In sales, high achievers share a common set of characteristics that enable them to consistently close deals and exceed targets. We’ll explore the traits that distinguish top performers and provide insights into how to cultivate these qualities to excel in sales.

Whether you’re a seasoned sales professional or just starting in the industry, understanding these characteristics will help you establish a foundation for success. Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to be a top sales performer.

Key Takeaways

  • Top sales performers possess strong communication skills.
  • Persistence and resilience are essential qualities for success in sales.
  • Product knowledge and expertise enhance credibility and enable effective selling.
  • Goal-oriented and self-motivated individuals consistently achieve outstanding sales results.
  • According to the 2022 LinkedIn State of Sales Report UK Edition, 82% of top performers always research prospects before reaching out.

Top 4 Sales Performer Characteristics

Here are the top 4 sales performer characteristics you should keep in mind. These key traits allow you to excel in the sales industry.

Key Trait: Strong Communication Skills

One of the most critical characteristics of top sales performers is their ability to communicate effectively. Sales is about building relationships and creating a rapport with potential clients. The first step in doing that is to convey ideas and information.

Strong communication skills help salespeople engagingly present their products. They also enable them to understand the needs of their potential customers. Active listening and asking the right questions are crucial in this regard. They help the salesperson tailor their pitch to the specific needs of the customer.

Another vital component of strong communication skills in sales is the ability to negotiate and close deals effectively. Top performers are skilled at persuading potential clients to buy, even when objections arise. They know how to create a sense of urgency and scarcity, and they can differentiate themselves from the competition through their communication skills.

Examples of Strong Communication Skills in Sales

A salesperson who possesses strong communication skills can exhibit a range of behaviors that set them apart from the pack. Some examples include:

  • Active listening: Paying close attention to what the customer is saying, and responding thoughtfully to their concerns.
  • Asking questions: Probing deeper to uncover customers’ specific pain points, motivations, and needs.
  • Being empathetic: Demonstrate an understanding of the customer’s situation and help them solve their problems.
  • Being persuasive: Using techniques like storytelling, data-driven arguments, and social proof to convince customers to make a purchase.
  • Being confident: Communicating with assurance and conviction, and displaying a deep knowledge of the product.

Overall, strong communication skills are essential for top sales performers.

Key Trait: Persistence and Resilience

Persistence and resilience are essential traits for top sales performers. These individuals do not give up easily, even in the face of rejection or setbacks. They embrace challenges and setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow.

A persistent and resilient salesperson is one who perseveres despite objections from potential customers. They’re not afraid to ask for a sale and are willing to put in the time and effort necessary to close a deal. Resilience is particularly important because sales can be a tough and stressful occupation.

Rejection is a regular part of the process, and it can be discouraging. However, top sales performers have a positive mindset. They are always looking for ways to improve and move forward.

To be a top sales performer, it is essential to have a thick skin and not take rejection personally. Persistence and resilience will be required to overcome these challenges and ultimately succeed in sales. It is also important to remain optimistic and maintain a positive attitude throughout the sales process.

Key Trait: Product Knowledge and Expertise

Top sales performers possess a deep understanding and expertise in the products or services they sell. Having comprehensive product knowledge is a crucial component in building credibility and trust with customers, especially in industries where technical knowledge is highly valued. Additionally, having a strong grasp of the product’s features enables salespeople to communicate how it can provide solutions to a customer’s needs.

Top sales performers make an effort to continuously update their understanding of the product by keeping up with the latest industry trends and advancements. They also work closely with product development teams to gain an in-depth understanding of the product’s capabilities and limitations to be able to develop customized solutions for their clients.

Moreover, a top sales performer’s expertise in their products or services allows them to develop a deeper relationship with their clients by becoming a trusted advisor. Clients rely on top sales performers’ product knowledge to make informed decisions, and this trust leads to long-term customer loyalty and repeat business.

Key Trait: Goal-Oriented and Self-Motivated

Top sales performers are highly driven individuals who possess a goal-oriented and self-motivated mindset. They set clear objectives and work tirelessly to achieve them, often going above and beyond what is required to ensure success.

Goal-oriented salespeople are laser-focused on achieving their targets and take a strategic approach to their work. They carefully plan their actions, prioritize tasks, and track their progress to optimize their performance. They also use data to inform their decision-making and to identify areas for improvement.

Self-motivated salespeople are internally driven to succeed and do not rely on external factors to motivate them. They have a strong work ethic and take ownership of their outcomes. They are not afraid to take risks and are resilient in the face of setbacks.

Together, a goal-oriented and self-motivated mindset allows sales professionals to consistently achieve outstanding results. These qualities are essential for success in the sales profession and require ongoing cultivation and development.


Top sales performers possess a unique set of traits that enable them to consistently achieve outstanding results. By focusing on developing strong communication skills, persistence, product knowledge, and a goal-oriented mindset, individuals can cultivate the characteristics necessary for success in their own sales careers.

While each of these traits is important individually, they work in tandem to create a holistic approach to sales success. Effective communication skills build relationships, persistence and resilience enable professionals to handle rejection and overcome obstacles, deep product knowledge enhances credibility and trust, and a goal-oriented mindset drives individuals to continuously strive for improvement.

By adopting these characteristics and incorporating them into their daily sales practices, individuals can improve their performance, surpass their targets, and become top sales performers in their own right.


Q: What are the characteristics of top sales performers?

A: Top sales performers possess strong communication skills, persistence and resilience, product knowledge and expertise, as well as a goal-oriented and self-motivated mindset.

Q: How do strong communication skills contribute to sales success?

A: Strong communication skills enable top sales performers to build relationships, understand customer needs, and effectively close deals.

Q: Why are persistence and resilience important in the sales profession?

A: Persistence and resilience help top sales performers embrace challenges, handle rejection, and maintain a positive mindset to achieve their goals.

Q: How does product knowledge and expertise impact sales performance?

A: Deep understanding of the products or services being sold enhances credibility, builds trust, and enables effective solution selling for top sales performers.

Q: What does it mean to be goal-oriented and self-motivated in sales?

A: Being goal-oriented and self-motivated means that top sales performers set clear goals, stay motivated, and continuously strive for improvement to consistently achieve outstanding results.