What makes a Good Sales Rep

What makes a great sales rep?

What makes a good sales rep is a subject that I am asked about often and have fairly good answers for. Given that much of my belief about sales success centers around the idea that sales is 80% learned and 20% innate skill, I focus my response around the qualities that are going to help sales reps LEARN.

 what makes a good sales person

There are the obvious qualities like basic intelligence that are important. It is critical that your sales reps are going to be able to comprehend skills and topics in terms of their importance. The other skill in this area, however, is how quickly and easily they are able to take the skill or topic and mirror it or simply regurgitate. When I think of regurgitation, I am not looking at it in a demeaning way. I actually think the imitation ability - to take something that works and use it -  is a sign of a potentially good sales rep.

What to Ask in an Interview determine a Good Sales Rep

When I interview sales reps, I will often ask them a question like, “What makes you pick or want to pick sales as a career?” I will typically get a response which they “think” I want to hear like, “I am competitive and I thought it would be a great fit” or, “I like solving problems for customers.” These are great answers and often true, BUT I also remind them of the obvious, “Do you like money?” 


Most will of course say, “Yes!” I then ask, “Shouldn’t that rank really high on your reasons to pick sales as a career?” Most of the time they will again agree, “Yes!”


I then ask them the same question, “What makes you pick or want to pick sales as a career?” and I wait to see what their answer is.


What are you ultimately looking for a good sales rep to do?

What I am ultimately looking for is their ability to pick up direction. They just told me that “money” ranks high on their list. It’s simple; I am looking for them to refine their answer by including “money” as a key factor in why they have chosen the sales profession. It is an easy way to see if they are able to pick up a mirror skill quickly or not.


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About Emily
the Author

I have been selling software for nearly 13 years and have been the #1 sales rep at every organization I have been apart of. I would often outsell entire sales teams of 4-5 reps in a given month or quarter. I am not some kind of sales prodigy or savant. The reason I am good at sales and was the top sales rep, was because I LEARNED how to do it. SALES IS 80% learned and 20% innate skill. Writing these guides is my way of giving back to the community and giving Sales Reps and Sales Leadership easy yet effective tools to increase revenue.

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Sales Guide for Sales Reps
Sales Guide for Sales Reps