For over 40 years, people have been studying the science of what makes a successful salesperson. While 74% of all salespeople are average to weak performers, there is a distinct combination of criteria that can be utilized to accurately and consistently identify the other 26% and recommend people who will succeed in a company’s sales position.
Having just one set of criteria for sales success across all industries and types of sales is not sufficient. Research has proven that each company has specific requirements for succes that sales candidates must meet in order to succeed.
The following is a list of some of the criteria that should be assessed when determining the strengths of your salespeople:
Empathy: The ability to sense the reactions of others, which enables them to understand what your customer wants, even when those desires aren’t articulated.
Ego-Drive: The need to have a prospect or customer say "yes." The salesperson consistently seeks an opportunity to turn others around to their point of view.
Desire: How badly a salesperson wants to succeed. When a salesperson lacks strong desire, their incentive to close a difficult sale is weak, and they will often take the easy way out.
Commitment: Thewillingness to do whatever it takes to succeed.
Outlook: Encompasses the salesperson's attitude about the company, the job, their career, and their self. When their outlook is not as strong as it could be, it can affect both their desire and commitment, leading them to make excuses.
Responsibility: Salespeople need to take responsibility for their results. Salespeople who make excuses will seldom improve as they fail to see the part they played in their failures.
Closing: A company with a short sell cycle or a one-call close must select salespeople who have performed in that environment previously and don’t believe that their prospect should think it over before making a purchase.
Hunting: A company that requires a new salesperson to go out and find new opportunities the majority of the time must select salespeople who have successfully accomplished that before in a similar setting.
Money Tolerance: Are you selling a $500 item or a $500,000 item? A company that sells a high priced product or service must select a salesperson who has sold in a similar environment before.
Decision Maker: Are you selling to middle managers, technical people, and/or the C level suite of executives? Again, your salesperson needs to be familiar with selling to a particular type of group.
The Complexity of the Sale: Are you selling a simple widget or a high-end technical solution? Consider the sales cycle or length of time it takes from identifying a prospect to closing a sale. Does it take one appointment or multiple appointments over many months?
How to identify all of the above attributes in salespeople for your company:
I believe one of the best sales assessment tools available is the OMG Dave Kurlan Sales Force Profilebecause it was one of the first of its kind and has continued research and refinement. It is even customizable to your specific sales requirements.
To learn more, download OMG’s founder, Dave Kurlan's white paper, The Modern Science of Salesperson Selection.
If you would like to learn more about the OMG and are interested in assessing your salespeople, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.