Sales reps are among the highest-paid workers in the US. In fact, they rank at #3 in the category of highest paying jobs without a degree.
Of course, the amount you can earn depends on a few things. One, the industry you’re working in. To make any significant amount of money, selling low-cost items to consumers will take a lot more time and effort than selling high-margin, big-ticket items in a B2B environment. It’s a numbers game.
Want some real-world statistics?
According to Monster.com, here are some of the higher sales salaries.
Consulting sales reps have an average base salary of $120, 000 to $250,000, plus additional commissions of $25,000 to $3 million.
Medical device reps have a base that ranges from $0 to $70,000 and commissions from $200,000 to $300,000.
Consumer packaged goods sales reps are looking at a base of $150,000 to $180,000 and commissions of $100,000 to $150,000.
As you can see from that, there’s quite a difference in what great reps can make, depending on their market.
But there’s much more involved. First, you need to become a great sales rep. Or maybe you just need to up your game. Here are some tips and tools to get you there.
The Essential Qualities of a Successful Sales Reps
Some would say that a true salesperson is a born salesperson—and they might be right. Because many of the characteristics that are the foundation of successful salespeople are character traits.
Here are just a few of the key traits of star sales reps:
Relationship driven. Sales are all about relationships and every salesperson needs to be a people person.
Building solid relationships requires gaining trust—by promising satisfaction and then delivering on that promise every single time.
This type of person is authentic, knowing full well that such a relationship doesn’t spring up without time and effort. For a salesperson, that means turning prospects into clients and being there when support is needed after a sale is final.
Focused. Salespeople have goals and need focus to achieve them. This focus means they’re driven. They’re able to push and self-motivate themselves.
However, this focus and drive must be tempered with empathy and concern for their clients, understanding their needs while keeping their eyes on the prize. Make the sale but make a sale that fulfills the needs of the customer. In the end, this creates loyal relationships.
Good listeners. How can you understand the needs of your clients if you don’t listen to them?
When it comes to sales, experts say it’s necessary to listen actively and perceptively. Being a perceptive listener means reading between the lines. Is it possible to gauge their feelings or thoughts by how they act as they speak—their body language or tone of voice? If so, do it.
What about tools? What kind do great salespeople need?
Essential Sales Tools
There is an enormous number of tools available to the 21st-century salesperson, so this won’t be an exhaustive list. Here are just a few of the most important.
Lead generation and prospecting. You can’t make a sale without leads and/or prospects. These tools can help gather and store information on prospects and even rate them. Then keep track of engagement until you turn them into a customer.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software. Today’s CRM is a complex piece of software that manages the client relationship between the initial sale.
Sales intelligence software. Both sales and marketing teams benefit from this tool. With it, they have data that enables them to analyze potential customers. It helps define those who might be interested in their products, understand their intent, and more.
In the end, the size and type of sales team will dictate the type of tools needed. However, when it comes to sales skills and the qualities that make a great salesperson, they apply everywhere.