What Are The Characteristics of a Successful Salesperson?

10 Minutes

At the heart of any successful sales team are your salespeople. Their passion and confidence are what drive customers to your business. Without the characteristics of a successful salesperson, your company will come unglued, and your sales team will never realise its potential.

 But is there a way how to build a successful sales team? It all comes down to the people you hire and the qualities they embody. Though you can learn effective techniques in a sales training course, some people will naturally be better at selling than others, and it's those top salespeople you want on your team. 

 When you're in the process of building a successful sales team, certain qualities weigh heavier than others. From listening skills to ambition, confidence and calmness, choosing salespeople with these qualities will enable you to build a successful sales team. 

 Once you've created a team of successful salespeople, consider levelling up their skills further with Pareto's Advanced Sales Excellence course. In this article, we explore the characteristics and personality traits of salespeople you should look out for when hiring for your sales team. 

The Most Common Types of Salespeople

Before we get into the personal and professional qualities that a successful salesperson often has, it's worth examining the top personality traits of salespeople. When building a successful sales team, you should keep these personalities in mind so you can build the most effective and flexible sales team. 

While not every salesperson can fit neatly into one of these categories, consider what traits best match your current sales team. If any of the main personality types are missing from your team, keep it in mind as you go through the talent acquisition process. Here are a few of the most common types of salespeople:

  • Relational - These salespeople are focused on building relationships with clients. They’ll thrive with long-term clients, where they can use their friendly persona to build trust and repeat sales.
  • Passive - Passive salespeople are good at working with many different people, and their empathy skills ensure they can give every customer what they want.   
  • Closer - Closers will focus on making each sale successful and know how to use their charm and passion to close a deal.
  • Scripted - These salespeople feel more comfortable following a sales script than ad-libbing. They have a clear sense of brand identity and can communicate this with customers when cold calling. 
  • Opener - Openers tend to focus more on building leads than closing sales. This is because they know how to communicate well and use persuasive techniques to get customers to follow up. 
  • Networker - Networkers thrive when they have to meet new people. They are confident, outgoing and can work equally well on a sales team or alone. 
  • Scorekeeper - These top salespeople are focused on data and are constantly working to improve the number of sales they make and how they can make their technique better.
  • Specialist - They are experts in the product or service you are selling and are ready to give their potential customers all the information they require. 
  • Conversationalist - Conversationalists have a warm, friendly persona and are good at making customers want to return to a business.
  • Relentless - A relentless salesperson won’t rest until their customer has agreed to a sale. They know how to make customers feel valued and favour repeat contact. 
  • Strategist - The strategist knows all the best sales techniques and may favour roles such as a sales team leader.

Characteristics of a Successful Salesperson

Building a successful sales team is first and foremost about understanding your business and which of the above types of salespeople will work best for your brand. However, as well as broad personality types, there are some characteristics of a successful salesperson you should look for in your sales team to increase your chances of success.

Active listener

Successful salespeople don’t always have to sell - they know when to sit back and listen. As an active listener, you should focus on absorbing what your customer is saying when you’re not giving the sales pitch and respond with relevant questions to further your understanding. 


When you're building a successful sales team, it might not be immediately clear how useful this quality is. However, one study found that 82% of top salespeople exhibit high curiosity levels. Not only will curious salespeople want to find out all they can about the customer they are selling to, but they are also more likely to develop their skills with sales training throughout their career.  

Good communication

It may seem obvious, but good communication skills are one of the most important qualities for salespeople and the foundation for building a successful sales team. You're unlikely to sell very well without the ability to create a meaningful conversation with a customer. However, a good communicator can come off as friendly, reputable, and trustworthy – all of which will increase the likelihood of closing. 


Empathy is a salesperson’s ability to understand their customer. Without this trait, they won’t know how to persuade them to purchase. Proving you care about your customer’s problems will also go a long way to building trust between your company and the customer. 


Finally, you can't be a successful salesperson without having a passion for your product or service. Passionate salespeople will go the extra mile to secure a sale and will be more invested in building long-term customer relationships. Conversely, without this belief in your product or service, your salespeople will always be unmotivated, and you're unlikely to build a successful sales team.

Growing Your Sales Team

If you’re looking for ways to grow and improve your sales team, we select the very best in emerging sales talent with the characteristics of a successful salesperson. We also commit to providing each of our graduates with uphttps://www.pareto.co.uk/contact-us/-to-date, world-class sales training both face-to-face and digitally. Our unique approach offers each graduate 128 combined hours of industry-renowned training to skyrocket their chances of success. 

Get in touch today, and with our expertise and over 25 years of experience, you can empower your employees and realise the potential of your sales team. 

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