Are your sales teams securing client meetings, but have little in pipeline? Do they obtain a sale, but client usage is low? Are your client satisfaction scores less than stellar?
The solution may be to build the critical, but often overlooked, competency of emotional intelligence (EI).
In my recent study of the top skills of high performing B2B salespeople, sales leaders indicated that listening skills and customer service orientation were the most essential skills of high performers. EI is the required foundation for both competencies. Seem too simple? Keep reading.
As our economy shifts, sales roles and competencies must adapt for businesses to remain competitive. Sales models are exceedingly relationship-based. The salesperson must develop new relationships and nurture existing clients by prioritizing customer experience. EI is the cornerstone. While social skills seem like a no-brainer, the other elements of emotional intelligence may surprise you.
What is EI and why is it critical for sales?
Emotional intelligence is how well you understand and regulate your own emotions and understand those of others. If authentic, EI is the ultimate relationship and trust builder with clients. Here’s how the five components of EI drive sales performance:
Great news! EI is learnable and client relationships can improve with commitment to development. Leaders can support EI development in the following four ways:
EI is a learnable competency that will improve client relationships and increase pipeline yet is often overlooked in development programs. Cultivating a culture that promotes, coaches and recognizes these behaviors can build a sustainable competitive advantage.
Rochelle Ramos is the Principal Coach and Consultant at The Development Source, LLC. She helps small and mid-size businesses achieve business goals through talent and organization development strategies.