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The Essential Sales Skills & Personality Traits Your Sales Team Needs

When you are looking to hire high-performing salespeople for your team, it is important to determine if their personality has what it takes. Understanding what to look for and how to identify these salesperson skills and traits will help you narrow down your sales hiring process and spend time on only candidates with high-potential.

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Non-Teachable Sales Personality Traits Are Important

Our sales hiring assessment, The DriveTest®, is scientifically backed and works to help you identify the critical sales personality traits for a salesperson to be successful. A top-producing salesperson will have the three non-teachable personality traits that together create Drive.

  • The Need for Achievement
  • Competitiveness
  • Optimism

Need for Achievement

Pursuing excellence and having a desire that is insatiable can be described as the need for achievement. Salespeople who have this skill will continue to pursue your sales goals no matter how many rejections they hear. The need for achievement helps to keep your sales team motivated long term. When you hire someone who has a low need for achievement, they will not go the extra mile, losing a sense of diligence and passion. A salesperson with a high need for achievement will be eager to share their experience of working diligently to achieve a goal over a long period of time.


While competitiveness may seem simple to spot, it can often be displayed subtly in some people. Remember, you cannot always judge a salesperson from your first impression. Competitiveness may not be able to be determined through a traditional hiring process, so it is important to add in a sales aptitude test such as The DriveTest® to test for this trait. Some salespeople who are competitive are shy but are also great active listeners, an important skill to have when looking to win the customer over to their point of view.


The final non-teachable personality trait is optimism. A salesperson with high optimism will not personalize rejections, which are common in the sales industry. These salespeople will continue to push forward to achieve their sales goals. Motivation can help a person be temporarily optimistic, but this will fade. It is important to ensure that optimism truly is a trait they were born with.

Salesperson Skills & Qualities for Your Sales Team to Have

You have identified a salesperson who is high in Drive. There are other skills a salesperson should have that are essential for your new team member to be successful in their sales role. Luckily, these sales skills can be taught, coached and refined as experience is gained.

salesperson skills and qualities your sales team must have


Confidence is a great skill to have. This means that the salesperson is able to express their thoughts and concerns freely while handling rejection well. Being able to handle situations with a sense of confidence comes with years of experience. As a sales manager, you can help to coach your sales team to be more confident by providing positive feedback in applicable situations. A confident salesperson believes in their product, which translates to the trustworthiness of the company — ultimately closing the sale. A customer or client can sense when a salesperson is wary, leading to the potential loss of a deal.


A salesperson also needs to be persuasive. Persuasiveness helps people who love the process of selling, including negotiating and changing the opinions of others. These people are easily likable and find common ground between others with ease.


Your salesperson also needs to have good relationship skills. Are they good at reading the room and determining the emotions of others? Active listening is a great sign to determine if your sales candidate has good relationship skills. They use their active listening skills to learn more about a prospect’s needs and pain points. This helps them to pinpoint solutions and make a sale.


A salesperson who is naturally-curious will have a sense of always wanting to learn more. Great salesperson skills, including curiosity, will allow for conversation to naturally flow. To a customer or client, they will appreciate the fact that the salesperson is always curious as to how they can help solve the problem at hand. A curious salesperson will want to know more about what they are selling so they can be prepared with all the knowledge they need to be successful.

Two important skills of a salesperson is to be resilient and organized


Resiliency also lands on the list of skills a salesperson should have. Coinciding with optimism, resilience is the power to bounce back from rejection. Since rejection is all too common in the sales industry, having a salesperson with a resilient attitude will allow them to continue on in their workday and stay focused. A resilient salesperson will learn from the mistakes they have made and will see each opportunity as a chance for growth.


Finally, organization is an important teachable sales skill that will help lead your salesperson to success. When your sales team is organized, they are easily able to keep track of information and tasks. This helps everyone to avoid making mistakes or overlooking prospects or clients. When your salesperson is organized, time will not be wasted needing to retrace their steps. To help keep your sales team organized, consider some of these sales planning tools.

All of these key skills for a salesperson will help lead your team to success in the long run. To build a great sales team you need to hire the right people, coach and motivate them. Our team of experts can help you find the right high-performing salespeople. Request your free trial today and join the more than 1,000 companies using The DriveTest® to improve their sales process.

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