Like many job markets, the sales industry is one that is increasingly candidate-driven. This means there are more available job roles than there are candidates to fill them, making it more important than ever for employers to make the right hiring decision to avoid losing out on top talent.
With this in mind, there are a number of top sales skills that employers are looking for in line with the candidate-driven market.
The lack of prospective jobseekers means there’s also a lack of leaders. In a sales environment, being able to step up and take ownership is vital, making leadership qualities a desirable trait for most employers. If a candidate can demonstrate initiative and people management skills, they’ll likely find themselves batting off job offers due to the rarity.
Regardless of whether a sales person wants to take on a leadership role, they need to be able to collaborate with other people effectively. Every sales person is different, and in many respects, it’s a solo style job, but candidates still need to work as part of a wider team, so the need for face to face sales skills is essential to reach targets and avoid conflict.
Not every sales tactic will work and there will, naturally, be dry spells where closing deals seems like an impossible task. During these periods, it’s important for sales people to be able to step back and self-evaluate their performance, working to identify any areas that could be improved upon in terms of their approach. Not many people possess this capability, making it one of the most important sales skills.
With more job roles than available candidates, many businesses are finding themselves with a staff shortage. This makes it all the more important for sales candidates to be efficient in the way they work, ensuring targets can still be met and the business still thrives despite there, perhaps, being less staff. In any industry, efficiency is key for maximising output and productivity.
The way in which we work is always changing, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated this. With fewer candidates to choose from, adaptability is key. This means more employers are looking at prospects to see if they have transferable skills for sales that could make them successful in the role, even if their initial experience doesn’t necessarily match up.
As mentioned, the sales path rarely runs smoothly, meaning employers are looking for candidates who have strong critical thinking skills. Sales people need to be autonomous to a degree, so the skill of being able to effectively problem-solve is one that is in high demand in this sector.
The Covid-19 pandemic saw much of the economy come to a halt, and businesses are now starting to pick up the pieces. It’s not an overnight process and growth takes time and determination. All good sales people need to be dedicated to the cause and able to pick themselves up after stumbling, and in the current market, this is one of the most vital skills needed for sales.
If you can’t convince people to buy into a service or product, deals won’t be closed. Employers need sales staff who have strong people skills and the ability to persuade those sitting on the fence. If persuasion isn’t there, money won’t be made, making this one of the most critical sales attributes.
The adoption of digital technologies is something that is encouraged to all businesses, therefore employers are looking for sales staff who are competent in data literacy.
The final skill in demand is creativity. This isn’t something that can be taught, meaning recruiters will be keenly looking for a creative flair to help innovate new sales techniques and close deals in a difficult market.
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