You’re writing your resume and getting ready to apply for jobs. Suddenly, everything in your mind comes to a halt. “What are my REAL skills? What should I say about my experience?” So. Many. Questions.
You’re not alone — most job seekers don’t know what recruiters are looking for, but we do! We got the inside scoop from our recruiters on the top skills you need to be successful in a sales tech role. Here are the key skills identified by our talent pros.
A coachable person is prepared and eager for change and growth — even if it’s uncomfortable. Based on feedback, they are also prepared to unlearn mindsets and behaviors that no longer serve them. Being coachable is a mental attitude and extremely necessary for starting a job in tech sales.
Larry Reitbauer, veteran talent recruiter at MarketStar, explains why coachability is necessary for jobs in tech sales. “There is a correlation between coachability and success. Tech sales jobs may seem new, even if someone has other types of sales experience. That’s why being coachable and taking feedback and guidance from managers is important.”
Crucial qualities to be coachable:
- Self-Awareness – Be aware of your strengths and limitations. Encourage and value the opinion of others.
- Willingness to Learn – Be eager and jump at opportunities to grow, improve, and learn new skills.
- Desire – Have a desire to constantly improve and increase potential.
To find more information on what it means to be coachable, visit: https://liveboldandbloom.com/12/life-coaching/coachability
Build Sales Acumen
Sales acumen is having a knowledge of how to sell. This is not the common misconception of trying to close a sale with every customer. Having a strong sales acumen means you are motivated, good at nurturing relationships, understand unspoken objections, and have resilience to handle rejection. Having a solid handle on this craft allows you to understand your customer and how to approach a sale.
Self-motivated sales people build a relationship with the customer by seeking to understand their situation, working through their challenges, and offering the best solution. Understanding unspoken objections is critical when building the relationship. Customers often convey their feelings or dissatisfaction when they discuss their situation. Understanding when to persist, try again later, or back away is helpful in this process. If the sale falls through and is rejected, a sales person with a strong sales acumen, does not let that stop their momentum to make sales in the future.
Larry tells us about how this type of sales acumen comes to life with one of our sales teams. “In tech sales you should always looks for a win-win.” He continues, “In other words, it has to truly be a good solution for the buyer and the seller.”
For more information on sales acumen, visit: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/sales-acumen-34426.html
Be More Articulate
Being articulate is the ability to express thoughts and ideas clearly. “People equate articulation with intelligence. If you can’t speak clearly to what you're selling, then it raises the question if you really know what you’re talking about.” Larry says, “You have to be able to listen, discover the needs of the business that you are talking to, show that you understand by articulating it back, and then present your product or service as a potential solution for what their needs are.”
Without being articulate, you may lose your credibility. To become articulate in your speech you must communicate confidently by being truly knowledgeable about your topic, be able to progress the discussion, know how to stay on point, speak in a way that is clear and concise, and be able to provide clarity.
You may want to consider this approach in a sales conversation: Take a moment to think before you speak. Not only will it eliminate verbal pauses and prevent incomplete confusing thoughts, your answer will be more complete and well-thought out. When you are inevitably asked about a topic you are unclear on, request a follow-up and prepare yourself on the topic. Other suggestions are to avoid slang terms and use correct grammar.
For more information on becoming articulate, check out this article: https://askopinion.com/how-to-be-more-articulate
Become a Problem Solver
Problem solving is a crucial part of being successful in tech sales. You must listen to the situation of potential customers and understand their needs in order to effectively present a creative solution. Offering the same benefit pitch to each customer doesn’t work. Problem solving must be put into action.
Alison Doyle, author and job search and career expert, identifies 5 primary steps in the problem-solving process. We like this process and believe it is a solid approach to helping a customer.
- Analyzing the factors or causes contributing to the unwanted situation – What caused the problem? What needs to be addressed to resolve it?
- Generating a set of alternative interventions to achieve your end goals – What are the potential solutions? This may take multiple minds especially for complex problems.
- Evaluating the best solutions – What are the costs? Required resources? Potential barriers?
- Implementing a plan – Is the chosen solution working to solve the problem?
- Assessing the effectiveness of your interventions – How quickly did the course of action work? Do we need to respond differently?
For more in depth look on problem solving from Alison Doyle, visit: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/problem-solving-skills-with-examples-2063764
Build Up Your Technical Skills
If you’re going to sell technology, you are naturally going to need some level of technical skills. The goal is to be or become proficient enough to be an effective advocate of the technology you’re selling. If you are not perfect right now, don’t worry. Most employers aren’t looking for technical perfection when starting a new job. However, it is helpful to highlight the experience and skills you do have and which ones you’re working on. Showing that you invest in personal and professional development as just as important as the skills you currently possess.
At MarketStar, for example, we have a need for all different types of technical abilities. “The skills we look for vary depending on the team and client.” Larry explains. “With our Dropbox team, you have to be able to learn cloud storage, the lingo that goes with that, and the functionality of it. Much of this is offered in training and can be learned on the job. Whereas our NETGEAR team requires an established technical knowledge-base of remote cloud management.”
For more information on technical skills (and soft skills), visit: https://domain.me/technical-skills-vs-soft-skills-finding-the-balance/
With these five key skills in mind, sit back, relax, take a deep breath and go get that tech sales job!