strategies for being a successful salesperson is only half of the equation. You need soft skills and people skills to drive to success and these are skills that can’t be taught, but they can be developed.

To truly excel at sales, don’t forget about the soft skills. Develop them and they’ll turn you into a true asset to you and your company.

Would you like to discuss further on sales roles? Please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].

July 2019

Federica Brungiu