Sales POP - Purveyors of Propserity
Today’s Evolving Sales Professional Needs These 9 Top Skills
Blog / For Sales Pros / Jan 17, 2017 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 8751

Today’s Evolving Sales Professional Needs These 9 Top Skills


Like everything else in the modern age, sales changes at an incredible rate. The buyer of today has far more power than they did yesterday, armed with all the information the Internet has to offer. They keep to their own buying schedule, without the guidance they might have previously had from a salesperson.

Because of changes in buyer behavior—as well as other changes brought about by the digital age—sales strategies have had to change, too. Some sales organization, though, have been reluctant to give up their tried and true methods. But competition is more fierce than ever, so it’s time for a new look from just about everyone.

What is required in this ever-changing environment? Solid fundamentals.

When the most essential skills are understood by today’s sales pro, they can make considerable forward motion. These skills also allow the salesperson to build their personal brand, which is today a salesperson’s most valuable career asset.

Fully Understand Lead Qualifying

One of the top reasons for missing quotas is expanding sales time and energy on prospects who in fact are not ready to buy in the near future. Keep a sharp focus on the factors that your company has identified that make up a qualified lead. You’ll always find that you have two basic kinds of prospects: “ready now” (on the short list for immediate action), and “not ready yet” (need to be nurtured).

You have different roles to play with prospects at every stage of an opportunity. But there is a considerable gulf between the types of sales activities you take with someone who is ready to buy now, and someone who is looking at a purchase further down the road. Being aware of the difference—and more importantly, acting on it—will boost your success rate.

Be Open to Technology

Be receptive to technology. Learn to identify and adopt techniques and tools that will assist you in gaining insight, saving time, and eliminating bottlenecks. Gain an understanding of social media, and learn how to fully take advantage of it. Prospects today have preferences about how, when and where they communicate. Know how to meet them on their terms.

I should, of course, mention the great changes occurring within the CRM world. CRM has moved from a burdensome, data-entry hell into something very useful. Our product, Pipeliner CRM, is sharply focused on adding business value—helping sales professionals work faster, seamlessly use insights, tackle priorities right when needed, and easily collaborating. Pipeliner is instant intelligence, visualized.

Sharpen Your Research Skills

The very basic information about a prospect (company, role, address, and product/service) is no longer adequate. If you haven’t done so, you need to learn how to gather a generous range of information online. Information can be very much like an iceberg—the far greater amount is underneath the surface. Master the ways to uncover the knowledge that drives success—from feed readers to sales intelligence software, from Twitter lists to analyzing a LinkedIn profile.

Learn to Listen

“Don’t be a crocodile salesman, big mouth and no ears,” cautions venture capitalist Mark Suster. You’ll only understand your buyers’ emotions and needs by listening.

Listening is the key component of building trust, confidence, and intimacy with your prospects and customers. It brings out a willingness to share details with you, that you need.

Know How to Counter-Objections

Your company’s top sales performers, in whose footsteps you are following, know all the objections you’re likely to encounter and have long ago learned how to deal with them. Learn all of these measures well.

Deliver a Killer Presentation

When you present, make it well-designed with great graphics. Trim down the verbiage and keep out the buzzwords whenever possible. Staying ahead of the average presentation keeps you ahead of the average sales rep. A salesperson who has mastered presentation has a powerful advantage.

There are many different media tools available today. Utilize them skillfully to get the most out of your delivery.

Ask For That Referral

Referrals are the warmest leads you’ll get—but salespeople, for whatever reason, are notorious for not asking for them. There is no reason to be shy about asking for referrals. Provide your customers with high-quality products and services, and they’ll only be too happy to provide you with referrals.

Be a Storyteller

Mastering the art of storytelling is an incredible way to handle almost any sales issue you encounter. Stories can be tailored for just about every kind of situation and customer. As many experts are now telling us, a sale is every bit an emotional journey as a logical one. Even the most common idea can be made compelling with the right story.

