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What Makes a Great Salesperson? 20 Qualities for Crushing 2021 Revenue Goals

It wasn’t that long ago, really, when sales and marketing were separated by a body of water that seemed impossible to bridge.

Those dark days of intrusive outbound marketing and sales techniques were perilous for sales pros and their customers alike.

Since they rarely had the opportunity to communicate with their marketing peers, they were missing out on some of the best arguments in favor of their products.

Sales and marketing teams can work together to fill in gaps, support success, and reinforce one another’s messaging. This has led to a new reassessment of what makes a sales professional truly effective. 

Sales is a hard-hitting profession that doesn't need to be aggressive to be effective. The new sales rep qualities can mix with the old to make some remarkable sales pros.


Let’s look at the ingredients that are needed for a salesperson's ultimate success in 2021.

Why You Need Good Salespeople

Hiring good salespeople should be a top priority for your business. As you know, the amount of sales you get is directly related to the success of your business. Although you know this may be crucial to your success, you may think about quantity over quality when hiring sales professionals.

This can be a big mistake. Successful businesses hire sales people with a variety of different sales strengths and qualities that work well together. 

Here are three key areas that are likely to improve when you have a good sales team:


Having good sales reps is the quickest way to bring in a considerable amount of revenue. Good sales reps have the motivation and passion to present your products or services in the best way possible so it results in a higher conversion rate. 


Great salespeople have great communication and great service. This leaves a good impression on leads and customers, which benefits your reputation.

Essentially, your prospects, leads, and customers want to deal with friendly and knowledgeable salespeople.


Great salespeople know how to build trust between your company and your prospective customers. This develops into a relationship when the prospect becomes a customer.

A salesman's job doesn't end when the deal is closed. They still take the initiative to follow up, which provides a consistent, valuable, and dependable experience. 

The salespeople you want on your team don't use sales pitches. They simply engage in a conversation with leads and customers to build lasting relationships.

This way, even if a person doesn't purchase your products or service now, they may think about your company in the future and come back to make a purchase.

The Top 12 Qualities of a Good Salesperson

A good salesperson needs more than one or two qualities to help your business reach its revenue goals. Instead, they need a mix of several qualities to handle a variety of clients, situations, and selling techniques.

Take a look at some of the top qualities that make up an unstoppable salesperson:

1. Ability to Listen


An inbound approach to sales starts by listening.

With active listening skills, you have a chance to show others you can be trusted – in other words, they can drop their guard and stop defending themselves against “being sold to.” Only then do prospective customers start to discuss their real problems and leave themselves open to building rapport.

2. Value Creation

In the old days, sales confidence came from seeing everyone as a potential customer.

Nowadays, even as prospects have become more qualified, successful organizations have shifted their focus. Today, you generate something worthwhile for prospects even before you make the sale. 

3. Adaptability

This stems from the value creation mindset. Sure, you have a defined portfolio of products and services, but you realize one size never fits all.

To create a package that meets customer needs now and in the future, you have to be willing to improvise. When you put on your listening ears, prospects give you the fuel you need. You just need to match that to what your enterprise can offer.

4. Self-Motivation

Sales people should be able to work independently with little supervision or micromanaging. They should be able to organize their days well by themselves so they can accomplish all of their necessary tasks. 

5. Communication and Collaboration

A versatile sales leader should work with marketing, but that’s only the beginning. For real and lasting success, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get involved anywhere your expertise is needed.

You might find yourself partnering with the web design or content team, the product development organization, and more. Always be alert to opportunities that will ultimately make selling easier.

Sales reps should also know how to communicate well with the people they collaborate with to generate the best results possible.

6. Understanding of Industry Trends and Technology

When it comes to the hottest new information on what prospects are thinking, nobody can beat the sales team. To make the most of that, though, ask yourself: How’s your head for data?

Turning your customer insights into actionable intelligence means recognizing when and how things are changing. Often, that means being fluent in modern business intelligence and CRM.

Sales winners of tomorrow need to embrace mobile, where everything is happening. They need to move fast and fluidly through the cloud, using its bounties to support and extend their organization. And they need to look beyond yesterday’s Excel and PowerPoint!

7. Patience

Sales don't always go according to plan with every prospective customer. Some prospects may need more time and nurturing than others and a good sales rep understands this and allows them to take the time they need.

This doesn't mean they don't follow up with them; it means they aren't pushy and they maintain a good attitude throughout the duration of the sale no matter how lengthy it may be.

