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.

Sales leadership 

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.

Critical thinking 

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.


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.

Data literacy 

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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For more information about in demand sales skills and how to find your next sales person for your team, please get in touch with us.