Learn How to Write Well (and Comfortably)

Sales is all about communication, and that communication must be clear and concise. Today writing emails, referral requests, blogs and emails occupies much of a salesperson’s time. The surest way to strengthen your writing skills is to write—so keep at it. In the meanwhile read good advice from great writers. A good reference is William Strunk’s Elements of Style, for grammar, usage and punctuation rules.

Today you can no longer “just wing it” as a sales professional. Become expert in these 9 skills, and continue to build toward your full sales potential.

About Author

CEO and partner of and the uptime ITechnologies, which I founded in 1994 and has since played a significant role in the development of the IT-environment. pipeliner is the most innovative sales CRM management solution on the market. Pipeliner was designed by sales professionals for sales professionals and helps close the gap between the requirements of C-level executives for transparency and the day-to-day operational needs of field and inside sales. I am also the founder and Initiator of the independent economic platform GO-AHEAD!, which orientates itself on the principles of a free marketplace in terms of liberal and social responsibility. Connecting people, the trust of business leadership in terms of values such as freedom, self-responsibility, and entrepreneurial spirit, and strengthening their awareness in order to create a dynamic boost within the economy triggered through spontaneity, all stand for the initial ideas surrounding GO-AHEAD! I studied in Los Angeles and Vienna and received my Masters's Degree in 1994. I am married and have 3 children My Specialties are in: Sales Management, Sales CRM Software, CRM Cloud Solutions, SAAS, Business Strategy, Software Development, "Pipeline Management", Social responsibility, outbound sales, b2b sales, inside sales, sales strategy, lead generation, sales process, entrepreneurship, coaching, mentoring, speaker, opportunity management, lead management, Austrian School of Economics

Author's Publications on Amazon

This is a practical manual covering the vital subject of Sales Management. I firmly believe that sales are the most important profession for dealing with today’s turbulent world and Econo my, for salespeople create wealth and produce peace. But salespeople need a competent, stable leader—and…
Buy on Amazon
Inside this eBook, you’ll discover a series of chapters dedicated to some of the most important areas facing sales today. From the sales process definition to measurement, lead generation, and proven sales techniques, this comprehensive eBook will provide you with the information you need to…
Buy on Amazon
A common term in sales today is EQ, which stands for “emotional I.Q.” It means the skill a salesperson has in reading emotions and utilizing them in sales. It means empathy and a number of other abilities. The short version is, it’s an I.Q. when…
Buy on Amazon
People are smart to question the future of automation, for it has become part of everything we do. With the quantity of applications and technology around us, we yet still crave more. We become convinced of its power when our package is delivered from Amazon…
Buy on Amazon
Sales management isn’t a simple subject by any means. But at the same time, it does have some basic and somewhat simple fundamentals—and that is what we are bringing to you with this book. First come pain points of sales management, and how to overcome…
Buy on Amazon
Today the Internet has transformed a seller's market into a buyer's market and author Nikolaus Kimla states that the role of sales has never been more crucial. It is now time to give salespeople the role they factually can play: entrepreneurs within the enterprise. They…
Buy on Amazon
This is our public declaration of the intentions behind Pipeliner, and our objectives and motives for the product and for our company. Behind the development of that CRM application and, in fact, behind everything we do, we have a real cause. The story begins with…
Buy on Amazon
For the future, there must be a perfect balance of humans and technology. You have to have the perfect technology, andthen the perfect human being in application, performance and presentation. Today and into the future, it’s a 50-50 balance. In the past it was perhaps…
Buy on Amazon
The salespreneur is based on the concept of the entrepreneur. Before we can explain the salespreneur, you have to have some understanding of the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur plays a crucial role in any economic system. The entrepreneur seeks out information that can be utilized for…
Buy on Amazon
A seasoned captain would never leave port without a competent navigator. In a similar way, a sales manager might be a total ace at "commanding the ship" – at inspiring and coaching sales reps, pointing out and getting agreement on making quotas, and keeping everyone's…
Buy on Amazon

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you are giving consent to cookies being used. For information on cookies and how you can disable them, visit our privacy and cookie policy.