Perform a Skills Check-​Up to Drive Sales Performance

BY Jessica Helinski
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The beginning of the year is a great time to evaluate your sales techniques, knowledge and overall skills. An annual sales "check-​up" can ensure that you reach your full potential by spotlighting any weak points. A recent article from Sales Hacker presents 30 necessary skills for reaching "sales enlightenment." In other words, mastering these skills will help you reach your full potential.

I've included a few of the skills that Max Altschuler discusses, and you can use these as a checklist against your own abilities.

Research/​Information gathering. Selling is more than just pitching a product or service. To be successful, you must do your homework. While it doesn't seem glamorous, this skill is vital to selling because it gives you the knowledge needed TO sell. "Accurate information about clients, market trends, rival solutions and other business intelligence enables a salesperson to make better decisions, engage the right customers better, and close high value deals while shortening the sales cycle."

Product knowledge. This may seem like an obvious necessary skill but many reps do not fully understand what they sell. A thorough knowledge about a product or service's benefits, weaknesses, and features will help you connect with prospects' needs and position you as a credible expert.

Conflict management and resolution. As a salesperson, you develop relationships, and as we all know, no relationship is challenge-​free. There will be times that you will encounter conflicts with prospects, clients, team members, and other reps. You must be able to professionally handle complaints and rejections, as well as collaborate with others to find resolutions. And, as Altschuler adds, "High-​performing salespeople have been known to use these incidents as a platform for converting new leads or an avenue for demonstrating a workplace solution to management."

These are just a few from Altschuler's extensive list. His article provides a great opportunity to compare your own skills and find any weaknesses. By identifying where you need more training or learning, you set yourself up for further success in the industry.