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Top 7 Characteristics Essential to Sales Success

7 Skills Essential to Sales Success

Evidence of common attributes amongst top salespeople comes from many high profile studies. Spend some time with top sales talent and it will quickly become evident that they share common characteristics. Sales leaders of high performance sales teams understand that knowing these traits is critical in the hiring of their sales reps.

So, what are the characteristics shared amongst top performers that are essential to sales success? We asked the reps themselves.

In a recent study, researching the behaviors and characteristics of top performing salespeople, over 500 salespeople were asked to rate several traits from unimportant (1) to important (5) to sales success.

In the infographic below, we’ve listed the top seven characteristics critical to sales success according to top salespeople–those who have met or exceed quota over the past three years–and average salespeople–those have met less than 80 percent of quota over the past three years.

Here are the top seven characteristics essential to sales success, according to top salespeople versus average salespeople:

Top 7 Characteristics Essential to Sales Success


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Eliot Burdett

CEO at Peak Sales Recruiting

Before Peak, Eliot spent more than 20 years building and leading companies, where he took the lead in recruiting and managing high performance sales teams. He co-founded Ventrada Systems (mobile applications) and GlobalX (e-commerce software). He was also Vice President of Sales for PointShot Wireless. Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner. He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.