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Sales Skills: 5 Key Tips

2 min
salesskills  ✺  sales  ✺  leadership  ✺  career  ✺  management

“Sales is not relevant to me, I am in [Function other than sales].”

Raise your hand if you've ever thought this way.

I would be the first one to raise my hand - dismissing sales as irrelevant to my role in tech.

Early in my career, the very word 'sales' conjured images of a sleazy car salesman trying to sell me unnecessary options for my new vehicle.

As my career progressed, however, my perspective started to shift.

I realized that sales is far more than just transactions and numbers. It's about building relationships, understanding deep-seated needs, adding value and offering meaningful solutions.

Sales acumen, I discovered, is like financial literacy – a universal, indispensable skill that transcends job titles, experience levels and functions.

To demystify sales and showcase its broad relevance, I reached out to my friend Aaron Norris, a former Principal Account Exec at Amazon Web Services. He is now dedicated to advancing the careers of Account Execs, focusing on long-term happiness, health, and wealth.

Here are 5 invaluable tips he shared with me on how sales skills can benefit any role:

1. Discovery: Identifying and understanding your customer's top priority challenges and designing unique value-adding solutions is critical in sales. This is not a one-time effort rather an ongoing process of research, obtaining insights, collaborating and establishing feedback loops to deliver the right solutions and delight customers.

2. Stakeholder Engagement: Adapting the narrative, style, channel and frequency of messaging enables sellers to effectively engage with and obtain buy-in from internal and external executives, technical, and business stakeholders at various levels.

3. Influence: Effective influence in sales hinges on clear, honest communication and a deep understanding of customer needs and team dynamics. It's about building trust by consistently delivering on promises and showing commitment to customers’ and colleagues' success. This approach not only drives decision-making but also strengthens team collaboration, accounting for their unique skills, needs and interests.

4. Resilience: Navigating a high-pressure and target-driven environment, sales professionals often face rejection and must rebound after losses. To remain composed and resilient during challenging times, they prioritize customer focus, engage the executive team early, and make decisions with a long-term perspective.

5. Relationship Building: Building authentic relationships in sales requires prioritizing your customers' success over closing a deal. It involves becoming their most trusted advisor by investing time in building the partnership, understanding their goals and strategy, providing value at every opportunity, and celebrating their wins.

Looking for additional insights on the topic? Follow Aaron. He posts daily on the topics of enterprise sales, personal development and leadership.