The top characteristics of highly successful salespeople

What are the traits that make a star salesperson stand out from the crowd?

What qualities do they possess that ensure they are always a step closer than their peers to making that next big sale?

We’ve looked at the most successful salespeople and here are the top characteristics that we’ve identified!

Let us know which you agree with and which you’d change on Twitter @Artesian with the hashtag #superseller.

Top Ten Characteristics of Highly Successful Salespeople

Great listeners

Top performing sales people don’t rush in. They listen first, talk later. They understand that by using harnessing the power of social channels, their customers and prospects will tell them everything they need to know. But they don’t sit back and wait for information to fall into their lap.

Social listeners take the time to learn about their customers and prospects, and answer some all-important questions. What’s important to them? What challenges do they face, goals they do set, what’s keeping them up at night? What can be learned from past successes and failures? What changes are happening in their business and in their market? What do they look for in a business partner, and what does great service looks like from their point of view?

Top Ten Characteristics of Highly Successful Salespeople

Problem SolversStar sellers look for signals that indicate a customer or prospect might need their help

. They don’t wait for an RFP, but use all the tools available to identify and quantify problems, perhaps even before the customer knows they have them. This allows them to gain first mover advantage by delivering solutions.

Top Ten Characteristics of Highly Successful Salespeople


The best sales people are organised and structured, but not driven solely by their diaries. They can multi-task and remain agile, but remain in control by building time into every day to undertake the tasks that count – researching their customers, growing their network, listening, sharing and building their reputation.

They utilise the tools available to them to balance their schedule, the needs of their customers and wider network, manage budgets, and keep projects and pipelines on track. After all this, they still have the capacity needed to seize new opportunities.

Top Ten Characteristics of Highly Successful Salespeople


The best sales people ask questions and delve deep. They fill in gaps in their knowledge and understanding of buyer and prospect needs, goals, and problems by researching and posing questions.

They utilise the customer themselves, but they also look to peers, suppliers, end customers, thought leaders and market commentators. They are not afraid to ask tough questions and go where others fear to tread in order to uncover unique insight.

Top Ten Characteristics of Highly Successful Salespeople


A great salesperson knows their strengths and weaknesses, and finds ways to fill the gaps. They adopt new behaviours, seek out opportunities to direct their strengths to best effect, and learn how to manage their weaknesses in order to work in the best interests of the buyer.

But more than this, they always look to establish social proof of their achievements, and take daily steps to build their personal brand.

They nurture their own development as a sales person, track their successes, analyse their mistakes, and seek to understand how well they target, connect and share online.

They measure their performance improvement and ask for feedback as well as recommendations.


Top Ten Characteristics of Highly Successful Salespeople

Outcomes focussed

The best salespeople deliver on their promises and always aim to exceed expectations. They don’t just look to the easily achievable, but set big goals and thrive on the challenge of achieving them.

They take daily actions to deliver at each milestone and tackle any obstacles that stand between them and achieving their goal, without losing sight of their customer’s needs.

The best outcome for a great seller is not getting that commission cheque, but helping customers fix problems or exploit opportunities.

Top Ten Characteristics of Highly Successful Salespeople

Customer-centric value givers

Great sales people are always asking – how can I make my customer more successful?

Their approach is not generic; instead they ensure that every interaction relates directly to their customer’s agenda.

They collect and use customer and market information in ways that enrich their interactions and enhance the customer experience at every touch point.

They look for common ground; they don’t aggressively self-promote but instead help influence decisions.

They provide evidence to demonstrate that, above all else, they are in service to their customers.

They share ideas, best practice and impart advice to make life easier.

They are driven by value not personal success.

Top Ten Characteristics of Highly Successful Salespeople

Relationship builders

Top sales people are networkers. They spend time growing their network, but they believe in doing more than simply connecting. They build relationships by keeping in regular contact.

They keep track of what is going on in the customer’s world, both by, joining groups and forums that are important to them, and engaging them in personal conversations.

They take the opportunity to retweet them, share content of value, and to congratulate them on successes.

They use the insight collected on a daily basis to constantly seek new and creative ways to stay front of mind and demonstrate value, in order to build long term, mutually beneficial relationships.

Top Ten Characteristics of Highly Successful Salespeople


Super sellers think on their feet. They possess the ability to tailor their sales approach to the needs of the customer or prospect whenever the situation demands it.

They know that doing things the way they have always done them is not necessarily the way to get business done in today’s connected world.

The best sales leaders realise that buyer behaviour has changed, and have likewise embraced a shift in their approach.

They use social media and the web to do their homework and bring perspective to their sales approach, which helps align their behaviours to those of each individual customer.

Top Ten Characteristics of Highly Successful Salespeople

Never give up

Star sellers are tireless, hardworking and persistent. When one door shuts they simply knock on another one. They use social media and the internet to help navigate their way through an organisation and identify the right people to talk to.

They uncover buying signals, sentiments and triggers at all levels within an organisation, and in doing so ensure that not only do they knock on the right doors, but that they have the right conversations, with the right people at the right time.

How many of these top ten qualities do you have? Share your stories with us on Twitter @Artesian with hashtag #superseller!

35,000 b2b sales leaders are already using our customer engagement software to do just that. Are the best sales people leaving you behind? Get an instant demo of Artesian.

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