Integration of Sales Software Tools
The integration of sales tooling as a key piece of the modern sales process has made it possible for sales reps to work smarter, automate menial tasks, and get more ROI for their time. These tools – CRMs, marketing automation platforms, analytics systems, etc. – have profoundly transformed the way sales reps find, qualify and close new business. But many companies are layering on dozens of tools and aren’t seeing the traction they expected.
While a sales tech stack can empower a sales team to generate more revenue, they can never replace the sales rep’s role in the process. Quite the opposite, tooling makes the sales rep’s role even more important. By outsourcing routine, low-level tasks like sending emails and qualifying leads, a sales rep’s primary focus shifts to the most difficult parts of the sales process: building trusting relationships and closing business.
This shift means today’s sales team members need to be even more proficient at soft skills. If you’ve implemented a sales tech stack and still aren’t seeing the results you want, consider whether these soft skills could use some polish.
Soft Skill 1: Inquisition
While a sales tool can gather a lot of information about a prospect, it will never replace the critical initial conversations in the relationship between a buyer and a seller. During those first initial meetings, a sales rep has the opportunity to gather insight into the prospect’s pain points – knowledge that is critical to adding value and closing a sale. However, that information gathering is only facilitated if the sales repasks poignant questions. If you find yourself failing to add value and connect your product or service to your prospects' pain points, it may be because you’re not asking the right questions.
Soft Skill 2: Quality listening
The problem may not be your asking the wrong questions, but that you’re not fully listening to the answers.Active listeningcan help you dig deeper into understanding your prospects and their needs, building rapport and trust. Effective listening will also help you determine whether prospects are truly engaged in conversation; listen for verbal cues that show they’re disinterested, and change things up to keep them engaged.
Soft Skill 3: Emotional Intelligence
Sometimes referred to as EQ,emotional intelligencebalances out the logical side of sales (IQ) with emotional skills like empathy, leadership, confidence and self-awareness. A sales rep with a low EQ is less likely to recognize when a prospect is disengaging because he or she is not emotionally in tune with what the prospect is feeling. This is critical because people don’t make purchasing decisions based on logic, they make them on emotional needs. If you feel out of touch with your buyers' feelings, take a look at strengthening your emotional intelligence skills to build more meaningful relationships.
Soft Skill 4: Time management
Because technology has the power to outsource so many of a sales rep’s daily tasks, how he spends his day becomes even more critical; every minute is spent on strategic work that can’t be replicated by software and requires human intelligence to do well. Themost successful sales repsleverage that extra time to hone their skills, research leads, grow their networks, and build better relationships with prospects. If you’re struggling to keep your day on track or balance the various functions needed in your role, consider brushing up your time management skills.
While implementing a sales tech stack can have a huge impact on a team’s performance, it’s not enough by itself. If you’re in the process of implementing a sales tech stack or already have one in place, take some time to revisit these four key sales soft skills. Tooling without human skill is useless, but the two together can drive improved sales performance.