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Building The Perfect Sales Team: Characteristics Of A Successful Sales Person

At the heart of any successful sales team are your salespeople. Their passion and confidence are what drives customers to your business and without successful sales people, your company would come unglued. 

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

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

Once you’ve created a team of successful sales people, consider levelling up their skills even further with Pareto's Advanced Sales Excellence course. For now, keep reading for the skills you should look out for when you’re hiring for your sales team. 

Common Types of Top Sales People

Before we get into the personal and professional qualities that successful sales people often have, it’s worth examining their top personality types. When you’re building a successful sales team, it will help to keep these personalities in mind so you can build the most effective and flexible sales team. 

While not every salesperson will be able to fit neatly into one of these categories, consider where your current sales team most likely fits. If any of the main personality types are missing from your team, keep it in mind as you go through the talent acquisition process.

The most common types of sales people are: 

                        1. Relational: These sales people 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.
                        2. Passive: Passive sales people are good at working with many different people, and their empathy skills ensure they can give every customer what they want.   
                        3. Closer: Closers will be entirely focused on making each sale successful and know how to use their charm and passion to close a sale.
                        4. 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. 
                        5. Opener: Openers tend to focus more on building leads than closing sales. They know how to communicate well and use persuasive techniques to get customers to follow up. 
                        6. 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. 
                        7. 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.
                        8. 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. 
                        9. Conversationalist: Typically, they have a warm, friendly persona, and are good at making customers want to return to a business.
                        10. 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. 
                        11. Strategist: The strategist knows all of the best sales techniques, and may favour roles as the leader of a sales team. 

                        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 that you should look for in all of your sales team to increase your chances of success.

                        Active listener

                        Successful salespeople don’t always have to be selling - they know when to sit back and listen. As an active listener, you should stay focused 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 levels of curiosity. Not only will curious salespeople want to find out all they can about the customer they are selling to, but 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. Without the ability to create a meaningful conversation with a customer, you’re unlikely to sell very well. A good communicator will be able to come off as friendly, reputable, and trustworthy – all of which will increase the likelihood of closing. 


                        Related to communication, 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 also be more invested in building long term relationships with customers. Without this belief in your product or service, your salespeople will always be unmotivated, and you’re unlikely to build a successful sales team. 

                        If you’re looking for ways to grow improve your sales team, we select the very best in emerging sales talent. We also commit to providing each of our graduates with up-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 sky-rocket their chances of success. With our expertise, you can empower your employees and build a successful sales team. 

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