Learning the traits of top sales performers will allow you to emulate those traits and elevate your performance at work. In this guide, you will learn all things related to these traits, including the characteristics of great salespeople and the bad traits to avoid.
You will also learn strategies to use in your sales work, how to use technology effectively, and why continued training is imperative to become a successful sales performer and maintain your top-level status.
By reading this guide, you will gain all the knowledge you need and adopt these traits as your own. If you are looking for a way to improve your methods and become better at all aspects of sales, this is the guide for you.
It is crucial to study top performers so you can get an idea of what they are doing right. There is no one size fits all sales manual, but you should always be able to learn something from everyone. One of the areas you should focus on when looking at other salespeople is their personality.
How much personality are they using in their sales efforts? A good salesperson is charismatic, positive, and confident. Do you display these traits? If not, how can you start weaving them into your sales technique?
Look for other obvious entrepreneurial traits they are exhibiting. Some of these can be leadership, disciplined, being proactive, kind, competitive, and displaying an open mind in all areas of life and sales.
What Are the Common Traits of Top Sales Performers?
When adopting top sales performers’ traits, it is crucial to know what those traits are. The top five traits you need to study and learn are empathy, organization and goal-oriented, persistence, good communication and listening skills, and creativity mixed with determination. Let’s look at each one of these traits in more detail.
Empathy is one of the most essential traits of a salesperson. To be a good salesperson, you need to be about to connect with others. Being empathetic does not mean you have to share the feelings of others; it means you need to empathize with them.
You can put yourself in their shoes when you understand someone’s feelings and what they may be thinking or going through. By doing this, you will be making your job so much easier.
You will also be able to show your empathy with them. People would much rather buy products and services from someone they like or feel they have a connection with than someone cold and uncaring.
Learn to show empathy rather than using tired phrases like, “I understand where you are coming from,” or “I hear what you are saying and understand your perspective.”
Organized and Goal-Oriented
Being organized and goal-oriented are two different traits, but they usually go hand in hand. When studying various traits of top sales performers, these are the ones you need to master. Being well-organized means that you or good at planning and maintaining focus. This focus could be concentrating on the task at hand or focusing on a goal further down the line and using your organizational skills to ensure you meet your goals.
A goal-oriented salesperson operates with a strategy in place. Every action you take is to further your progress toward your goals. Organized and goal-oriented people are focused, driven, and above all else, proactive.
Another trait you will need to master is persistence. However, do not confuse persistence with being pushy. These two things are not the same.
A persistent salesperson is someone who always follows through on their sales process. They keep things from being missed, ignored, or pushed aside for another task. To be persistent, you will need to understand your process and ensure all steps are followed and followed promptly.
That means not pushing tasks that should be done today to tomorrow or next week. Follow up with your leads and get the sale.
Did you know that according to Marketing Donut 5, follow-up calls are needed to close a sale for 80% of all sales? It is also essential to understand that this is up from 3.68 calls in 2007. Sales require more contact, follow-up, and attention, so persistence is needed for anyone who wants success.
Good Communication Skills and Listening Skills
The next traits of top sales performers you should ensure that you have are good communication skills and active listening skills. Communication skills do not only mean face-to-face meetings these days.
Your ability to communicate in multiple ways across different channels and methods is essential. Communication skills include face-to-face meetings, phone conversations, email, text, or video conferencing.
A good salesperson has also mastered active listening. Active listening is when you fully engage in what the other person is saying and 100% of your attention to the speaker or communicator. This means that you are listening while they talk, not formulating your response, and certainly not interrupting them while they are speaking.
To let the speaker know you were actively listening and care about what they have to say, you can repeat bits and pieces of their conversation or incorporate a summary of what they said when you respond.
Creative and Determined
The final traits that you should work on are creativity and determination. A creative salesperson can think outside the box, offering solutions to problems that most people would never think of.
This quality allows someone to think differently than others, and it can positively affect the solutions they offer, their approach to their job and their execution.
A determined person who works in sales sets goals and never gives up. They push themselves forward even when it is tough, and they want to quit. However, for them, quitting is not an option. Determination takes drive, strong willpower, and a deep need for success. It is all about winning.
The Difference Between a Good and Lousy Salesperson
Although you can learn a lot from someone successful at their job, sometimes more can be gleaned from the activities and characteristics of unsuccessful people. When learning the traits of top sales performers, you should also study what lousy salespeople are doing wrong.
Let’s look at some of the things bad salespeople do so you can avoid these actions and behaviors.
- Acting like a know-it-all, Who wants to buy from someone who is condescending and thinks they are better than you are?
- Not knowing the product or service well. To sell, you need to know everything about what you are selling.
- Salespeople who are there only for the job. It is okay to be interested in money, but if you hate sales, you probably will not be good at it.
- Being timid or rude. Salespeople need to be positive and confident but polite and likable.
- Gives up easily. If sales were easy, anyone could do it. Making sales takes many contacts and follow-ups with potential buyers.
- Does not trust science or technology. If you have been in the sales world long, you may have fond memories of making sales in face-to-face meetings where no computer or other technology was needed. Those days are over. It is time to embrace the changing world and use the tools man has given you.
Before moving on to the next session, relook at this list again. Ask yourself if you are guilty of anything on that list, even a little bit. If it is, it is time to change those aspects about yourself. That list is full of characteristics of a bad salesperson, and that is not who you want to be.
What are Some Strategies For Achieving Top Sales Performance?
There are a lot of strategies you can implement to improve sales. When looking at the traits of top sales performers, you will find that they pick a couple techniques that work for them, use them often, and perfect them. Here are a few winning strategies for you to try.
