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Smart hiring: What traits do you want in an inbound sales rep?

Smart hiring: What traits do you want in an inbound sales rep?

If your company is implementing an inbound call marketing strategy, your sales reps are doubtlessly reaping the rewards of those viable leads.

In the U.S., inside sales revenues are growing 300 percent faster than outside revenues, and inside sales forces grew from 800,000 to more than 2 million people between 2009 and 2015 alone.

The question is, do you have the right people in the right seats? Research shows that the most successful reps have a specific set of personality traits and skills that help them engage with customers and close sales easier.

When seeking further inbound sales agents, you may want to seek the following traits:

  • Ability to listen. Prospects quickly get annoyed by reps who seem to be pushing for a big sale without listening to their needs and wants. Top reps resist constantly interrupting customers to tell them what they should do, and instead wait for their moment.
  • Sense of calm. Strong sales reps adjust to conversational twists without getting ruffled or blurting out the wrong responses. Your reps should be able to think on their feet.
  • Empathy. “The successful salesperson understands and appeals to the emotional, political and subconscious decision maker,” reports a study by Velocify pointing to emotional connection as the No. 1 sales strategy of top reps.
  • Lack of self-consciousness. Great reps aren’t too overly risk-averse, overly afraid of awkward conversations or overly offended if a customer doesn’t buy from them. What others see as rejection, they view as a learning opportunity.
  • Preference for selling. Your best people see paperwork, meetings and other administrative functions as a waste of the time they could spend selling. Help them minimize the busywork to keep them fully productive.
  • Willingness to learn. Top reps are especially interested in topics that will improve their sales numbers. That’s important; the Velocify study found that companies with continuous sales training realize net sales of up to 50 percent higher per employee.
  • Pessimism. Surprisingly, pessimists often come out ahead on sales calls, because they expect and plan for obstacles to making each sale.
  • Respectful persistence. Top reps understand the fine line between asking for a sale more than once and being overly obnoxious.
  • Ability to multitask. Skilled reps can select and use elements of selling strategy without pausing their conversations — and look up an item number at the same time.
  • Creativity. “(Creative people) find unique ways to solve problems,” notes Chris Fields on SmartRecruiters.com. “They are less likely to be frustrated by the daily issues of their callers and more likely to try to figure out ways to solve them.”

Can these traits be learned instead of innate? Absolutely, concludes Steve W. Martin in the Velocify study.

“Even though a salesperson may not have the bravado or charisma we typically expect of salespeople, he or she can be equally successful,” he writes. “Yes, some people are naturally gifted with personal traits that improve their likelihood of sales success. However, the skills required to achieve sales success can be learned when they are correctly identified and properly taught.”

Dial800’s CallView 360 software allows you to efficiently use call recording features to train your sales staff on do’s and don’ts. Call us for a demonstration at 1-800-700-1987.

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