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12 Skills Today’s Software Sales Reps Need To Have

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12 key traits of a successful sales repSoftware sales reps in today’s world need to have a wide range of different skills in order to be successful. The fundamentals are still the same, but now there are new and necessary abilities you need to play with the big boys.

It’s not just about smiling and dialing or who can knock on the most doors. Those days are long gone. While sales is still a contact sport, you need to be well rounded if you want to make it rain.

So what skills does a software sales rep need to be an All Star level talent?

Here’s a quick list for you to add to your workout routine if you want to make it to the big leagues in the software sales arena:

1. Ability To Demo Software

If you don’t know the product or how to present it, you’re gonna be dead in the water. Here are some tips for presenting:

  • Think high water, understand how the software was intended to be used.
  • Think macro – be aware of the intended flow of data – don’t get caught up in the small stuff.
  • Build direction and a story. Leave it at that, need anything more – know where to go to get answers.

2. Speak C-Level Language

Decision makers are at the top of the food chain and you need to be able to earn their respect as well as speak to them in a way they understand.

3. Strong Communication Skills

Being a slick talker isn’t going to cut it. Writing skills are a necessity with email, LinkedIn, and other digital communication channels that clients may use.

You also have to understand the proper etiquette. With all the communication channels available now, you need to know what’s appropriate tone and voice for each and how to use them for different types of messages.

4. Experience

This one you can’t work hard to get, it only comes with time. You can shave time off by learning from more experienced reps. Earn results where you’re at and you’ll be able to climb the ladder faster and get some shots in the big league sooner.

5. Coachability

The software world is constantly advancing, you need to be ready to continuously learn and stay ahead of the competition. This means working with your teammates and listening to your leaders with an open mind. Then take action.

6. Ability To Work Independently

This isn’t high school and the teacher isn’t checking to see if you’re keeping up with your homework.

You gotta be able to get out there and drive yourself to achieve success. Yes, your team will be there to support you, but you need to take ownership and accountability for achieving your goals.

7. Prospecting

Know how to prospect intelligently and efficiently to the right people with the right message. It’s not just door knocking.

8. Management Skills

An understanding and (maybe) some experience in management can be helpful. But you know that your true passion is in the field.

9. Excellent Fact Finder And Researcher

The more you know going in and can prepare, the better you’re going to be in action. Using technology to do some recon work and get your info straight should be second nature by now.

10. Able To Do Needs Analysis

How are you going to add value to your client? What benefits do they need that you can offer?

You have to know their needs and their goals. Without that, you’re spewing in the wind and no one wants to hear it.

Listen to your prospects, understand what they need, then position yourself as the solution, if you are the right solution (see number 11).

11. Asks The Right Questions

It doesn’t stop at asking questions and listening, you need to know the right questions to ask and how to get the right answers. Two people can be talking to each other but having two different conversations.

Knowing how to get the right answers to the right questions will help you determine if the client is the right fit. This is how you put the client in the best position to be successful in the long term and build a strong reputation.  

12. Know When To Walk Away,

You need to recognize when it’s not a fit or not the right time and accept that.

Use the available technology to set reminders and follow ups for 6 + months down the road if it makes sense. But don’t push a sale that isn’t going to happen or won’t add value for the client right now.


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