Some people believe there is such a thing as a natural-born salesperson. However, even if you are gifted with natural social competence and a competitive instinct, you still need to put in significant effort to become successful at sales. Although we could provide a long list of helpful characteristics, in this article we will address 5 key skills that we believe are the most important in order to become unbeatable salesperson – and advices on how to develop these skills.

1. Work structured to achieve your sales goals

To meet your sales targets, your need to work in a structured way. A salesperson must have a good understanding of the activities they need to prioritise and what steps that are required in order to close the number of deals (and preferably more) that have been identified as their targets.

The best way to structure your sales work is to map out the sales process and to know the value of your average deal. With this as a foundation, it’s easy to calculate how many calls you need to make, how many sales meetings you need to have and how many offers you need to submit in order to meet your sales targets. Read more about this in our article Be in control of your sales process – Three steps toward structure.

2. Work efficiently

Besides working in a structured way, you must also work efficiently to ensure you get the most out of your working day. For some, this means tackling major work tasks early in the day when you are able to focus the most. It could be that you utilise your commuting time to take down meeting notes, or that you assign specific times to respond to emails and thus avoid being distracted by reading and responding to emails as soon as they land in your inbox.

3. Care about your customers

If you are serious about being a successful salesperson, you must genuinely care about and help your customers. Not until you have an intimate relationship with your customers are you able to really understand their needs. With this knowledge, you can build highly attractive offerings that actually solve their problems, which in turn means your customers will be satisfied and loyal and continue to buy from you. You probably already know that it is more costly to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. That is why high customer satisfaction is critical, as it allows you to build a portfolio of recurring customers who help you achieve your goals – again and again.

4. Build trust

Sales – particularly within B2B – is about building professional relationships based on trust and commitment. No one wants to do business with someone they can’t rely on. Therefore, your sales efforts must build trust.

Apart from being authentic and honest, our absolute best tip to build trust is to always deliver on your promises. In sales, it’s absolutely critical not to promise something you’re not confident you can live up to. This is always the case! No exceptions! If you have promised to call at a certain time, you should do so! If you have committed to deliver a project within a certain time frame, you must ensure everything is delivered accordingly. It is always better to under-promise and over-deliver. Apart from the fact that under-promise and over-deliver builds trust with your customer, they will also be positively surprised when you deliver more than expected and/or ahead of time.

5. Keep up the motivation

Winning deals often involves numerous cold calls, tedious admin tasks and many rejections. There are no shortcuts to success and you simply have to find ways to keep your motivation up and keep pushing forward, even if you lose five deals in a day. Be mindful of when you start to lose your motivation and be cognisant of how to keep it up.

Do you find it draining when you experience a lot of rejections during your sales calls? If so, estimate how many rejections you have to get through to get a “yes”. Knowing your hit rate (Read more about hitrate in our article Be in control of your sales process – Three steps toward structure) makes it a heck of a lot easier to get through all the rejections, as you know they are simply steps on your way to a successful deal.

Don’t give up! That’s what losers do!