Jump to main content

What skills do you need to work in sales?

There are some common misconceptions about sales jobs that can put candidates off applying. Often people think of demanding targets, cold calling and inflexible hours. However, at Travis Perkins that couldn’t be further from the truth. For us, relationships are the key to driving profitability and achieving sustained growth.

As it’s the start of a new year, you might find yourself wanting a new challenge. If you’re considering applying for a role in sales, whether as a first job or a career change, ensure you have a robust set of skills to maximise your chances. We’ve put together a few essential skills that we’d recommend you add to your CV:

    1. Communication 

    The root of sales success is being able to provide information about a product or service in a way that makes prospective customers want to do business with you. Even if you have the best offer available in the market, without being able to effectively communicate it you’re unlikely to win them over. 

    Communicating well doesn’t mean just talking at the prospect. It entails real listening and understanding their challenges, their needs, and what they care about, and then providing a valuable response to how you could improve their situation. 

    2. Confidence 

    It’s important to remember that not all prospective customers will be interested in buying what you are selling but to be an effective salesperson you need to have confidence in your ability and not take rejection personally.

    If you are confident in yourself, and you have unwavering faith in what you're pitching, you will be more likely to succeed, and rejections will only serve to develop your sales skills and experience.

    2.Relationship building

    Another key skill to include in your repertoire is being able to form solid, long-term relationships with customers. Throughout your relationship with a customer, you need to be able to have open and honest conversations with them. 

    Understanding your customer's value, demonstrating that you truly care, and treating them with respect is key to ensuring a good relationship. For example, at Travis Perkins, our Corporate and Contract sales teams are responsible for both elevating and deepening our well-established customer relationships. They work with our larger and more complex customers to deliver new build and repair, maintenance, and improvement solutions across residential, commercial and infrastructure.

    3. A positive attitude 

    It may sound obvious, but never take for granted how important it is to have a positive attitude working in a sales environment. 

    Our regional sales teams, for example, are responsible for identifying and engaging with professional trades, general builders, local and regional developers and contractors offering solutions and value add for their needs, doing so with a positive attitude and smile on their faces. 

    4. Product or service knowledge

    Talking the talk is all well and good, but you need to have extensive knowledge about the product or service that you are selling, otherwise, a prospective customer will be unlikely to proceed. Don’t worry if you’ve not done this before, we’ll give you the tools and support you need to learn on the job.

    Eventually, you’ll know enough about what you’re selling to suggest a solution to various possible questions or challenges, and you’ll be able to tailor your answers depending on the needs or desires of the prospect.

    The different types of sales jobs you might find at Travis Perkins

    Regional sales roles

    Our regional sales teams are in charge of locating and interacting with contractors, general contractors, local and regional developers, and professional tradespeople. In addition to setting trade accounts, they promote value-added services and regional promotions within the network and provide solutions for project requirements that may involve products, materials, or both.

    Corporate & contract sales roles

    Our corporate and contract sales professionals are responsible for both strengthening and expanding current customer relationships. They provide new construction and repair, maintenance, and enhancement solutions across residential, commercial, and infrastructure while collaborating with our larger and more complex customers who serve local, regional, and national markets.

    Sales and customer service roles in branches, stores and showrooms

    In order to provide the highest level of service, our branch, store and showroom-based sales and customer service team members get to know a lot of our customers on a first-name basis. They do this by offering advice, direction, and information about our goods, materials, and services; responding to inquiries and creating quotes; assisting each customer with their purchase or hire; and transforming our sales from good to outstanding.

    Find a job in sales that you love at Travis Perkins

    We have many roles in contract sales, regional sales and in branches, stores and showrooms and we’re on the lookout for ambitious salespeople who are looking for a challenge. 

    If this sounds like your next step, apply for a regional, corporate or contract sales or a sales and customer service job today. Alternatively, sign up for job alerts so you can take advantage of every opportunity!

List #1

Roles you may be interested in

Telesales Executive

Salary

Competitive Salary + Excellent benefits

Location

Birmingham; Dudley; Halesowen; Oldbury; Walsall; West Bromwich

Contract Type

Permanent - Full time

Location

West Bromwich, West Midlands

Business

Travis Perkins plc

Job Family

Sales & Customer Service

Remote or Office based

Office based only

Description

We are building a team of 6 Telesales Executive's and for this position you must have either worked in a telephone sales environment or customer facing sales.The product side of our business we will t

Reference

45577A

Expiry Date

01/01/0001

Read more
Branch Casual Labourer

Salary

£Competitive + Bonus

Location

Dingwall

Contract Type

Choose your own hours

Location

Dingwall, Highland

Business

Travis Perkins

Job Family

Sales & Customer Service

Remote or Office based

Office based only

Description

Joining our friendly and hard working family as a Branch Casual Labourer, you'll be on the front line dealing with our customers that come into our branch.  As part of the branch team, you will play a

Reference

46049

Expiry Date

01/01/0001

Read more
Store Assistant

Salary

£11.60 per hour

Location

Maldon

Contract Type

Permanent - Full time

Location

Maldon

Business

Toolstation

Job Family

Sales & Customer Service

Remote or Office based

Office based only

Description

Store Assistant in Maldon 20 hours per week   You'll be the face of Toolstation, making a fantastic first impression, building long-lasting relationships and going above and beyond to make our custome

Reference

23114

Expiry Date

01/01/0001

Read more
View all jobs