Great Skills To Include on a Sales Resume (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 8, 2022 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated July 8, 2022

Published February 25, 2020

Related: Resume Pro Breaks Down a Perfect Sales Resume With Examples

Watch as our Indeed career coach, Jenn, reviews a sales resume to show you how to write yours so you look and sound like a pro.

A job in sales can be a lucrative and satisfying position for people who are highly motivated and interested in a fast-paced work environment. People who work in sales utilize a diverse set of skills in order to satisfy customers and meet company goals. When writing a resume for a sales position, you should carefully consider which skills to highlight based on your abilities and the requirements of the job. Hiring managers often look to the skills section of a sales resume to determine how successful an applicant will be at increasing sales for their company.

In this article, we explain some of the best skills to include on your resume when applying for a job in sales.

Read more: Sales Representative Resume Samples

Why are sales skills important?

Although some positions in sales have education requirements such as a bachelor's degree, many companies hire salespeople based on skills and personality. People who work in sales are often paid based on their performance, so employers carefully review resumes to learn about an applicant's potential as opposed to simply looking at their experience. Your sales skills will determine your ability to connect with new clients, complete a sale and retain customers. Highlighting sales skills on your resume can make your application more attractive to employers and give you a better chance of earning an interview where you can demonstrate some of those skills.

What types of skills are beneficial in sales?

Sales professionals use a wide variety of skills to make a sale and maintain organization in their workplace. These skills can be developed by earning certifications, taking classes or earning on-the-job experience. If you are pursuing a sales career, you should work to develop a well-rounded skill set that includes both technical knowledge and good interpersonal habits. Hard skills refer to the processes and knowledge you use while doing your job, while soft skills refer to your attitude and habits.

Related: Sales Job Skills: Definition, Examples and Tips

Hard skills

Hard skills are industry-specific or job-specific abilities and knowledge that are often developed through formal education or training. Many entry-level positions provide on-the-job training for many hard skills, especially if you show an aptitude for learning quickly. Hard skills such as knowledge of certain software or fluency in a second language can be highly desirable to employers in any industry, including sales. When applying for jobs, research the programs and interfaces used by the sales team of each company to learn which hard skills to highlight on your resume.

Soft skills

Soft skills are characteristics and behaviors that influence how well you work independently and with others. Employers look for applicants with strong soft skills in order to hire someone who will contribute to the company culture and promote growth within their team. Communication and flexibility are both examples of soft skills that can be useful in almost any work environment, including sales. Because working in sales involves cultivating relationships with coworkers and clients, soft skills are especially important to include on a sales resume.

Top sales skills to include on a resume

Your resume should prominently feature your skills that are most relevant to each job you apply for. When searching for a job in sales, you should only include skills on your resume that you would be able to confidently discuss in an interview. You can reference your skills when describing your work experience or include them as a list in a separate section of your resume. Here are some of the best skills to include on your resume when applying for a job in sales:

  • Sales software proficiency

  • Product knowledge

  • Active listening

  • Verbal communication

  • Setting goals

  • Organization

  • Time management

  • Strategic thinking

  • Demonstration skills

  • Dedication

  • Leadership

  • Motivation

  • Growth-mindset

  • Initiative

  • Flexibility

  • Business knowledge

  • Persuasion

  • Cold calling

  • Customer retention

  • Consulting

  • Scheduling

  • Public relations

  • Marketing

  • Networking

  • Researching

  • Project management

  • Data analysis

  • Territory management

  • Objection management

  • Customer relationship management

  • Sales pitch development

Sales software proficiency

If you have had experience using sales software programs, you may consider listing them on your resume. Even if the company you are applying for doesn't use that specific software, proficiency in sales programs can show that you can learn processes quickly.

Product knowledge

Understanding all the details of a product is an important part of being a good salesperson. If you are familiar with the benefits and challenges of working with a company's product, you can impress the recruiter by referencing this skill on your resume.

Active listening

Salespeople use active listening to learn new skills and to understand how they should approach a customer. Customers who feel listened to and receive positive reinforcement from a salesperson may be more likely to make a purchase.

Verbal communication

Verbal communication is an important skill for salespeople, who often close sales and make deals through starting conversations with potential customers.

Setting goals

Salespeople must be able to set goals in order to succeed in their position and demonstrate ambition within their company. This skill shows that you have ambition and an understanding of how your work influences your employer.

