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How to Improve Sales Skills Quickly: 7 Proven Methodologies

5 min readApril 3, 2022

All master sellers have something crucial in common: a passion for continuous self-improvement. After all, no matter how much you master your craft, there’s always room to improve sales skills.

Whether you’re starting your sales career or you’ve closed multiple seven-figure deals, we think you’ll benefit from these 7 proven ways to take your sales skills to the next level.

1. Design a conversational roadmap

While using a sales script may be a good place to start working on your conversational skills, creating your own conversational roadmap can be much more effective. After all, sales scripts can make you sound inauthentic and inexperienced. Designing a conversational roadmap gives you structured freedom to improve your sales conversation skills.

Here are the key elements of a conversational roadmap:

  • Strong Opener – Establishes the tone for the whole conversation and gets their attention (the first step is getting their attention, and the second is keeping it)
  • Disarming Statement – Acknowledges they weren’t expecting your call and shows empathy.
  • Permission to Continue – Further validates you have empathy and gets your prospect to talk and re-engage in the conversation
  • Value Proposition – What’s the purpose of your call?
  • Qualifier – Making sure the highest level critical criteria are met so that no one’s time is wasted
  • Closing – Booking a meeting? Closing a sale? Make it happen

Conversational Roadmaps

For more details and sample conversational roadmaps, go here.

2. Use AI to improve conversations during critical sales moments

Picture this common scenario for a moment. Your sales manager uses AI-powered conversation intelligence to look at your team’s calls and quickly spots a trend: the reps who are performing well spend a lot of time listening and reflecting back what their prospects are saying, whereas the lower-performing reps spend a lot of time doing monologues. The manager sets up sales training for your team to help you all practice reflective listening and improve sales skills.

Up until recently, that’s where the conversation intelligence capabilities would end. But with Revenue.io’s patented real-time intelligence technology, your manager could turn on pop-up reminders that automatically remind you to practice reflective listening when they’re talking too much. She can then use post-call intelligence reports to ensure everyone is using the new techniques, and make sure that they’re working by tying them to call and deal outcomes.

As you can see, real-time conversation intelligence has the ability to guide you during critical sales moments. With pop-up reminders helping to reinforce your sales training, you’ll be able to grow your sales skills quickly and move more deals forward.

3. Increase productivity and volume

If you’re part of the 64% of sales reps who are part of a remote team, you might find it challenging to stay productive when you’re working from home. Even if you go into the office every day, you still might be wondering how to enhance your sales productivity and volume, two metrics that are directly connected to improving sales skills.

These are some powerful ways to become more productive whether or not you sell remotely:

  • Start making calls at 8am every day
  • Imagine you’re the CEO of your company and channel that sense of urgency
  • Become an expert at using your sales tech stack
  • Set goals for increasing your daily call volume
  • Check in with your coworkers and learn from what they’re doing
  • Automate manual tasks so you don’t have to waste time on data entry, for example
  • Seek out leaders within your company to role-play with and ask for feedback

4. Practice reflective listening as a critical sales skill

Although it may seem like top sellers need to spend most of their time talking about their products, they actually probably invest more time actively listening. In fact, 78% of successful reps say that listening has a substantial impact on conversion rates.

Active listening is a critical sales skill that allows you to pinpoint the issues your prospect is facing so you can clearly articulate why your solution matters to them. Reflective listening takes this one step further–asking clarifying questions and summarizing key points throughout the conversation so your prospect knows you’re listening. Remember: the best way to become a good listener is to be genuinely curious about the person you’re talking to.

Here are some of the positive results you can expect once you improve your reflective listening skills:

  • You’ll have more information than you would otherwise have since you’ve encouraged prospects to clarify, confirm or expand on ideas
  • You’ll have more authentic conversations
  • You’ll be able to build relationships with prospects more quickly
  • You’ll be more focused on calls rather than worrying about what you’ll say next
  • Your buyers will realize themselves if your product is a good fit, which is more persuasive than you telling them that

5. Automate manual tasks to spend more time on selling

According to our latest research, 77% of reps struggle to find enough time to complete everything they need to during the day. Honestly, it’s not surprising that time management is one of the top struggles for sellers. Distractions for sellers continue to grow, and with the proliferation of the “sales stack” filled with tools and products that demand rep attention, finding time to focus on customers is harder than ever before.

Before you can start managing your time effectively, you need to check which of these top sales time wasters are affecting you:

  • 42% of reps spend too much time discovering prospects’ needs
  • 41% of reps waste too much time creating follow-up tasks
  • 41% of reps spend too much time researching competitors’ activities
  • 38% of reps spend too much time reviewing pipeline

These challenges can all be solved with the right tools. The more automation you employ on a daily basis, the more time you’ll have to focus on selling. How else would you improve sales skills?

6. Practice objection-handling and other sales skills

It’s easy to be intimidated by sales objections, particularly those you haven’t heard before. Once you develop a proper objection-handling framework, however, you won’t feel nearly as startled when a new objection surfaces.

Here’s the objection handling framework our team uses at Revenue.io to confidently overcome sales objections:

  • Listen to what the prospect is saying – this goes back to the reflective listening we referenced earlier
  • Respond in an empathetic way – rather than shifting the conversation to what you want to talk about, show empathy and support for your prospective buyer
  • Offer something useful – start a worthwhile conversation by offering something valuable to your prospect

5 Most Common Sales Objections and How to Overcome Them

To see how we use this framework to overcome the 5 most common sales objections (and more), check out this guide.

7. Stay coachable

No matter how long you’ve been in sales, it’s vital to stay coachable. There is always more to learn from those around you. Whenever you receive notes from your manager, a colleague, or a prospective buyer, eagerly embrace the opportunity to grow.

If you want to take it one step further, reach out to your peers for advice on handling objections, sending emails, or giving demos. Challenge yourself to incorporate their feedback the next time you make a call or follow up with a prospect.

Looking for more ways to improve sales skills? Check out the Sales Enablement Podcast with Andy Paul. Each week, Andy interviews key sales professionals with the goal of helping you exceed buyer expectations and earn more revenue.