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3 Skills Every Salesperson Needs In 2023 featured image

3 Skills every salesperson needs in 2023

To fill the pipeline, increase close rates and hit targets sales team need skills. But sales have changed. Email is saturated and no one has a desk phone. There are 3 skills every salesperson needs in 2023. 

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Digital Rapport

Nobody answers the phone and prospects are learning to ignore emails from people they don’t recognise.

If you look at your own inbox, you’ll see a ton of work-related emails which you are probably fighting to keep on top of and you’ll get a bunch of outreach messages from people, many of them following the same sequences.

Many have opted for the ‘hit them up and see who bites’ strategy. In reality, pitch slapping as it is known in the sales training world is all too common.

The most successful salespeople today aren’t those who are sending templated messages, it’s the teams that have mastered the craft of creating digital rapport.

They have learned how to break the ice on social media, so any email, or direct message asking for a call is received more positively because it’s harder to say no to someone you know. 

Many sales leaders underestimate the sizeable shift this makes in the skillset of salespeople.

I’ve literally been in an office full of telephone terrorists, who fall to pieces when it comes to striking up a message-driven conversation on LinkedIn.

Everything they know about in-person sales conversations and telephone calls goes out the window and those same people turn timid and begin worrying about ‘making a mistake’.

Social media isn’t the place to pitch, it’s a place to get the call. Most are trying to pitch products and book calls rather than build rapport and get a call.

The top 1% of social sellers don’t pitch on social media, they build digital rapport and curiosity to move to a prequalification call. The key is creating a rapport and learning the art of a digital conversation.

Sales and Content Writing

Most companies supply their sales team with social posts and ask them to share their marketing propaganda. This might help build brand awareness, but it won’t help salespeople win business.

In a recent study of more than 10,000 decision-makers, 62% of decision-makers will review a salesperson’s LinkedIn profile before deciding to respond to an email or message. Almost half of them said that a lack of content or just posting marketing content would reduce their likelihood of responding.

The adage “people buy from people they know, like and trust” is never more prevalent.

Content isn’t simply a marketing piece. It’s a way of connecting. If a salesperson is connected to a prospect for 2-3 weeks prior to outreach, they will likely see 1 marketing piece of content from the salesperson in their feed. If the salesperson is posting 2-3 times per week, with more human and authentic posts, a prospect will see 4-5 pieces.

Instead of copy and pasting posts, if the content is customised with a mix of personal and non-promotional posts, sales reps will create a more human side to themselves. Which will be more endearing and engaging for prospects.

Content isn’t about convincing people to buy, it’s about building trust and curiosity, to make the outreach process easier.

If you combine content, digital rapport building and outreach over a 14 day period…

  • Prospects will view the salesperson’s profile 4 times
  • See 3 pieces of content from the salesperson
  • Will have responded to a comment or DM twice

Now, imagine how that changes the responsivity of your prospects.

Selling Smart With Automation

Sales is changing. The skills-set needed is changing. There is no doubt that automation has a part to play in opening up opportunity. There are a ton of places where automation can make the sales process easier. But, let’s be honest, most sales automation for outreach is poorly put together.

The big issue is data sources, as many of the sources throw in rogue contacts. This means hitting up the wrong people or, as was seen recently, trying to be too clever with personalisation (without checking the data). Including personalisation fields on their industry and company which doesn’t read well or references a past role.

The reliance on automation without research or thinking the process through from the recipients’ perspective means many campaigns fail as a result. Research, planning and understanding automation and their impact on prospects are critical skills to getting the best from automation.

Of course, the real issue then is bad automation. Causing more prospects to go onto a ‘GDPR Do not Contact list’ which scuppers future contact.

In 2023, the landscape salespeople are operating in will be noisier and more competitive and the skillset to thrive in this new world of digital will be more essential than ever.

These are 3 skills every salesperson will need to master to get ahead in 2023.


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