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7 Essential Skills for Future Growth


In today’s competitive marketplace, the line between marketing and sales is increasingly blurred. And that is a good thing because it's tougher than ever to engage, connect, and meet with prospects. The 2024 Hubspot Sales Trend Report states more than half of salespeople say selling has been harder this year than it was before*.

 

Gone are the days of simply relying on face-to-face meetings or cold calling to secure sales. Today, the probability of success depends on the combined skills of the marketing and sales team.

 

The following 7 skills are a must for long-term success. Without them, connecting with prospects and advancing your prospects through the buying process will be difficult if not impossible.


Before I reveal the skills, take a minute to reflect and be 100% truthful: When it comes to skills training, do you find the time for continuous development or was the last team training enough? Here are just a few stats that might change your mind:

 

  • It can take 10 months or more for a new sales rep to be fully productive​ (HubSpot) ​Without scalable, continuous training, untrained or undertrained reps are likely to contribute to longer sales cycles due to their learning curve.

  • Effective training increases retention so you can avoid looking for a new sales rep altogether!

  • The best-performing sales organizations are twice as likely to provide ongoing training for their sales teams compared to low-performing ones​ (Mailshake)​.

  • 84% of sales training is forgotten after 90 days without reinforcement suggesting a need for continuous training to maintain and improve skills​ (Mailshake)​.

 

Here are the 7 Sales Skills and How Marketing is connected to all of them.


1 Step Into Their Reality

The skill of client-centered selling is about understanding and solving the client’s problems. This is not a fancy way of saying “know your audience.” It’s about deeply understanding their challenges, their industry dynamics, and what keeps them up at night. For marketers and salespeople, this means crafting messages that resonate, value-packed emails, and engaging in conversations that feel both relevant and urgent to the customer. Don't be a vendor; be a partner in their success.

 

2 Why Personas Matter

Every salesperson and marketer knows about personas – semi-fictional characters that represent your ideal customer. By understanding targeted personas, you can anticipate customer objections, preferences, and decision-making processes. This isn’t just about knowing whom you’re talking to; it’s about knowing how to talk to them. In doing so, you must ensure both marketing and sales teams can strategically align their messaging for maximum impact.

 

3 Ask to Understand, Not to Respond

Active listening, or listening to understand is critical and paired with effective questioning can help better understand your audience. By asking insightful, open-ended questions and truly listening to the answers, professionals can identify the core needs and tailor their strategies accordingly. This approach not only builds trust but also positions marketers and salespeople as thoughtful leaders in their field.


4 The Value of Messaging

Value messaging is perhaps the linchpin in the arsenal of both marketing and sales strategies. It’s the art of not just telling your customer what you offer but articulating how it can change their world. According to a study by Corporate Vision, 74% of buyers choose the sales rep who first adds value. This means your message should not only be clear and compelling but also so closely aligned with the customer's needs that it becomes irreplaceable. Refine and perfect this skill, turning every communication into an opportunity to demonstrate undeniable value.


5 Having a Plan

Planning skills provide the framework for successful campaigns and customer engagements. From marketing campaigns to prospecting calls and meetings, a failure to plan is a plan to fail. Effective planning enables both marketers and sales teams to adapt to changes, measure the impact of their strategies, and achieve a consistent pipeline of leads and conversions, ultimately driving the company's revenue and growth.

 

6 AI Proficiency

With the innovation of generative AI, 97% of sales leaders identify reskilling and upskilling their teams as an immediate priority. But the tidal wave of AI “tips and tricks” flooding the market tend to overpromise and underdeliver. Skills-based training that includes how to effectively utilize generative AI, like ChatGPT, to execute on all the skills mentioned above with efficiency and speed helps marketers and salespeople focus on strategizing and relationship aspects.

 

7 Continuous Learning

Organizations committed to continuous learning are significantly more likely to innovate and stay ahead of the curve. Seek skills-based training that adapts and grows with your to team to help keep your team learning and evolving.

 

Both roles are about creating connections, understanding needs, and delivering solutions. At Butler Street, we don’t just teach these skills—we embed them into the DNA of your teams, ensuring that every customer interaction becomes a stepping-stone to greater success. Partnering with Butler Street means not just outsourcing training; it means co-sourcing success. We bring cutting-edge training techniques and insights that can dramatically enhance your learning initiatives.


With our diverse training options, from online programs and virtual sessions to live classroom training and ongoing coaching, we tailor our approach to fit your needs, helping you build not just a skilled team, but a more successful organization.


Remember, at the heart of both sales and marketing lies the ability to connect, understand, and deliver. And at Butler Street, we are your partners in making these connections deeper, your understanding clearer, and your deliveries more impactful. Contact us, and let's craft success stories together.

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