Having the right salespeople on your team is crucial to the success of your business. Sales is without a doubt one of the most important departments in an organisation.

No matter how modern or innovative your product is, or how well financed your organisation is, without a strong sales team, your company cannot prosper. It is this team that identifies potential clients, negotiates your products’ market value, and generates revenue for your business. Hence, it is imperative that you build a strong sales team.

Companies hire different sales personnel based on various features. Some hire salespeople based on their experience, on the common characteristics of salespeople while others on “good vibes”. But what really makes a good salesperson? Are they born with the gift or shaped through training?

Are salespeople born or made?

For many years, organisations have been arguing about the relations between nature and nurture in salespeople. First off, it is important to acknowledge that there are some salespeople that are by nature, more suitable for the job compared to others. These people possess some of the essential attributes commonly possessed by salespeople in their DNA. Even with minimal training, these people absolutely shine when engaging with customers. They have a natural flair for smart, precise and effective communication. They are by nature, better at building and nurturing relationships, more curious, more resilient to rejection and are good at putting their message across.

However, nature is not everything. Different types of transactions require different types of skills and characteristics. For instance, a person that is naturally good at instant sales results may not succeed in a complex sales situation that requires months, even years to complete. In such a case, you may find that their inborn traits may not come in hand in such a case. In the same way, hitting the sales targets in a different industry where the rules and tools were different does not necessarily predict future success.

Does it matter to be born a salesperson?

Ultimately, whether you were born with these skills or not, selling is a complex process that combines natural skills and training. Salespeople need to take the time to train themselves to be better at what they do.

Still, there are certain sales attributes that tend to work across genres and cultures, regardless of your past sales experience. Such attributes include discipline, tenacity collaboration tendencies, rational optimism among others. While there are people who are born with these skills, they can be trained. They can be learned and developed by anyone who is willing to put in the effort.

That said, some of the skills that form the foundation of great salespeople are intrinsic to their personality. This is something that they will bring to your table and your sales floor, regardless of how you train them. However, they also need to possess other fundamental attributes to become successful salespeople. These attributes include a willingness to do what it takes to make it to the top and a positive attitude.

Some of the other skills that are conducive for success in sales that can also be acquired through tutelage and experience include;

  • Willingness to take the risk
  • Organisation
  • Goal setting
  • Taking responsibility, whether you fail or succeed
  • Optimism in all your endeavours
  • Believing in your difficulties
  • Charisma and developing a solid rapport with clients

One effective way to strengthen your sales team skills is through regular training and if possible, one-on-one training.  This will open up your business to the opportunity of unlimited return.

There is no doubt that some of the most successful salespeople were born with some innate talents that are absent in most people. However, there are also successful salespeople that were once natural introverts with poor people skills. Through dedication, discipline and soaking up information like a sponge, they were able to develop a mindset primed for customer interaction and sales. What’s more, these people were ready and willing to go the extra mile to perfect the skill like getting additional training from a sales training company, attending seminars among other things to refine their skills.

Eventually, the biggest asset for success in sales is your attitude. Proper training can influence the difference between a top salesperson and an average sales rep. So, if you are still wondering if salespeople are born or made, the answer, without a doubt is both.