Top 5 Sales Skills a Salesperson Must Have

BY Jessica Helinski
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There are specific sales skills that one must have to be successful in the industry. Without them, sellers will struggle, whether it’s connecting with prospects, closing the sale or managing accounts. 

And even if you do have these necessary skills for sales, it’s important to evolve them. “As your sales process evolves, it's important to keep your skills relevant and up to date,” explains HubSpot’s Rebecca Riserato

5 Important Sales Skills 

One of the most vital sales job skills is communication. And it's important to not only communicate; sellers must send and receive messages effectively. 

There are so many touch points during the sales process, and sellers use a variety of methods to connect. The most successful sellers make the most of each communication opportunity they encounter. And communication also includes both verbal and nonverbal signals; sellers must excel at both.

SalesFuel shares tips for improving communication skills in sales. Make sure that you are continuously working on this skill and evolving along with buyers. Communication has an impact on every facet of sales.

As Joshua Seth points out, for LinkedIn, “Good communication is an essential skill for successful sales, as it helps salespeople create strong relationships with customers and colleagues, better understand customer needs and preferences, and close deals faster.”

Product Expertise

Essential sales skills also include having thorough knowledge about what you’re selling. You won’t be able to consistently convince prospects to buy if you don’t know every aspect of your solution. Know how to go above and beyond and demonstrate how to use your solutions to meet their goals. 

And again, this is one of those sales rep skills that must be nurtured and adapted over time. Customers are dynamic. Buyers' goals and your solutions change overtime. Therefore, your knowledge of both must keep up. This deep understanding of how your solution can benefit buyers will always help drive sales. 

Having deep product knowledge means you can answer any question that comes your way … Devise creative solutions to customer problems, and offer consultations that’ll lead to opportunities,” Riserato explains. “As buyers get better and better at solo research, product knowledge will help you better convey your unique selling proposition.”


She also shares that the ability to negotiate well is one of those sales skills that sellers will always need. Buyers will always have objections, concerns and requests. Sellers must be able to meet these head-​on and successfully steer buyers. 

And as SalesFuel reports, buyers are increasingly going into the sales process having done research themselves. This trend won’t be going away either. Sellers need to keep their negotiation skills sharp to better meet these savvy sellers’ objections and demands. 


And according to SalesFuel’s Voice of the Sales Rep survey, both negotiating and closing are top weaknesses for sellers. 

A successful closing strategy will always be important in sales. Sellers should scrutinize their close strategies often, especially if they struggle. 

Tim Londergan, SalesFuel, shares a variety of ways for reps to work on and improve this skill. He notes, “Closing deals is a pivotal aspect of the sales function. When you close the deal, it has a positive impact on the financial health, growth and reputation of a business. Salespeople must concentrate on this phase of the sales process to convert a potential lead into a paying customer.”

Active Listening

Of all the sales associate skills, the ability to actively listen is one that may have the biggest overall impact. Listening fully to others sets the foundation for success, whether it’s with prospects, customers or fellow team members. 

Your ability to listen to and understand your prospects can make or break your ability to win the sale,” Riserato writes. “Not only does listening help you clarify what it is your prospect is truly looking for, it also establishes necessary trust with your buyers.”

This sales skill will only grow more important as buyers seek to connect with sellers on a deeper level. There is plenty of professional advice available to help hone this skill. And remember: Active listening involves your body language and responses as well. 

Keep Growing

These top sales skills will always impact your success in the industry. And none of them are learn-​it-​and-​move-​on skills. Sellers should actively work on these skills to stay current and align with evolving buyers. Try making an effort to stay in tune with your clients and their needs. Pay more attention to practicing sales skills while doing so. Experience success no matter what comes your way.

Photo by Anna Shvets