7 Soft Skills Sales Training
Can Help You Master
Hard skills like product knowledge and technical expertise are important building blocks in sales. However, selling is about more than just the mechanics. It's an intense dance of personalities and emotions.
So, beyond the technical know-how, success in sales hinges on the ability to connect with individuals on an emotional level. This is where soft skills come into play.
This article delves into the pivotal role of soft skills in the sales process. First here’s a definition of what soft skills are.
What are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are life's social lubricant. They are the invisible force that allows you to connect with others, build trust, and inspire action. They are also referred to as people or interpersonal skills.
Leadership expert, speaker, and author John C. Maxwell says, "Soft skills are the skills that make you likable, trustworthy, and effective."
Research from Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and Stanford Research Center found that 85% of career success is grounded in soft skills.
Here are seven soft skills you can learn and refine with time and practice.
The National Association of Sales Professionals found that 79% of buyers say strong communication abilities are the most important skill a salesperson can have.
The words and tone you use make your product or services come alive. They ignite curiosity and desire like a match to kindling. As a result, you’ll connect with buyers on a deep level and make them feel something.
When you can do that, you'll win their hearts. Capture their hearts, and you'll have their business.
Customers are not looking to trade their hard-earned cash for just any products or services say sales training companies. They are searching high and low for solutions that fit like a glove.
Like an adept puzzle solver, problem-solving expertise empowers you to decode their needs and tailor solutions that hit the mark. When you master this skill, it not only unlocks a sale but also a connection that resonates beyond transactions. It's the bridge that transforms a buyer into a loyal advocate for your brand.
According to Sales Hacker, salespeople are 16% more likely to exceed their goals with strong problem-solving skills.
Much like a delicate flower, selling requires the nourishment of genuine connections. A LinkedIn survey found only 40% of buyers find the sales profession "trustworthy." In a landscape riddled with skepticism, empathy acts as sunlight that penetrates the thickest clouds of doubt.
Develop this skill and you’ll be able to decipher furrowed brows and hesitant smiles. You'll also be able to build trust and rapport to forge tight relationships. The result is a more positive and productive exchange all around.
A study by the Dale Carnegie Institute found that companies who have their sales reps complete an empathy training program close 15% more deals than those who do not.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Studies show that people’s feelings are the main fuel behind their purchase decisions. Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman says emotions drive 95% of all purchase decisions.
Emotional intelligence is the compass that steers you through the heart of human motivation. Sharpen this skill and you'll understand the intricate web of emotions that shape buyer's needs. This will allow you to craft an environment where buyers feel understood, fostering an atmosphere of trust.
A study by TalentSmart found that salespeople with high EQ outperformed their low EQ counterparts by an average of 50%.
Sales is a demanding profession. To-do lists often overflow with tasks like a raging river. There are leads to qualify, customers to meet, and opportunities to close. Then there's admin work that piles up fast and furious like a boiling pot threatening to overflow.
Without a strategic approach, the chaos can pull you under and keep you from spending time on high-value activities. Gitnux reports that the average worker spends 51% of every workday on low to no-value tasks.
Sales training with a focus on time management can teach you how to wrangle the unruly currents of your schedule. This includes time blocking, setting clear goals, and clearly laying out your priorities. Salesforce found that salespeople who effectively manage their time are 35% more likely to meet their quotas than those who do not.
Picture a flock of birds in flight. Notice how they move as one, a fluid masterpiece in the open sky. This allows them to fly further and faster than if they were alone.
Similarly, when salespeople collaborate, they can achieve greater success. Working with others enhances personal growth, says Dr. Susan McDaniel, a psychologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
When team members work together, they can divide and conquer tasks, which can help boost performance. A study by McKinsey shows that when reps work together, productivity increases by 25% or more.
Closing a deal can take a great deal of time and effort. It can be tempting to copy and paste solutions to speed up the process. However, no two customers are alike. So, when you adopt a one-size-fits-all approach, you risk brewing a batch of dissatisfied customers.
Critical thinking helps you firmly grasp the unique needs of each customer. Think of this skill as the chisel in a sculptor's hand. Just as an artist carves away at stone to unveil a masterpiece, you can refine your sales strategy through critical analysis.
A study by the Harvard Business Review found that salespeople who use critical thinking skills are more likely to build lasting relationships with customers. Cultivating these lasting relationships creates a ripple effect of positive outcomes.
How to Choose the Best Sales Training Program
The quality of the sales training company you choose to work with can have a significant impact on your professional success. Here are some factors to consider:
- Does the company have a track record of success?
- Do they have a solid reputation in the industry?
- Do their instructors have the necessary expertise?
- Do they provide ongoing support and resources?
- Does the training content cover the soft skills you want to master?
About the Author
Laura Jelen is truly passionate about the power of the written word. She believes that through clear, concise writing, content creators have the opportunity to help business professionals develop important new skills which will allow them to grow in their careers.