Selling Requires Skills

Sales has changed drastically over the last 20 years. Social media has forever changed the way business is done and opportunities created. However, sales skills are still necessary for facilitating a final purchase. The sales assessment we use evaluates seven skill sets and that information is utilized when building a sales team. This is part seven of a blog series focused on sales evaluation and skills to look for when you hire sales reps.

In an increasingly tight economy, sales quotas are more challenging than ever.

There’s substantial pressure on sales reps to navigate objections and keep the pipeline full of hot prospects. The salesperson’s value in the marketplace has been challenged by greater competition and more sophisticated and educated buyers. Maintaining growth within existing accounts is as challenging as ever. If you have salespeople assigned large accounts with responsibility for selling across the enterprise, it’s important they possess farming skills.

Cultivating Leads and Existing Accounts

Some of the most successful sales reps today use a customer-centric method of selling that’s focused on the wants and needs of clients and prospects. In effect, they become much like trusted business advisors working on the customer’s behalf. The best sales reps realize that they must find their way out of the trenches and interact with the decision-makers. At this level, deals tend to be more complex and have a direct impact on a prospect’s bottom line. A sales rep possessing farming skills requires mastery at this style of selling.

Sales at this level has positive implications for all parties, but getting to that point requires planning, foresight and comprehensive research. Information gathered via digital acumen allows the sales rep to build a solid foundation for a credible conversation and meaningful exploration with prospective buyers. Communication and investigation at this level transcends turf wars to address the customer’s strategic concerns. Customers come to rely upon the trusted advice offered and the superior results enjoyed.

Working within the Landscape

A sales rep with strong farming skills is adept at cultivating growth within existing sales accounts. He or she builds trust with customers by asking probing questions and proposing optimal solutions. These reps have great control of their emotions and can handle sales objections wrapped around high dollar purchasing decisions. He or she tends to sees these objections as merely a temporary delay to an inevitable close.

Sales at this level often involves mid- and upper-level management within the buying process. Transactions tend to be larger and include multiple products and/or services and in effort help the company to achieve its goals and objectives. For buyers like these, decision-making is aimed at operational results. Offering solutions to complex problems allows this salesperson to assist the buyer in making a final decisions. A sales rep with steady farming skills is a tenacious consultative seller. By bringing great value, this rep becomes a trusted advisor to the client which benefits to both the sales team and the customer. This rep is a determined closer.

Sowing the Seeds of Future Sales

Sales reps who handle large accounts develop strong, customer-centric relationships. Customer loyalty naturally arises out of this type of strategic-level partnership as the sales rep takes a genuine interest in the client and assists them in meeting strategic goals. This increases the chance of additional and repeat business. This salesperson is adept at “sowing seeds” of trust, new ideas and reasons to buy; because of this, he or she is able to harvest increased sales, customer loyalty and higher profits.

Keep Filling the Funnel

Farming skills are essential for sales people who have been assigned large accounts that are responsible for growth across the enterprise. These sales people bring great value to their own companies by retaining business year after year. As trusted advisors, these reps bring value to their customers offering solutions to complex problems. Value is an asset that never loses favor.

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