Emotions Matter Now More than Ever

With more interactions happening remotely, sales teams need an edge. 

According to Forrester, 54% of sales reps said that losing the ability to meet with clients in person has hurt their ability to meet quota. At the same time, Gartner reports that only 23% of B2B sales reps believe they are equally effective selling virtually as they are in a live, onsite setting. What’s keeping sellers from connecting with virtual customers? The ability to read EQ.

3 Ways EQ impacts sales performance

Just how important are emotions to sales? According to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious, meaning they are primarily driven by how we feel. In face-to-face sales engagements, sellers can gauge a customer’s emotional state (EQ) and adapt their tactics to signs of interest, excitement or disengagement. In remote interactions, reading EQ becomes infinitely more difficult—unless sellers have an edge. Here’s how EQ impacts every level of sales performance:

Sales Individual

Even the best sellers can struggle to “read the room” during video calls and other virtual engagements. Between screen sharing, managing large groups and awareness of “being on camera”, sellers are often too distracted to pick up on subtle social cues, body language and key moments that can influence a sale.

Sales Team

Every interaction is rich in actionable intelligence that can help sales teams deliver better results. By leveraging EQ in training and coaching, teams can take a human-centric approach and holistically analyze sales activities and participant reactions to improve revenue operations.


Customers expect sellers to demonstrate understanding and empathy—a tall order for virtual engagements, particularly if a large group is involved. AI-powered EQ can restore a sense of empathy to remote interactions, so every participant feels valued, heard and understood.

The building blocks of EQ

Research shows that emotional intelligence—the ability to understand and manage one’s emotions and the emotions of those around you—is the strongest predictor of performance. Psychologist David Goleman identified four key pillars of EQ:


Self-awareness is the ability to recognize your own strengths and weakness and the effect your emotions have on others. According to the Harvard Business Review, 95% of people think they are self-aware; however, only 10 to 15% truly are. Without assistance, that gap can seriously impact seller performance—particularly in virtual interactions.


We demonstrate self-management when we think before acting and express emotions with restraint. Self-management allows us to respond—rather than react—to situations based on information rather than impulse. The better information we have, the better we’re able to hold ourselves accountable for our decisions and actions.

Social awareness

Social awareness is the ability to recognize others’ emotions and how they influence their behavior. It’s how we “read the room” in interactions. Those with high social awareness also demonstrate a high degree of empathy—the no. 1 leadership skill according to DDI, with empathetic leaders performing more than 40% higher in engaging others.

Relationship management

Relationship management involves using emotional insights and leadership to foster positive relationships. It’s how we build trust and encourage repeat engagement. Not surprisingly, the most successful relationship managers are those with naturally high—or highly assisted—emotional intelligence.

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