5 things that make a salesperson excel in today’s competitive world




What makes a great salesperson in 2015, especially as technology continues to become part of the job?

The sales profession has evolved over the years and looks different than it did even a decade ago, let alone 20 or 30 years ago. Amidst increased competition in the marketplace, salespeople today have to step up to the plate and accept increased responsibilities or get left behind. So, what makes a great salesperson in 2015, especially as technology continues to become part of the job? I've outlined what I believe are the top five traits:

1.They know client needs inside out. Don't picture a door-to-door salesperson making the same sales pitch over and over again, unaware of the audience he or she is selling to. Today, you must dig far beneath the surface to unveil what a client really needs. A great salesperson listens to understand a client's needs. They will investigate what the client's pain points are, what areas the client finds challenging and what keeps the client up at night. They become experts at solving problems by researching their clients and prospects, learning about their industry and business, and identifying challenges they are currently facing — and also ones they expect to encounter in the future.

2.They take advantage of training opportunities. Great software salespeople are acutely aware of how competitive it is in the marketplace today. That's why they take every opportunity to become subject-matter experts by familiarizing themselves with the products so they can speak intelligently and propose meaningful solutions. As a recent BloombergBusiness article states: "Software sales pitches are becoming a lot less about golf and a lot more about products."

3.They leverage technology, but maintain a personal touch. Salespeople today have seemingly endless resources and top-of-the-line technology at their fingertips ready to assist them with a sale. While that is a great benefit in terms of empowering them to have intelligent conversations backed by real-time data and insights, they know that driving sales is not just about the tools and technology — customers still want a human element behind the sales pitch.

4.They're organized. As the sales profession has become more complex, great salespeople are able to keep up and position themselves to stay a step ahead. How? For starters, investing time upfront to know all of their accounts and store all of their information in a trusted CRM tool is key to setting themselves up for long-term success.

5.They don't sell — they advise. The best salespeople don't "sell." That may sound like a contradiction at the surface level — after all, aren't they considered successful only when they make sales and reach their quotas? But that is an archaic way of thinking today; it doesn't take into account the client's or prospect's best interests. Great salespeople won't introduce themselves and in the same breath tell the clients what they need. Instead, they become trusted advisers that clients can call when they're looking for advice or best practices.
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