Not everyone is cut out to be in a sales role. Most salespeople constantly hear the word "no" and often deal with people who, frankly, would rather not be talking to them.

Succeeding in this position requires certain personality traits that not everyone has. Here are five of the most critical traits any salespeople need for success:

The Need to Achieve

At the end of the workday, some people need to feel a sense of accomplishment while others can't get out the door fast enough. You need the former to be effective. Be someone who cares about performance, watches metrics, always knows where they stand and who habitually searches for ways to improve.

Competitive Spirit

A competitive spirit drives a person to try creating more leads than the person sitting next to them. If you imagine an entire sales department full of good reps who are all trying to outdo each other, it's is easy to see how a competitive spirit can increase sales.


Selling can be demanding, and the motivation to continue must come from within. You can't flog or threaten your way to better employee performance. You have to enjoy what you do and want to succeed for your own reasons.


Good problem-solvers overcome challenges rather than becoming frustrated by them. Try to be a problem ninja, agile enough to sneak up on problems and eliminate them before issues occur. Success comes from working through problems and helping customers overcome purchase obstacles.


You need to see the glass as half full, even after a particularly rancorous potential lead has spilled it. Rejection comes with the territory, and must be shaken off. Move on to the next call with a positive attitude. Those who take rejection personally don't last long in a sales environment. When you find a person with all of these qualities, you have arrived. Together, these five traits make for a tenacious, effective and successful salesperson. 

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