So, how do you build and lead a standout sales organization?
It starts with understanding the core traits allowing sales professionals to deliver exceptional results consistently. This article spotlights 14 such sales traits:
Top 14 sales traits
Here are the top 14 sales traits every salesperson must have:
- Active listening
- Business acumen
- Consultative mindset
- Work ethic
- Learning agility
- Critical thinking
Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is. – Vince Lombardi
Self-assuredness is a prerequisite for sales excellence. A key sales trait, confidence manifests as an ability to handle rejection, willingness to assert perspectives during negotiations, and persistence through long sales cycles. Tactics like positive self-talk, thorough preparation, and small early wins help cement self-confidence.
Stop selling. Start helping. – Zig Ziglar
Connecting with prospects as people first builds rapport critical for influencing decisions. Empathy, a vital sales trait, enables listeners to earn trust by understanding pain points at a human level beyond surface features and specs. They emphasize solving over selling.
Treat objections as requests for further information. – Brian Tracy
Inevitable deals, losses, and commission fluctuations require emotional fortitude. Resilience is an essential sales trait that stems from intrinsic motivation, optimism, and taking setbacks in stride as part of a learning journey rather than failures. Quick bounce-backs keep the energy high.
When reps take the role of a curious student rather than an informed expert, buyers are much more inclined to engage - Jeff Hoffman.
Insights that spark solutions come from inquisitiveness - that urge to dig deeper and ask why. Curiosity expands understanding of customer needs while surfacing original perspectives others overlook. It shows engagement.
A salesperson tells, a good salesperson explains, and a great salesperson demonstrates. — Harvey Mackay.
Another sales trait every salesperson should have is the ability to read body language, tones, and subtle cues. This awareness provides valuable insights that guide smarter responses. Keen observers can adjust their selling tactics based on live feedback rather than relying solely on assumptions.
The best way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. — Walt Disney
Laser focus on customer conversations prevents missing crucial details. Active listening demonstrates genuine interest rather than just waiting for a turn to pitch. It also improves memory retention for follow-up discussions.
The story is the heart of the sale. — Matthew Pollard
Data alone rarely compels decisions - the emotional resonance of stories gives meaning. One of the qualities of a salesperson is the art of storytelling. They don't rattle off features; they weave relatable anecdotes that make abstractions tangible. Vivid stories spark "aha" moments.
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. — Vince Lombardi
Customers have unique contexts and perspectives—the stereotypical "sales process" fails here. Adaptable communicators tweak messaging, settle for progress over perfection, and think on their feet as situations evolve.
Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman — not the attitude of the prospect. - William Clement Stone
Grasping customer business models, challenges, and goals prevents wasting time covering basics. Business acumen is a crucial sales trait that earns credibility, speeds dealings, and helps convert context into relevant ROI cases.
Customers don't care at all whether you close the deal or not. They care about improving their business. - Aaron Ross
Leaps from transactional order-taker to trusted advisor come through consultative discovery, thoughtful recommendations, and linking pain to solutions. Consultants guide outcomes; they don't dictate.
The key to success is to start before you are ready. - Marie Forleo
Overpreparation, follow-through, and unwillingness to leave tasks unfinished are some of the most sought-after qualities of a salesperson. They are akin to marathoners--outpacing the sprinters through consistent discipline day after day.
"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them yourself." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Another sales trait that each team member should have is being a lifelong student. Rapid learners constantly absorb fresh ideas from training, mentors, and field experiences. They analyze setbacks for insights and willingly tackle new roles to expand their capabilities.
"The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks." - Christopher Hitchens
Probing beneath the obvious trains analytical muscles to unearth root causes and make connections others miss. Critical thinkers question assumptions in pursuit of optimal outcomes.
"Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." - Mark Twain
A dash of light-hearted humor can forge bonds, reduce tensions, and stimulate creativity. Levity relieves boredom and monotony but must be used judiciously lest it seem frivolous. When leveraged carefully, good-natured jesting makes heavy discussions more creative.
Maximize your teams' potential with Fireflies
While mastery of all 14 sales traits is unrealistic for any one person, every sales team should strive for well-rounded strength across these human differentiators. As a sales leader, you must screen for these sales traits during hiring and nurture them proactively through coaching, role models, and training.
This is where Fireflies' conversation intelligence capabilities become invaluable. With an average salesperson making at least 35 calls daily, Fireflies provides visibility into thousands of sales calls for data-driven coaching tailored to amplify team strengths and foster these traits.
Fireflies helps you review calls faster by extracting key talking points, objections, and promises, allowing your sales reps to review and follow up on critical details quickly. It enables you to track rep performance and provide targeted feedback by analyzing transcripts to identify high and low-performing reps and tracking trends over time to refine coaching strategies.
With Fireflies, you can identify common objections by detecting the objections raised by prospects across calls and creating playbooks to train reps on effective responses. Additionally, Fireflies can help you gain a competitive edge by flagging mentions of competitor names and products to analyze strengths and weaknesses and adjust pitches accordingly.
Moreover, Fireflies provides valuable coaching insights by helping you spot patterns and identify techniques used by top-performing reps, which you can then use to coach the rest of your sales team. For example, you can analyze the talk-to-listen ratio of your top performer and use it as a benchmark for others to follow.
By utilizing Fireflies Conversation Intelligence, sales managers can gain access to data-driven insights and coach their sales reps effectively, ultimately nurturing them to achieve their full potential and close more deals. Up next, we discuss how sales managers can leverage conversation intelligence software and how it can benefit your business.