In an increasingly competitive market, having a good sales team makes all the difference. Nobody understands this better than a sales manager. It is your responsibility to find and develop salespeople who consistently exceed expectations and help your business grow.
As the sales team begins to grow, sales managers and hiring teams need to take action. They must first establish what the characteristics of a good salesperson are. Then they must hire new salespeople based on this list of qualities to ensure the growth of their business.
But this is much easier in theory than in practice. Many times we rate a good salesperson based on their experience, existing client base, or persuasiveness.
Evaluating a salesperson based on these superficial characteristics is precisely what leads us to make blundering hiring mistakes. Especially when deciding who will be the member of our team.
As sales managers, we must learn to recruit and evaluate our team members more rigorously. Focusing in more detail on a salesperson’s personality and basic sales skills. Also the cultural adjustment that it makes with our company and sales philosophy. Only in this way will we be able to grow our organization quickly and effectively.
But what are the characteristics of a good salesperson?
In this article we give you the 17 most important characteristics that a good salesperson should have. In addition, we give you some practical ideas to help you evaluate in your sales interviews.
This list of 17 qualities will help you find salespeople who have synergy with your company. Sellers who manage to exceed their sales quotas over and over again.
Ambition: A good salesperson is constantly looking to deliver better results. He always wants to accomplish a little more: another closing, another client, win an award, or simply be recognized as the best.
An easy way to identify a salesperson’s level of ambition is to ask them how they see themselves in the future.
Passion : Passion sells, customers perceive when a seller is genuine. When he truly believes in the value of his products and services.
Do you want a sales team that truly believes in what they are selling and wants to do it? Ask your future sellers why they want to sell your product and what it means to them. By asking this question you will be able to identify those people who are only there for a job. You will be able to separate these from those who are truly passionate about what your company, your industry and your products do.
Motivation: Many times we forget the importance of why people do what they do. Ambition and passion are important. But we are never going to achieve our goals unless we have something that motivates us internally to achieve it.
Consistency : An ambitious salesperson, with clear goals and something that motivates him to fight for his dreams sounds amazing. But achieving your goals requires much more than words.
So don’t forget to ask what your candidate’s greatest achievement has been and how he achieved it. Being resilient in the face of adversity and handling stressful situations well is essential for a good salesperson.
Courage : Find a salesperson who is not afraid to interact with other people and knows how to sell their ideas well.
When you’re conducting sales interviews, ask candidates to try to sell you something they have on hand. Measure how they react to the situation, if they cower or get excited. As more times you carry out this exercise, you will realize that the way in which the candidates present their ideas. How they try to generate interest and handle objections depends a lot on how bold they are.
Tenacity : Handling rejection and objections are part of everyday sales. That’s why you want to hire someone who is upbeat, who doesn’t back down and won’t take “no” for an answer.
When you’re running the sales exercise described in the previous step, be a difficult prospect. Give them lots of objections and don’t buy their product. This will allow you to measure in a very clear way how your seller handles objections. Also their attitude and state of mind in the face of rejection.
Assertiveness : There is nothing worse than a seller who is not willing to accept constructive criticism. Just ask yourself: how are they going to improve if they can’t accept their mistakes?
As soon as your sales exercise is over, make one or two critical observations. Mention why they failed in their sale and how they can improve. Take a close look at how the seller reacts to your criticism. Does he ask you more questions and ask for examples? Is it about justifying? Does he try to be diplomatic and avoid the subject?
This is an excellent indicator of how he is going to react to your training programs in the future, so pay attention.
Competitiveness : The desire to compete is what leads people to greatness. That desire to be the best salesperson in the company is what causes many salespeople to drop everything on the line. It’s good to gauge your reaction when you tell the salesperson that he’s going to get a second chance. You will be able to do this exercise at the end of your interview.
A competitive seller will see this second chance as something very positive. Because he’s going to get a chance to show that he’s much better than you think. This will show in his body language.
Courtesy : Nothing speaks more of the way a salesperson is going to treat their customers than their manners.
Take note of things as simple as saying thank you, asking how you’re doing, and apologizing if you interrupt. This will give you a very good perspective of how this seller is going to behave. Especially when dealing with a prospect, dissatisfied or difficult customer.
Honesty : Nothing can hurt your sales team more than a lying salesperson.
Lying salespeople will say anything to close a deal. They are prone to lying about the capacity of your product or your delivery times. Even on your behalf if it means gaining one more weight.
You should also measure the internal impact this type of salesperson has on your sales team. If they can lie to their customers so easily, what makes you think they won’t do the same to you?
This type of attitude simply annoys your customers. In addition, they make teamwork difficult and create more problems than they solve. To identify if a seller is honest, make a very positive comment, but based on false information on their CV. See if they correct you or not.
Humility : An egomaniac can destroy your sales team. They tend to be envious and willing to do anything to stand out. Even if it means making your peers look bad.
Gauge how self-centered your salesperson is by asking him about the biggest accomplishment of his sales team. Pay close attention to how much credit you take for the facts. How many times does he mention himself or make it seem that it was thanks to his work that the team reached its goal.
Empathy : Empathy is one of the best ways to create lasting relationships and build loyal customers. This ability to put yourself in someone’s shoes, understand their perspective and the issues they are facing is extremely important.
A very easy way to gauge your empathy is by analyzing your level of curiosity. Just take note of the number of questions he asks focused on understanding the background of a topic. Some examples of these types of questions might be about challenges your sales team is currently facing. Also about the needs of your prospects or how your company works in the sales area.
Curiosity : Curiosity is important for two reasons: it demonstrates the need to understand the background of situations and it enables learning.
A curious person is constantly asking why something is happening. Or trying to figure out a better way to do things. It is through curiosity that we acquire knowledge. So if you want to have smart sellers, look for them to ask you a lot of questions.
Learning ability : A salesperson has to be able to learn very quickly. He has to know everything about your product, your industry and your customers. As if that weren’t enough, he has to constantly develop his sales skills to ensure that he is always improving.
A very easy way to measure the learning capacity of your seller is the following. When he does, pay close attention to the ability to integrate your critique into this second attempt.
Cunning : Common sense is one of the most used tools by a seller. It allows them to understand the background of your prospects’ problems. It also allows them to figure out their needs and offer your product in a consistent and personalized way.
Similarly, common sense is the reference system your salespeople are going to use. It helps them to qualify the level of interest and purchasing power of your prospects.
To measure the level of common sense there is nothing more practical than analyzing the way in which a seller tries to solve a problem. Give them a riddle and tell them to try to solve it. As soon as they’re done, ask them to explain the steps they took to try to fix it.
Analytical : Being analytical is the foundation of consultative selling. You must be able to understand the problems of your customers and analyze how your product or service can help them.
Being analytical allows you to identify areas of opportunity and create plans that help you get the most out of it. Do you want to measure the analysis capacity of a seller? Ask him to identify the needs of your customers based on a list of objections.
Optimism: The best sellers almost exclusively share this key characteristic. Regardless of the situation, the best salespeople are always positive . They always seek to make the best of any situation.