8. Big Picture Thinking


Harnessing the ability to zoom out and take a bird’s eye view will give you the energy to ride high when things are down. If you’re up against a tough quota, a streak of 10 bad breaks might seem like a disaster.

When you look at the big picture – how sales fits into the partnership of marketing, product development, and strategic goals – things often look brighter.

9. Initiative

A great sales person doesn't wait for inspiration. They find it. They take the initiative to come up with new ways to sell and communicate with their prospects. 

Essentially, the good salespeople find a way, not an excuse. 

10. Passion 

When you were growing up, your parents probably told you to "love what you do." The workdays feel dreadfully long, and doing something you aren't passionate about will just bore you to death.

A successful salesperson has a passion for making connections, building relationships, and closing deals. It's what keeps them going through good times and bad, and they are still able to walk out the door each day knowing they're happy at work.

11. Tenacity

Sales takes a lot of hard work and mental stamina. Salespeople must deal with a variety of personalities, and they must endure prospecting to find qualified leads. 

A tenacious nature allows salespeople to be persistent and unshakeable. 

12. Multitasking Abilities

Salespeople must do a lot of things at one time. They have to juggle multiple deals and respond to inquiries through phone and email channels at the same time.

A salesperson that can multitask properly is an asset to any company's sales team.

8 Personality Traits of Top Salespeople

While qualities and sales skills play an important role in excelling in the sales world, it can also come down to personality traits.

The best salespeople are:

13. Modest


No one likes a bragger – and a great salesperson knows how to do their job without pushing their business onto others.

Modest salespeople position themselves as team players and are more willing to provide consultation to create value with prospects. When a sales guy is pushy and sell-y, it only deters prospects.

14. Goal-Oriented

Setting goals for yourself is a way to keep yourself motivated. And the best salespeople are constantly creating new goals for themselves to keep them on track and on top of their tasks.

Whether its finding right-fit prospects, running discovery calls, or closing a certain number of deals, a determined salesperson will set forth personal and professional goals to push them forward.

15. Inquisitive

While knowing how to answer questions thoroughly and easily is an important element of working in sales, asking questions is just as important.

A great salesperson knows how to ask deeper questions beyond just what the prospect wants, and they know how to interview people without making it feel like an interrogation.

16. Empathetic

Being in sales and closing a deal requires trust, listening, and respect. One trait that all great salespeople have when communicating with prospects is empathy.

Being empathetic helps you anticipate the needs of your prospects and allows you to get in their heads to understand how they're feeling. This, in turn, can help you provide better informed solutions and answers.

17. Outgoing


Sales is all about connecting and engaging with prospects and customers. So, naturally, a strong salesperson knows how to strike a conversation and get along with anyone they may talk to.

It's more than just being a good communicator – anyone can learn to say the right things. The best salespeople have a genuine interest in helping others and finding the best solution to their problems.

18. Enthusiastic

People can tell when other people are just playing nice. It's another thing to actually be nice! 

Being an enthusiastic salesperson means you can always keep yourself motivated and striving to close more deals and get more customers for your business.

19. Assertive

Great salespeople know how to assert themselves to position themselves as experts in their fields so they can win more deals. Prospects and leads are less likely to listen to someone who is passive when communicating a message.

Assertive people communicate their ideas and opinions in a clear and effective way while remaining respectful of the person they are talking to. 

20. Confident

Confidence is something that displays a salesperson's competence to their prospects and leads. It is also something that can rub off on other people. 

If a salesperson isn't confident in their abilities to sell or in their company's products, then it is unlikely that the customer will feel confident in their abilities either.

A good salesperson can confidently explain how your service or product can solve a problem for the prospect.

The Sales Function Will Never Go Away – It’s Just Getting Better

In a world where brands are embracing chatbots and marketing automation, it might seem like the role of sales is getting smaller. When you look closely at most organizations, however, it becomes obvious sales isn’t shrinking.

It’s just getting more agile.

Marketing is never – and has never been – intended as a rival to sales. A robust marketing team makes the salesperson’s job much easier by ensuring prospects are qualified and familiar with the brand before they ever need to take up your time.

But, sure enough, the sales pro will always be there at that key point in the journey, bringing that long-nurtured relationship to the next level.

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Erika Giles

Erika Giles

Erika is a Marketing Copywriter at Bluleadz. She is a huge fan of houseplants and podcasts about conspiracy theories. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, and enjoying the outdoors.