What is one qualification you require a salesperson to have on a resume?
To help sales professionals improve their resumes for better opportunities in the job market, we asked sales and business leaders this question for their insights. From including quantitative success metrics to highlighting technical skills, there are several qualifications and skills to include in your resume.
Here are 12 salesperson qualifications to include in a resume:
- Show Initiative
- Communicate Clearly
- Focus on Results
- Add Your Closing Experience
- Include Quantitative Success Metrics
- Show Relationship Building Experience
- Demonstrate Prospecting Experience
- Highlight Your Ability to Grasp Customer Needs
- Provide References
- Highlight Your Technical Skills
- Showcase Your Listening Skills
- Record and Track Successes
Sales salaries are commission-driven, and the best salespeople don’t wait for leads to generate themselves. I want to know if after they close a sale, whether they’ll rest on their laurels or get started with finding the next one. I want to see evidence on a resume of someone who is self-motivated to succeed beyond their wildest expectations.
Jon Schneider, Recruiterie
Communication skills are king. To effectively close a sale, you have to be able to communicate clearly. You may have all the confidence in the world, but if you can’t make yourself understood or show that you can listen as well as you can talk, then you’re not going to be an effective salesperson. Salespeople are the representatives of your brand, so you want them to be efficient and effective communicators.
Ryan Nouis, TruPath
Focus on Results
Having hired a number of salespeople over the years, one thing I always look for is the results they accomplished, usually in the form of stats or data points. Your primary function in sales is getting meetings, increasing revenue, or simply increasing the number of people who know about your company.
Depending on the specific role within sales, data points of your results should be listed among your accomplishments, i.e. Increased the number of appointments set by 20% month over month. Even if you’re new to sales, you can list the accomplishments you’ve had in other roles that show a pattern of how you would take on this new career path.
Jenn Christie, Markitors
Add Your Closing Experience
One qualification I require all salespeople to have on their resume is closing experience. If the salesperson has only been in a developmental role and has no sales closing experience, then they likely won’t succeed at our company.
Our salespeople need to be comfortable closing deals and leading the sales process from start to finish. This is why we screen out candidates who do not have sales closing experience and only hire reps who have experience closing deals.
Chris Gadek, AdQuick
Include Quantitative Success Metrics
Salesperson resumes will often have the basics, education, experience, and even a candidate’s photograph, however, one item every hiring manager should look for are the hard numbers. Resumes that include sales accomplishments, but no specifics, could indicate a candidate’s lack of attention to detail.
Being in sales is a numbers game, and when a candidate does not highlight those numbers, either by percentages or dollar amounts, it usually means they either overlooked them, did not feel they were important or did not have figures worth putting on paper. Though the quality of a resume is not the sole factor to take into consideration when choosing potential candidates, the hard numbers or lack thereof can offer valuable insight into whether they are right for your position.
Yuvi Alpert, Noémie
Show Relationship Building Experience
Relationship building is vital in sales. While it’s good your sales team is working to track down leads and land new accounts, they should also be maintaining relationships with existing customers. The rise of social marketing has transformed the customer journey, extending beyond the sale to include customer retention and advocacy.
This means your reps must engage with customers after the sale to provide continued support and ensure long-term business. And by comparing the average length of client relationships with the number of interactions they’ve had with customers, you can better understand the number of touchpoints your reps should make each quarter to secure those long-term clients.
Jared Pobre, Caldera + Lab
Demonstrate Prospecting Experience
Just as important as closing experience, your salespeople should have experience prospecting new business. Your sales rep should be comfortable picking up the phone or sending an email to someone they have never met before.
Having proven prospecting ability is critical to generating a sales pipeline and ultimately closing business. Invest in the right people that have experience not only closing business but generating business as well.
Darren Litt, MarketerHire
Highlight Your Ability to Grasp Customer Needs
The most important qualification that a salesperson can possess is the ability to recognize the needs of their customer and then be able to tailor those to the products and services of the business. Their value can be seen not only in the ability to make a customer feel comfortable with their salesperson’s guidance, but also in their own choices.
This is essential in creating the entire customer experience, which makes the business more than just sales, but also about adding value to those items through their knowledge and attention to service. Finding an individual who’s capable of combining these abilities is one of the greatest assets for any company.
Jeff Meeks, EnergyFit
One qualification that we require all of our salespeople to have on their resumes is a list of quality references. Having a group of quality references proves that this salesperson is the right candidate for the job.
If the candidate lacks quality references, it shows that this person has struggled in their previous sales positions and will likely not perform in a new role. If the person has great references, it shows that this person has been a top performer in their previous roles and will likely perform well if hired for the role.
John Wu, Gryphon Connect
Highlight Your Technical Skills
While listening, rapport-building and customer service skills are a no-brainer, in today’s world sales representatives need to have some technical skills too. In a fully digitized world, CRM software knowledge is as essential as all of the soft skills listed above.
Conversion funnels, newsletters, follow-up messages, and all the other tools used in today’s world of sales are all automated. Thus, no matter how purist and traditional you might be, any well-rounded salesperson worth their salt needs to have at least basic proficiency in the use of CRM platforms.
I’m afraid there is no way around it. This skill is an absolute must for any salesperson in the 21st century.
Peter Bryla, ResumeLab
Showcase Your Listening Skills
Good listening skills are a must. Sales are less about the actual product or service, and more about how you can help the customer to solve a problem. Understanding the customer’s business and hearing their pain points before presenting a solution will ultimately lead to a higher close ratio.
Jenna Hinrichsen, Advanced RPO
Record and Track Successes
Any qualified experienced salesperson needs to have a track record of demonstrated growth. In this day and age, it is not enough to simply maintain. Identification of new business and expansion of historical business are how the fastest-growing companies capture market share. It’s important to think outside the box in this changing sales environment.
Chad Bean, Ignite Recruitment