Soft skills, also known as transferable skills, are skills that apply to nearly every professional position. Salespeople rely on a particular set of soft skills to meet their goals and build essential relationships.

Want to know if someone will perform well in their position? Look for these soft skills in your interview.


Good communication skills are essential in any sales position. For salespeople, communication skills include the ability to tailor messages to a wide range of audiences, many of whom may not share the salesperson’s expertise. 

Strong communication skills for salespeople include the ability to communicate effectively both in-person and in written communication, like letters and emails. Because of their conversational nature, interviews offer an excellent opportunity to gauge verbal communication skills. 


Listening and communication are interdependent skills. The best communicators are often the best listeners, and strong listeners find they can communicate more effectively when their turn comes to express themselves.

Look for candidates who demonstrate an ability to listen carefully to what you say and to fashion their answers to respond to what’s said. Those that seek clarification also demonstrate that proper listening matters to them. 


“Never stop learning” is the motto of many outstanding sales professionals. Sales jobs require constant learning about new customers, products, services, issues and changes within their respective industries. 

Candidates who demonstrate an interest in lifelong learning and a hunger for new information and experiences are often driven by the curiosity required to thrive in sales.

Goal-Setting and Strategizing

Sales is a goal-driven field, and the best salespeople do well precisely because they enjoy setting goals, planning how to reach those goals, and then achieving what they set out to do.

Talk to candidates about how they set goals. Those that can describe their process clearly demonstrate their commitment to this skill. Look for candidates who describe their goals in specific, measurable terms, as well as those who can discuss why they achieved or failed to reach a particular goal and what they learned from the process. 

At SMR Group, our staffing professionals connect clients in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries nationwide with some of the best marketing and sales talent available. To learn more, contact us today.

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