Essential Skills

In today's competitive business landscape, sales professionals are required to possess a diverse set of skills to stand out and thrive in their roles.

The ability to impress future employers relies on demonstrating expertise in these key areas that align with the evolving demands of the market. In this article, we’ll be highlighting all the essential skills that sales professionals should cultivate and explaining why these abilities are crucial to your career success.

Top 7 sales skills to develop this year 

1. Engagement with technology

In the digital age, sales professionals must be tech-savvy and adaptable to new tools and platforms. For example, being able to demonstrate proficiency in customer relationship management (CRM) systems, data analytics tools, or online communication platforms allows salespeople to optimise their productivity and effectiveness.

2. Resilience

Resilience is a crucial trait for sales professionals as the sales journey can notoriously be filled with rejection, setbacks, and challenges. Employers value individuals who can persevere through adversity and learn from their failures, so those who can maintain a positive mindset and bounce back from these are more likely to achieve long-term success.

3. Data-driven

In today's data-rich environment, sales professionals need to harness the power of data to make informed decisions and drive growth. Proficiency in data analysis and interpretation enables them to identify patterns, trends, and customer preferences.

4. Networking

Networking skills have always been vital for sales professionals, and they remain highly relevant today. Building a robust network of contacts allows salespeople to expand their reach, generate leads, and uncover new business opportunities. Additionally, networking provides avenues for personal and professional growth by knowledge sharing with other professionals in the field.

5. Customer service

Exceptional customer service is the backbone of successful sales relationships. Sales professionals who prioritise the needs and satisfaction of their clients foster trust and loyalty. Effective communication, active listening, and a customer-centric mindset are essential for delivering personalised experiences and building enduring relationships. Employers seek sales professionals who can provide outstanding customer service, as it leads to repeat business, positive referrals, and long-term success.

6. Collaboration

Sales professionals rarely work in isolation. Collaborative skills are vital for working effectively within teams, cross-functional departments, and with external stakeholders. The ability to collaborate fosters synergy, encourages knowledge sharing, and enhances problem-solving capabilities. Successful sales professionals recognise that collaborating with colleagues, support teams, and management leads to improved performance, customer satisfaction, and overall business growth.

7. Influencing

Influencing skills are crucial for sales professionals to persuade potential customers and close deals. Being able to articulate the value proposition effectively, adapt communication styles to different audiences, and address objections are vital aspects of the sales process. By mastering the art of influencing, sales professionals can build trust, overcome barriers, and win over clients. Employers highly value individuals who can influence and persuade effectively, as it directly impacts the bottom line.


Sales vacancies get filled fast. In fact, a quarter of suitable applications are received within the first 24 hours of a vacancy being advertised, and nearly half are received in the first five days. On top of this, permanent roles take an average of 15 days to fill.

With demand for sales talent growing fast, employers are offering top salary packages to attract the best. Take a look at the average salaries for sales roles across the UK to find out exactly what you could be earning throughout your sales career.

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