In LinkedIn’s latest State of Sales 2020 Global Edition, 5,000 salespeople and managers in B2B sales and 5,000 business decision makers were surveyed.

As part of the survey, the buyers and sales managers were asked what traits they value in salespeople. From the list below, which would you select as your top 4 valued sales traits?

Survey Says…

Amazingly, buyers and sales managers agreed on 3 of the top 4 valued sales traits.

The top 4 sales traits for both buyers and sales managers included problem solving, confidence, and relationship building


How would you rank your and your team’s problem solving and relationship building abilities? Later this week we’ll share some free courses that you can take to enhance your sales skills.

Interestingly, buyers believed creativity was one of the top traits whereas sales managers selected active listening. This shows that by-and-large buyers want to be heard but more importantly, they want your sales team to hear their needs and to exercise creative problem solving in order to deliver solutions. It’s not enough just to be heard. For buyers, results are the bottom line.

Also, it’s important to note that buyers desire that their sales reps be technologically proficient (ranked #5) whereas this trait was less important to sales managers (ranked #9). It’s understandable—buyers want to work with sales reps that understand what they are selling. Especially in tech sales, this doesn’t always happen and then both the buyer and his/her new client success team have the fun of untangling workarounds and potentially pricey custom solutions.

This survey shows that you can gain a competitive edge by investing in educating your sales team on the technical aspects of your product. You can also increase satisfaction by rewarding and engaging creativity in your sales team. Consider adding “most creative client solution” as one of your recognized accolades to encourage your sales team to take active listening and problem solving to the next level.

You can read more about the rest of the survey and its results here.

By Sophie Parkison on 09-26-2020