Must-Have Sales Skills to Land a Job Easily

Must-Have Sales Skills to Land a Job Easily

To become a successful sales specialist, one needs a whole set of different skills. 

Below, we’ll tell you what sales skills are necessary to secure a good job, how to gain new competencies and how much time and effort you’ll need to do that.  

Here’s what you’ll learn if you keep reading: 

  • What is sales?
  • Technical and non-technical skills salespeople need.
  • Top 5 sales skills.
  • How to hone skills and showcase accomplishments.
  • Plus 1 sample to help you craft a winning resume.  

What Is Sales? 

Instinctively, we all know what sales is: the activity aimed at selling something to someone. You can sell tangible or intangible products to people or businesses, but at the heart of the process always lies the interaction between a seller and a buyer. 

To be successful, this interaction should be effective, and that requires specific sales skills. However, googling “sales technical skills” is not enough to make you a pro. To engage recruiters and get more interviews, you need more than that.  

Technical Skills for a Sales Manager 

Technical skills, often referred to as hard skills, are absolutely indispensable for any professional, including a sales rep. Among all hard skills for sales, the top ones are:

  • sales software proficiency;
  • sales presentations and demos;
  • data analytics. 

However, there’s typically a lot of confusion as to which skills can be considered technical. For example, active listening can often be defined as technical by some experts. For the sake of clarity, we only consider skills related to automation as hard ones.   

Sales: Non-Technical Skills

Non-technical sales skills, also known as soft skills, are as crucial as technical ones if you want to be successful in this career field. Arguably, in sales, non technical skills are even more important because they are more difficult to attain. Therefore, if you lack certain personal traits and do not want to change it, a career in sales might not be the perfect choice for you.  

The most important non-technical skills in sales are:

  • communication;
  • problem solving;
  • time management;
  • empathy, and more. 

Top 5 Skills to Make You the Best Fit  

So, what are the top sales skills that will definitely engage the recruiters and propel them to hire you? There are quite a few, but the majority of recruiting firms and hiring managers alike are looking for those listed below. 

  • tech savviness; 
  • data analytics;
  • time management;
  • verbal communication;
  • active listening. 

Now, let’s look at each of these skills more closely.  

Tech-Savviness 

Like most business processes, sales are highly automatized nowadays. This means that every prospective candidate aspiring to be a real pro needs to be tech-savvy in order for recruiters to employ them more willingly. 

These software solutions include, but are not limited to, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems. Additionally, there are data analytics, email management, communication and conferencing software, and a lot more. The more of them you master, the better.  

Data Analytics 

In today’s data-driven world, success in sales is increasingly dependent on data insights. More and more companies use data analysts to help them adjust their sales and marketing strategies and make interactions with customers more meaningful.   

However, this skill is still rather rare among sales reps. So, if you’re looking for a sales skills training course, you might as well sink your teeth into data analytics. This will enable you to compete with your counterparts on a whole new level.  

Time Management 

Sales reps are under constant pressure to hit their numbers. That can be quite stressful for those lacking time management skills. Time management is a complex skill that encompasses goal-setting, planning, and discipline. Luckily, there are plenty of tools to help job seekers stay organized. 

In addition to specialized sales tools, there are popular apps like Todoist and Trello that are highly effective and user-friendly. What’s more, time management is one of those sales skills that can be easily improved.  

Verbal Communication  

Being able to convey information with words is absolutely crucial for sales reps. So, it’s safe to say that those candidates who lack this skill ultimately fall behind their more eloquent counterparts. 

However, eloquence is not enough to be a successful communicator. To be able to interact with your customers effectively, you also need to know how to speak and write clearly and concisely, formulate questions in the right manner to gain insights, and respond to non-verbal signals.

Active Listening  

Active listening means you are present in the moment and are actually paying attention to what other people are saying. This skill is often regarded as part of verbal communication, but it’s so vital that it deserves a separate mention.  

In sales, active listening enables a salesperson to identify the buyer’s real pains and gain valuable insights. While it may be tempting to just follow the script, being responsive is what really helps close the deal. Besides, people love being listened to. 

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How to Improve Sales Skills

Even those who have an inborn talent for sales need to hone the skills they already have and develop new ones. That requires time, energy and determination but brings many benefits. 

If you’re wondering how to improve sales skills quickly, read on to see our suggestions. Also, keep it in mind that our professional resume writing service team is ever-ready to help you craft a winning resume while you’re honing your skills. 

