Top 8 Must-have Skills and Qualities of a Sales Executive in India👉🏽
Afraid of hiring the wrong candidate? Wanna know how to find out if the candidate is right for you? Read this👇🏽
It feels like no matter how much effort to be put in we are not appreciated, but the moment we make a mistake the manager is after us…
That’s the line that I’ve heard from an underperformer in our team who was about to be fired.
That’s the moment I found out the importance of making the right hire, especially in your sales team.
Salespeople are basically the face of your company to your customers, and one wrong hire can ruin your culture and your company’s image in front of your customers and prospects.
And before you figure out whether or not someone is right you need to figure out what qualities he or she needs to have in order to be selected as part of your sales team.
And that’s what we will cover in this article.
Here are 8 must-have skills and qualities of sales executives in India and how you can figure out at the time of the interview itself if a candidate actually has these qualities or not!
1. Has to be multilingual
If you are selling in India you’ll have different prospects who will speak multiple languages and if your salespeople speak only one language then you are stuck.
I have a friend who speaks four languages and he works at a call centre. He’s the only person who was able to retain his job even after being absent for two months due to a family emergency. When he was on leave he would get calls to resolve issues for Odia and Telugu-speaking customers.
If you can find such people, it will give you an edge. You can quickly expand to different geographies without having to think much.
And during the interview, it’s not very difficult to figure out if somebody actually speaks multiple languages as stated in his résumé.
2. Has to be comfortable in talking
An inside sales job means calling 150 strangers every single day.
And getting rejected by almost every single one of them and still continuing to do your job with a smile on your face as if nothing has happened.
Sure you can train salespeople but if you want them to be able to handle that level of rejection then they want to be able to do it unless they are extremely comfortable talking.
Because people who are comfortable talking get on the call and get so absorbed in the conversation that they completely forget about the rejection on the last call.
This is really great because that’s what allows them to focus on the current call and be great at it!
How to figure out if a candidate can be comfortable talking?
As the interview starts he might be nervous but how comfortable does he get as the interview progresses?
Because there are no technical exams in sales interviews it’s just about talking and somebody who is good at talking can quickly get over the initial nervousness and be able to handle the conversation.
3. Quick learner
Running an inside sales team in India is tough because people leave and switch sales jobs really fast!
This means you don’t have two months to train them.
They have to be able to quickly learn everything about your product and be able to convey what they have learned to your prospects and customers like a freaking ninja!
3 ways to figure out if a candidate is a quick learner?
- By asking questions like what is the last thing you learned, if it’s something difficult you have the right person.
- By giving him an assignment that is beyond his current skill set and seeing how he approaches the problem.
- By giving him a problem that is technically challenging and seeing how he reacts.
4. Ability to use the CRM
If you are just setting up a new sales team the last thing you want is to be looking over the shoulders of every single executive to see whether they are doing their job or not.
This is where CRM comes in, CRM helps you keep track of and manage your sales team’s work without having to monitor every single one of them every minute.
But even the simplest CRM needs a basic level of tech savviness and adaptability.
If the person doesn’t like computers then no matter how good of a talker he is you won’t be able to manage his work without headaches…
How to figure out if the candidate you’re interviewing can use your CRM?
Most CRMs have video tutorials, and free trials ask him to go through those and sign up to use the CRM that you are using and if he is able to crack it, you have your answer.
If I’m on the other hand he struggles and uses a lame excuse like I’m sorry I’m not that tech savvy, then you already know that it’s gonna be tough.
5. Ability to genuinely help prospects and build a rapport
Sure you can use hacks and tricks and tactics to build and hold conversations!
But in the long run, selling is just about genuinely helping prospects and building a rapport with them! Keeping in touch and constantly trying to help them out…
Because when you genuinely help people out eventually they will want to buy and when they do, they will think of you. If somebody you are interviewing does not think that it is important to genuinely try to help prospects then you should stay away from the candidate.
How to find out if a candidate has the ability to genuinely care and build a rapport?
Just observe the interaction during the interview, if he’s not able to build rapport with you then you have no reason to believe that it would be any different with your prospects and customers.
6. Emotional intelligence (Ability to understand what the customer really means, and not just what he is saying)
After the initial chitchat sales are all about figuring out the concern behind the prospect’s questions.
Because most of the time what a prospect will say vs their core concern will be different. And as a salesperson, it’s all about understanding the actual concerns and then addressing them accordingly. For example:
Prospect: what's the process of getting support after purchase?
His actual worry - Will I / my team be able to use your product? What if we don't? Will you be there to help us?
Appropriate answer: I understand your concern and I can assure you that the most of our users, after they signup are able to use flawlessly without much guidance and if you do get stuck anywhere all you have to do is just drop a message on your WhatsApp support group, and a dedicated support executive will immediately connect with you...
How to figure out if a candidate has the right level of emotional intelligence?
Point a baseless criticism of them and see how they react?
Are they able to handle it maturely? Or do they start getting edgy?
This gives you a very good sample of how they will react when a client being difficult
Most newbie salespeople think, that they are just one more trick away from big sales…
Whereas in the long term, sales are not about using cracks and twisting the arms of the prospects.
But it’s about genuinely putting yourself in the prospect’s shoes and trying to understand their problem from their perspective.
The strange thing about people is if you understand their problem as they do, you actually get them. Then they start to feel that you must have a solution to the problem. It’s the quickest way to build trust and expedite the sale. And this is exactly why empathy is a must-have quality for salespeople.
How to quickly find out if a candidate you’re talking to is empathetic
Here’s a simple way to find out whether the candidate you’re interviewing is a crook or things like a helper – ask me this question:
We have some really good candidates and it's hard to decide, can you suggest what we should look for and how we should decide?
If he asks you a follow-up question to understand your situation better you have someone with empathy. A crook or a noob, on the other hand, will just start blabbering the points that make him look good for the job.
Closing a sale is a three-step process-
- Understanding their problem (by asking the right questions and then intently listening)
- Showing them that you can actually solve those problems.
- Once they are close to being convinced then push them for closure.
Notice that listening is the first step.
How to figure out if a candidate is a good listener
It’s very easy to figure out whether the candidate you’re talking to is actually a good listener. During the interview does he go on and on about why you should hire him, and what are his qualities or does he ask the right questions to understand the role better?
One candidate might not have all the qualities but it’s important that they have most of them.
As you can notice none of these qualities is skills are hard skills that can be learned.
Instead, they focus on the softer aspect of how a person thinks and approaches communicating with others.
Which is absolutely critical when it comes to being good at a sales job.
Now that you have some idea of what qualities to look for and how to find out if a candidate has those qualities or not, you can go out there and interview people to see if you can find the right candidates with these skills!
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