7 years ago
February 21, 2017

How to Improve Sales Skills: 6 Proven Techniques

Interested in becoming a sales superstar? Learn how to improve sales skills with these proven techniques. Keep reading.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

Sales is a fast-paced, competitive field. Sales professionals must learn how to improve sales skills in order to stay relevant, effective, and successful. In a blink of an eye, old sales strategies stop working, new ones are introduced, new competitors emerge, and similar products are released. By staying on your toes and learning how to improve sales skills, you can overcome these challenges and stay at the top of your industry.

No matter who you are, what company you work for, or what you sell, there’s always room for improvement.

Here are some steps you can take to improve your sales performance and ensure your survival in a dog-eat-dog world.

1. Research, Research, Research

Things change quickly in sales. The field is never stagnant. And you must stay on top of new sales trends, best practices, tools, technologies, and selling strategies and methods in order to keep up.

That means becoming an expert in your industry. Make it a priority to always research what’s new in sales, what’s passé, and what you should be doing to stay ahead.

If you don’t adapt with the times, your selling skills will quickly become outdated and ineffective. You must commit to changing your strategies when required. This is key to improvement.

2. Create Goals

Figure out which sales skills you need to improve, and set goals. If you want to get better at selling over the phone, the write down activity goals that you can control, such as calls per day or referrals per call, and work towards your goal. Then, measure and track your progress.

Creating goals can help you focus your attention and energize your action.

3. Work on Your Confidence

What if I were to tell you that you don’t actually need to improve sales skills themselves, you just need to improve your confidence? Many sales people use effective strategies and methods to close deals, but the problem lies in their confidence.

Buyers can see and feel your lack of confidence, and that doesn’t give them confidence in you. Not being sure of yourself can also lead to more selling mistakes, to sales slumps, and to other negative consequences.

When you work on improving your confidence levels and overcoming your fears, you’ll see that your skills will improve as well.

4. Try Out New Methods

There are virtually thousands of different sales strategies that you could try, from prospecting methods and closing strategies to presentation methods and negotiation strategies, and everything in between. If what you’re doing right now isn’t translating into much success and you want to improve your selling skills, try out new methods. Simple trial and error can help you find the right mix of strategies for your personality, your buyers, and your offerings.

5. Use Tools and Tech

There is a wealth of different sales tools and technologies on the market that can help you improve your sales performance. With a little bit of data and intelligence about your buyers and your sales process, you can gain the insights and visibility you need to successfully take your sales skills to the next level.

Plus, using sales tools and tech can eliminate many of the mundane and tedious tasks that take up all of your time, so you have more time to focus on getting better at your job.

6. Focus on the Customer’s Needs

When in doubt, focus on your customers’ needs. If you want to improve your sales pitch or presentation, customize it to your buyers’ pain points. If you want to get better at selling over the phone, focus the conversation on your customers’ wants, desires, and needs. If you want to learn how to improve sales skills, and I mean, pretty much any sales skills, all you have to do is make it about the buyer instead of yourself. Sometimes, that’s all you need to get the sale.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.