5 Sales Skills to Help You Stand Out This Year


Lisa Woodley

As a technology service provider, we see the industry going through continual changes and cycles. In the last five years, there’s been a surge in companies leveraging partners like Nexient to help them transform to agile, move to the cloud, and be more nimble with how they deliver their own products. 

As this transformation progresses, these same companies are looking to evolve. They continue to search for help and support from partners like us in key areas like AI/ML, data, DevOps, and design, where skills are in high demand and finding talent is a challenge. With the current economic uncertainty, successfully selling and delivering these services means we’ve had to be flexible, have a deep knowledge of the customer’s own business, and be able to link the services we provide to measurable business outcomes. 

That’s why when building a field team whose job is to sell and deliver these kinds of services, I look for candidates with a consultative mindset who have a solid understanding of business outcomes and how the services they sell deliver those outcomes.  

To succeed in sales this year, the following five skills translate to the roles we seek within our teams and can help put you at the top of sales hiring lists this year. These skills include: 

Consulting skills

The days of “creating the need” in sales are gone. It’s all about understanding the customer and solving their problems. You’re not selling a thing, you’re building a relationship. This means taking the time to understand the “why” behind your customer’s request. For example, if a client says they want a hammer to drive nails, don’t just sell them a hammer. Ask them what they’re building. Why? How will they use it? What will success look like? You will have a more successful, mutually beneficial, and long-term relationship if they view you as someone helping realize their vision, not just selling hammers. 

Candidates who demonstrate a consultative mindset always end up at the top of the list. I also consider this skill the most important. Especially in the current economy, clients are looking for partners who can help them navigate uncertainty. They may have many specific asks but don’t always know what they need. Our ability to work with them to uncover their needs is key. 

Creative problem solving

There’s no question the economy is shifting. Client budgets are getting tighter, and we have to figure out how to provide maximum value to a client as we work to solve their challenges. This means thinking of creative ways of structuring and pricing deals and of delivering the work. Candidates need to demonstrate that they can work with ambiguity, zero in on what is actually needed to deliver value vs. what is being asked, and come up with solutions that will be the most successful. 


Sales is a relationship business, and relationships don’t happen overnight. They have to be nurtured, and they can’t be forced. Breaking into a new account takes time to build trust, and with time will come ups, downs, victories, and losses. Learning how to build a client relationship over time, manage issues, and overcome challenges without becoming discouraged is way more compelling than just telling me about your revenue numbers. 


At first glance, accountability may not seem like a skill, but it absolutely is. Taking ownership and consistently delivering on promises is not just a result of an accountable mindset. It results from daily practice and consistency in goal-setting, time management, self-awareness, and the commitment to transparency and honesty.

Financial literacy and business acumen

This goes beyond understanding the basic accounting required to structure and sell deals. It’s about having a solid understanding of your client’s business, strategic plans, and the financial situation of their company and the broader industry it’s a part of. It’s key to identifying the right prospects for your company and articulating the value proposition of what you’re selling. 

Lastly, in addition to these skills, I like hearing about a candidate’s goals–not why you left or what you’re not getting in your current role somewhere else. I want to know where you’re moving in your career to help better understand where your goals intersect with the needs of our roles here at Nexient. 

Do you have a consulting mindset and want to join the Nexient field team? Take a look at our current openings here.

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