Not sure how to create a team of successful salespeople? Start by hiring the right candidate. Making a bad hire will set your team off on the wrong foot. So, how do you know you’re making the right decision? Look for these six traits or the potential to cultivate these characteristics in candidates. A good manager can coach their employees and help encourage these soft skills in the workplace.

Guide your sales reps in developing these six habits of sales effectiveness.


Maintaining focus is beneficial for any employee but is crucial in a salesperson. A sales job includes many facets like prospecting for leads, checking in on clients, preparing sales presentations, planning sales meetings and team meetings, and handling paperwork, etc. At times, it may be difficult for an employee to stay focused on what’s important. However, this is the habit that can boost an employee’s sales effectiveness.

You can coach your employees to hone their focus and achieve success. Help them outline which accounts they need to focus on by providing comprehensive guidelines, qualifying and disqualifying criteria, and reinforcing their understanding of the ideal buyer persona.

Set your sales reps up for wins by determining what works for them, which activities should be done when, and what tasks are highly essential to accomplish.

Active Listening

Individuals who tend to listen more than they talk accomplish more. This can be a hard habit to form though, so it may be difficult to find a candidate who fits this category. However, as a manager, you can train salespeople with the right questions and strategies, and reinforce them through coaching.

By listening fully and allowing your customers to answer thoroughly, your sales reps will learn additional and vital information. This information can drive your sales reps’ next move.

Networking Master

Salespeople who are continually building relationships go beyond just following up. These individuals take every interaction as an opportunity to strengthen trust and improve their relationships with customers.

As a coach and manager, you need to ensure your salespeople have strong customer relationship skills. This characteristic will benefit the customer and your team in the long run and could help turn them into a loyal customer.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

There’s no need to “reinvent the wheel” for every need. When a salesperson approaches each engagement as a brand new idea, they’re wasting time, energy, and resources when it’s not necessary.

Instead, subject-matter experts should create playbooks to help salespeople accomplish more in a timely manner. Sales techniques that work should be included in the playbook because typically salespeople who consistently use them will be more successful than those who take a more unstructured approach.

Plus, a consistent process will aid salespeople in staying focused on balancing their tasks. This will help avoid the effect of being too “busy” so they complete all tasks on time.


Exceptional salespeople pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. When faced with a new challenge, they adapt their approach to fit a marketplace change or a buyers’ behavior style.

Sales managers can help their teams get into these habits and coach them into improvement in these three ways:

  1. Flexible Thinking – Deepen awareness and perspective by accessing different ways of thinking. This will lead to a greater understanding of how their customers think.
  2. Plan Ahead – Instead of getting stuck into one solution, have a contingency plan in place for when plan A doesn’t work. Planning allows salespeople to examine the opportunities and threats in current and future situations, and understand what resources they have to fix them.
  3. Be Curious – Curiosity helps to open the mind, enable growth, and encourage new ideas. By being curious, salespeople can develop unique approaches to problems and hopefully find the results needed.

Be Prepared

Building upon planning in adaptability, salespeople who take the time to prepare for every meeting tend to be more successful. They have a deeper understanding of the products they are selling, methods to overcome common objections, the ability to understand their customer’s needs, and what they want to accomplish in this meeting.

Managers can set clear expectations for customer meetings and coach each salesperson in specific preparation skills.

Enter every meeting with a purpose and be prepared to accomplish that purpose.

Need help moving from selection to skill development? With Caliper Precision Series, you can empower your teams with training on their specific development needs on a schedule that fits for them. What are you waiting for? Get started today!