Candidate Resources

Considering a Job in Sales? You’ll Need These 5 Skills

June 29, 2021

If there’s one thing that we learned in 2020, it’s that we all need to be ready to pivot in our careers at any time. However, if you’re considering a career in sales, it can feel scary and overwhelming.

You may not know how you’ll sell an employer on your ability to do the job, and there are new tools and processes to familiarize yourself with. Fortunately, you don’t have to start from zero.

Many of the skills that you learned in your previous jobs can help you to be successful in your new role. Let’s look at the five skills you’ll need to thrive in your new sales career.

5 Transferable Sales Skills

Knowing how to prospect and navigate a CRM is one aspect of sales, but believe it or not, it isn’t the most important part. Hard skills such as these can be learned, but many soft skills can be hard to teach and will be crucial to your success.

Here are the five transferable skills you’ll need to be successful in sales at Forward Financing, a Boston-based fintech company:

1. Communication

Communication is the number one skill every successful salesperson should have. But having strong communication skills doesn’t just refer to the ability to express your point — it also means you have to be a good listener.

Verbal and nonverbal communication are both essential aspects of sales. You need to tell a compelling story and sell your prospect on your product or service. But first you must ask the right questions and listen to your customer’s response.

For example, our sales team at Forward Financing works to understand what our small business customers need to help grow their businesses – whether that may be a higher approval amount or longer estimated payment length.

Understanding who your customer is and what is important to them are the most important parts of sales.

2. Persistence

If you consider yourself a persistent person, then you may be well-suited for a career in sales. As a salesperson, your job is to move your prospects through the sales process, which can be incredibly challenging.

You’ll hear the word “no” more times than you can count, but you have to continue doing your job regardless. Prospects who you believed were just days away from purchasing may suddenly disappear and stop talking to you altogether.

You may experience technological challenges and encounter difficulties with other team members. The ability to persevere and work through the problems thrown at you will help to you continue moving forward.

3. Ability to Build Relationships

The most successful sales professionals are good at building relationships with other people. Your prospects and customers can tell if you care about helping them, which is what allows them to trust you.

When you get to know your customers, you’ll understand their pain points and how to serve them better. Ultimately, your customers will start to trust that you’ll guide them to the right products and services.

4. Time Management

If you want to be successful in sales, you will need to plan and manage your time well. You will also need to have processes in place that allow you to hit your sales targets and meet your monthly or quarterly goals.

And you need to have the ability to stay focused on what’s important. Things will come up throughout your day, and you need to know how to shift gears and reprioritize your activities as necessary.

5. Teamwork

Finally, you need to have good teamwork skills. At first glance, this may surprise you since sales is an independent career. But the truth is, sales is a team effort, and you cannot be successful on your own. At Forward, our sales team has a “we before me” culture. We celebrate each other’s wins, such as when a team member gets a great customer review or hits their monthly funding volume goal.

If you can work well with other sales reps, you’ll be able to deliver a better experience for your customers. So focus on helping out your colleagues, and know when you need to ask for help.

Looking for a new job at a Boston-based fintech? View all of our open opportunities here and learn more about our culture on our careers page.

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