Dear SaaStr: What qualities do the great salespeople have?

A few qualities of the best reps:

  1. They really listen. Mediocre sales reps just start diving into their script, and try not to deviate from it. Great salespeople learn their prospects’ needs, issues, and pain.
  2. They can adjust the pitch and story to suit the prospect. Every prospect is a bit different, and sometimes, a lot different. The best reps tailor the pitch, the demo, the functionality shares, the case studies, etc. to suit the needs of the prospect.
  3. Treat all prospects and customers as important. Reps make more money on bigger deals — but the best reps never make you feel that way. Somehow.  More here.
  4. Help you. For real. The best SaaS sales reps are mini-solution architects. They help the prospect figure out the best ways to use the product to help solve their problem. How to do a pilot. Who to socialize it with, and where to get buy-in.  Enterprise buyers love a truly great sales rep, because they make their life easier.  The rep is their agent.
  5. Know the product cold. You’d be surprised how many sales reps don’t.
  6. Create urgency. This is hard. No one really needs to buy anything today — at least, not usually. The best reps create urgency when really there often isn’t any.  More here.
  7. Prepare. The best reps prepare for a meeting. They research their prospect. Figure out what they might really need.  They literally spend 10x-100x longer preparing that cold email, that demo, that meeting that mediocre reps do.
  8. Map out all the key stakeholders — and sell to all of them. In any bigger deal, multiple stakeholders will exist on the customer side. Mediocre reps just sell to whoever seems to be leading the initiative. Better reps get the buy-in from everyone that matters.
  9. Efficient with their time. The best reps just get more meetings, more demos, more interactions done. And that doesn’t mean working 4,000 hours a year.


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