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Tech sales quickly promotes social and practical skills

In this article, you'll learn why a sales position is the best way to become a better conversationalist and listener.

What is a sales position?

Most people know sales at a basic level. Sales people are responsible for making sales. In other words, they sell their company's products or services to customers who need them. In the tech sector, these products are usually software and are sold directly to other companies.

Tech sales roles are responsible for serving potential customers from initial touch to purchase.

Tech sales roles today are more like consulting roles that focus on interacting with customers and solving their problems.

Sales positions generally fall into one of two categories: Inbound and outbound sales. With inbound sales, the customer comes to you (or more specifically to the company). Acquiring these leads is largely the responsibility of the marketing team, which provides information, visibility, and thought leadership in target markets. In outbound sales, on the other hand, the company approaches the customer — usually a lead who has not yet expressed interest in the product or service offered.

In both cases, it is often up to the sales team to close the deal with the prospect. The sales representative role is an extremely dynamic position that requires effective communication and collaboration skills — i.e. the ability to connect with others, recognize their problems, and meet their needs.

Sales skills are social skills

Few positions are as social as sales positions. This becomes clear when you look at the looks at key skills required for sales positions are. If you master these skills, you will not only move up in your sales job, but also prepare yourself for any position that you expect to be an effective communicator and team player!

1. Communication skills

Salespeople have to listen and talk a lot. Closing a deal with a customer is basically a conversation — the salesperson listens to the customer to figure out their needs and then tells them how their product or service can meet those needs. Success depends on the salesperson's ability to empathize with the customer, make them feel heard, and speak knowledgeably and honestly about the solutions they offer.

Salespeople communicate not only with customers, but also with other people. A salesperson must be able to communicate effectively with company management, supervisors, and colleagues to stay up to date with the company's offerings and to advocate for the customers they talk to on a daily basis.

2. Persuasive power

The most successful salespeople know how to convince a customer that their company offers what the customer needs. That doesn't mean manipulating or deceiving a customer — on the contrary, real persuasion requires the ability to really listen to the customer, even when they hesitate or have objections.

Based on Aristotle's definitions of rhetorical appeals, many define the art of persuasion as a combination of ethos (trustworthiness of the speaker), logos (facts and reason), and pathos (audience emotions). A good salesperson creates trust by being a good listener, having in-depth factual knowledge about their solutions, and leaving the customer with positive feelings.

3. Customer empathy

A customer-focused mindset is a fundamental building block of both good communication and persuasion, but it's so important to a salesperson's job that it deserves its own section. Working in sales can be very exciting for people with a competitive personality, but salespeople must be careful not to forget the people who are ultimately responsible for the big commission checks: customers.

Good salespeople see customers as more than just a paycheck. They see themselves not only as representatives of their company, but also as advocates for their customers. By focusing on the customer and listening to their needs, questions and doubts, salespeople can not only close more deals, but also provide the company with the customer perspective and contribute to better solutions in the long term.

4. The ability to accept and implement feedback

What many people find attractive about working in sales is the fact that it is a social but also independent job. Salespeople are usually self-motivated and enjoy working without too much supervision.

But as in all other jobs, salespeople usually have to answer to someone. A good salesperson should be able to not only listen to the customer, but also accept and implement feedback from colleagues, supervisors, and even from customers themselves to do their job even better.

If you're reading this and think this sounds like a description of many jobs other than sales, you're not wrong. The nice thing about being a sales representative is that it gives you the social skills you need for every career. Working in sales can even prepare you to overcome challenges and be successful in your relationships, both at work and beyond.

Would you like to find out whether sales is a career for you? Apply for our program and talk to our team. We connect people with no previous sales experience to top tech companies such as Hubspot, Asana or Personio — at no cost.

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