Have a Sales Strategy
The first thing you need to do is have a sales strategy. Although a good salesperson should be able to improvise, they should go into each sales call and meeting with a plan in mind. There are many ways that having a strategy will help you succeed. Here is a couple to consider:
- You will be prepared.
- You will know exactly what to say and when to say it.
- You will understand what your customer wants before any conversation starts.
- You will have a plan to close the deal or set up future meetings.
Make Customer Service Your Priority
In a fast-paced world, customer service has all but disappeared in sales calls. It is essential to make the sale, of course. But a happy customer is a repeat customer. Satisfied customers also tell their family and friends about you, so prioritize superior customer service.
- Good customer service turns into sales.
- Happy customers turn into repeat business.
- Repeat business can provide referrals.
- Referrals mean more money for less work.
Sell With Purpose
Understand that not every referral source or lead is equal. Stop trying to sell the same way to everyone. People are unique, as are their needs and the best way to get them to commit to a sale. Understanding who you are selling to is as important as understanding what you are selling. Selling with purpose allows you to:
- Personalize your sales technique to a potential customer, increasing your chances of a sale.
- Personalizing your approach will make the customer feel heard and understood.
- Customers who feel connected to a salesperson are likelier to spend money with them.
How Does Technology Help Top Sales Performers Maintain Their Performance?
One of the traits of top sales performers may surprise you, especially if you have been doing sales for decades. That trait is learning and mastering new forms of technology to leverage it to help make the job of sales easier, more effective, and more productive.
Most people in sales are familiar with the term, sales technology. Sales technology are tools that help people in sales with effective sales, productivity, automation, and tracking progress.
There are many ways you can use sales technology to help you. Even someone using only essential tools can utilize them to be more productive. Productivity will allow you to do more with less, which results in more sales with less effort. Here are some examples of sales technology that you either may be using or should investigate:
- Social Media
- Cloud Technology
- Video Conferencing
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools
- Email Tracking Tools
- Mobile Devices and Technology
- Online Content
- Virtual Learning
Technology can help save people time, which will help with their work/life balance. Studies have shown that salespeople often work on the weekends (54% reported weekend work), and far to often it is not compensated (reported by 68%).
Also, 22% of sales professionals, almost 1/5 of all surveyed said they work at least 50 hours a week. When technology is used to improve productivity, these statistics will dwindle.
Using OneMob – Video Sales & Marketing Platform
Many people get overwhelmed by how technology can help your sales career. It can help to pick one program, master it and add more as you are ready. If you had to pick one program to help focus your sales efforts, it should be OneMob.
OneMob is a video sales and marketing platform built for salespeople looking for easier ways to prospect clients and create video marketing emails and campaigns. Video marketing is the way of the future, and the future is here. Most people would rather watch a video message than read a long email or article.
OneMob allows users to create personalized video emails and content, which will help you put your own personal touch on your marketing campaigns and keep in contact with your prospects and clients more efficiently and productively for all involved.
This program includes an analytics and insight section, allowing you to track and compare your past campaigns. This will give you the knowledge of what works and what does not, allowing you to spend your time creating the best marketing and advertising copy possible.
The Importance of Continuously Training and Developing Sales Skills
Working in the world of sales is competitive. There is competition for everything from making the most sales to turning more one-time sales into repeat customers. One of the final traits of top sales performers you should emulate is to never stop learning.
This means that regardless of how long you have been in the business, you should get additional training and work on developing new skills.
Adopt a Training Mindset
The easiest way to convince yourself of the importance of this task is to change your mindset. By getting continuing education in sales, you will learn how to be more efficient and effective at your job.
New strategies come along all the time, and without spending any time on continuing education, how will you learn about them?
When you are efficient and effective in your job, you can get more tasks done, increasing your overall revenue. This will, in turn, make you feel less stressed and overwhelmed. A common side effect of being more relaxed at work is more motivation, creativity, and inspiration.
Having a training mindset will set you up for a brighter, more relaxed future with a bigger payday.
Why is Continuously Training and Developing Skills Important?
There are so many benefits to prioritizing learning and expanding your skills.
Here are some benefits to consider:
- You will learn about market changes and how to adjust to them.
- You will learn new concepts, such as brand loyalty, and how to use these concepts in your career.
- Further education and new skills will lead to business and personal career growth.
- Continued education can teach new skills, such as how to be an effective leader.
Training and learning new skills will make sales easier in the long run. This could be an invaluable reason to learn new skills and further your education. Sales Insights Labs has reported that 60% of salespeople report that selling is harder today than it was five years ago.
Now that you have learned many traits of top sales performers and the characteristics of lousy ones, you have the tools to improve your sales record for the better.
Don’t forget to embrace technology wherever you can. Studies have shown that up to half of all repetitive tasks you do daily at work can be automated. When you use technology to your advantage, you can focus your time and skill on the tasks that really matter.
Pay close attention to the differences between good and bad salespeople. You should always be confident, friendly, relentless, a good listener who asks the right questions, and a sales agent who follows up with clients or prospects. These traits will pay dividends in your career.
When in doubt, focus on the following tips to improve your overall job performance and your perspective on what a good salesperson would do:
- Be proactive.
- Focus on the customer’s needs.
- Create a sales plan.
- Have a sales strategy.
- Have a mission statement.
- Provide stellar customer service.
- Sell with purpose.
- Develop communication skills.
- Always proactive active listening.
- Take responsibility for your failures.
- Be creative in your sales activities, including finding solutions to problems.
- Utilize technology to be productive; this includes personalizing all sales calls and contact.