Join an Online Training Program 

The easiest way to improve your sales skills and gain new competencies is to take an online course. There are quite a lot of them available at the moment, ranging from long-term degree programs to certificate courses. 

Choosing an online program over offline will give you flexibility and enable you to study at your own pace, which is crucial if you want to continue performing your other duties. As a result, you’ll gain new competencies that will help you stand out from the crowd and make you a more valuable employee.  

Follow Influencers in the Field

To go with the times and stay updated, it’s also crucial to follow top sales experts. Below are a few examples of trustworthy and authoritative sales influencers to stay tuned to.  

Top Sales Bloggers

  1. Seth Godin - the superstar of sales and marketing. With many years of experience as a business executive, he shares posts daily on his personal sales blog. 
  2. Jill Konrath - another legendary person and author of three books, Jill runs one of the most popular sales blogs. 
  3. John Barrows - an experienced professional sharing personal stories and insights weekly. 
  4. Jim Keenan - author and thought leader who writes about recruiting and hiring for sales teams. 
  5. Sales Hacker - a team of experts running a highly respected blog with lots of useful hacks and insights. 

Top Sales Twitter Experts 

  1. Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) - a well-known entrepreneur, author, and speaker writing about  sales, entrepreneurship, and more. 
  2. Mark Hunter (@thesaleshunter) - the author of A Mind for Sales and a Keynote speaker sharing lots of useful tips. 
  3. Elinor Stutz (@smoothsale) - one of the top influencers in the field, author and inspirational speaker. 
  4. Lori Richardson (@scoremoresales) - legendary expert, B2B sales & revenue strategist shares her wisdom. 
  5. Paul Castain (@paulcastain) - popular sales trainer and speaker, founder of Castain Training Systems. 

How to Showcase Your Skills

Possessing the necessary sales skills is crucial if you want to position yourself as a pro. But to land a dream job, you also need to know how to best showcase your competencies and accomplishments in your resume. 

The general advice is to be as specific about your sales skills as possible. Put the most crucial skills at the top of the list, and support your claims with concrete examples in the accomplishments section. 

See the example below.  

Skills for Resume [Example]

The sales skills resume or CV section is typically a bullet point list. This is what it should NOT look like: 

“I am a hard working, proactive, motivated sales specialist ready to grow and learn. I know how to use CRM, talk to customers, and present products. I am also good at time management”.

Compare it with this:

Skills: 

  • sales software proficiency (CRM systems: Zoho, Salesforce, Hubspot and beyond);
  • presentation and demo;
  • communication and active listening;
  • time management. 

Personal traits:

  • hard-working;
  • strongly motivated;
  • growth-oriented;
  • proactive.     

Skills for the Job Interview

Once your resume makes it to the recruiter and you’re invited for an interview, you need to decide how to best showcase your sales development skills. Firstly, it’s vital to get prepared to answer typical questions like “Tell us about yourself” or “Why should we employ you?”. 

But if you want to take your job interview skills to the next level, you can also search for tips and tricks on how to impress recruiters and ace job interviews. It also helps to rehearse an interview in front of a mirror to gain confidence.   

Sample for Sales Skills Resume Section

The sales skills resume section is arguably the most important one. But in order to not be sifted through an applicant tracking system, it has to be concise and to the point. ATS bots love keywords, so keep this in mind when writing this section as well as the others.  

Sales Skills in a Resume Section

Various career resources mention a different set of skills crucial for sales professionals. Typically, top skills for sales to put in a sales skills resume section include: 

  • sales software proficiency;
  • verbal communication;
  • active listening;
  • presentation and demo;
  • time management and planning;
  • critical thinking and problem solving;
  • data analytics;
  • conflict management and resolution; 
  • client engagement;
  • collaboration;
  • emotional intelligence;
  • confidence;
  • flexibility. 

The skills above are listed in no particular order, but in your resume, it’s important to highlight your key competences first. Moreover, remember to only include the skills that you actually have. 

To Sum Up

Summing it all up, there are many skills salespeople need to master before they can become the ultimate pros. Training can be demanding, but eventually, your new sales skills will make you stand out and help you land your dream job in the field. 

If you want to write a resume for a sales job, our experienced resume writers can get it done for you quickly and professionally. We can also write your bot-beating resume while you are honing your data engineer skills, or any other skills, for that matter. 

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