Related: How To Set and Achieve Goals

Organization

Because people who work in sales often manage several different accounts, they should have strong organizational skills. Your ability to quickly find and share information with clients can make the difference between making a sale and losing a customer.

Time management

Being able to manage your time well is an important skill for salespeople who must be able to divide their time between different markets and customers.

Strategic thinking

Strategic thinking can help salespeople develop a plan for meeting their goals. It can also be useful in choosing a sales approach for each customer.

Demonstration skills

When working in a sales position, you may be required to demonstrate how a product works. Demonstration skills involve being able to create a great presentation and knowing how to use a product.

Dedication

Employers appreciate when their sales professionals show dedication and commitment to their job. Dedication also shows that you will follow through with clients whenever possible.

Leadership

Leadership skills can be beneficial in a sales position especially if you want to work as part of a team. Employers often hire applicants who show leadership potential to lead their sales teams.

Motivation

Because salespeople are often in charge of seeking out clients and making sales, showing motivation is an important aspect of getting a sales job. Employers seek out highly motivated people in order to grow their business.

Growth-mindset

Having a growth mindset is an important skill in the sales profession, where there are constant opportunities to learn and develop new skills.

Initiative

Initiative is the ability to independently start projects and pursue new leads. The most successful salespeople are often highly skilled at taking initiative by searching for new clients and developing new sales strategies.

Flexibility

Salespeople should be able to adapt to a changing environment in order to make a sale. They will have to respond to situations as they occur when interacting with clients, requiring both flexibility and the ability to adjust a sales strategy from moment to moment.

Business knowledge

As important parts of any business, salespeople should have a strong understanding of business practices. If you have taken any coursework in business, it might be beneficial to list this skill on your resume.

Persuasion

Persuasiveness refers to a person's ability to convince someone of your perspective. Employers value persuasion as a skill, especially when they have difficult clients that may need convincing before making a purchase.

Cold calling

Cold calling is a sales-specific skill that companies use to reach out to possible customers. Experience and success with cold calling can make you a more attractive candidate for jobs in sales.

Customer retention

Keeping customers is an important part of a business' bottom line. If you have experience using strategies to encourage customers to make repeat purchases, you might consider listing customer retention as a skill on your resume.

Consulting

Experienced sales professionals often provide consultations for various companies or individuals. Consulting experience shows that you have a strong ability to explain sales concepts to others.

Scheduling

As a salesperson, you may be required to keep track of complex schedules. Scheduling skills show that you can pay attention to detail and record the most important information for each client.

Public relations

Public relations skills and experience can be easily applied to a sales environment. Being able to control how an audience responds to your company or product is an important part of making a sale.

Marketing

Many employers hire salespeople with marketing skills because they are able to incorporate advertising methods into their sales techniques. Marketing skills can also help you understand your ideal demographic and how to sell to them.

Networking

Networking is your ability to connect and maintain professional relationships with others. Many companies do business based on the relationships they build with clients and partners, so networking is a key skill when seeking a job in sales.

Researching

Salespeople are often encouraged to research their client base or the area they are selling in. Employers seek out candidates with research skills in order to improve their methods to support their sales strategy.

Project management

People who are skilled at project managers are excellent at coordinating tasks and communicating with others, two important duties of a salesperson. This is especially relevant if you are applying for a leadership position within a sales department.

Data analysis

Data analysis can be an important part of the sales process, both when preparing to make a sale and when determining the success of a sales strategy.

Territory management

Companies often assign certain areas or territories to their salespeople in order to reach different markets. Territory management is an attractive skill for people who want to lead a team or increase their responsibilities in a sales job.

Objection management

Objection management is a salesperson's ability to avoid and resolve any reasons a customer has for not making a sale. This skill is usually developed through experience in sales and identifies you as a qualified candidate.

Customer relationship management

Customer relationship management, or CRM, is a concept in sales that refers to your ability to guide a customer along all parts of the sales process, close a sale and then gain repeat purchases. This skill shows knowledge of the sales cycle and the ability to follow through with a sale.

Sales pitch development

A sales pitch is the presentation a salesperson uses to convince a potential customer to buy their product. Creating a good sales pitch is a desirable skill and that requires strategy and creativity.

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