Sales Success Profile – Are You a Business Shark?
Are great salespeople born or made? – goes the familiar question. This poses the dilemma of whether some people are naturally good at sales or is sales a skill that can be learned by putting in the effort.
Steve W. Martin of the USC Marshall School of Business, in one of his Harvard Business Review sales research articles, estimates that over 70 per cent of top salespeople are born with “natural” abilities that contribute to their sales success.
He also posits that the balance 30 per cent of self-made salesman have some key abilities that define their success.
- Deep knowledge of one’s industry, product and operations.
- The ability to weave a story around it based on experience and relatable benefits that win customer trust and influences buying decisions.
- The ability to understand human nature and the internal maneuvering in decision-making thereby influencing/motivating the buying centre decision makers.
- The ability to ensure the finite element of time is taken into account while pushing for deal closure.
In another article , he also identified key personality traits successful salespeople exhibit naturally that impacted their selling style by administering personality tests to 1,000 business salespeople. These are listed below.
- Team Player : They are modest and prefer to work and make decisions with other people, as opposed to people high on individualist trait that are accustomed to going their own way, making decisions and taking actions on their own.
- Conscientiousness : They tend to be dominated by a sense of duty and They feel deeply responsible towards their results and are extremely reliable.
- Achievement Orientation : They tend to be focussed on goals and coordinate ideas and resources to achieve goals by having the foresight to look at the bigger and long-range picture.
- Curiosity : They tend to be inquisitive and ask questions to satisfy their knowledge and fill the gaps in their understanding. They like to know the truth at the earliest possible instance.
- Dominance : They have a commanding presence that allows them to gain the trust of customers such that their advice and/or recommendations are followed.
- Resilience : They maintains composure and self-control in stressful situations and bounce back from setbacks and failures. They do not does not let obstacles hamper performance and have an optimistic outlook.
- Aggressiveness : They tend to lack in self-consciousness being very self-assured, secure and have an excellent capacity to deal with things and are highly action oriented
While not all salespeople are successful, the results from the above study tend to prove that the successful ones share the common traits listed above.
Behavioural assessments help you to determine whether your team has the innate abilities that drive sales success. These assessments also assist in better understanding current salespeople, highlighting areas for improvement that can help you set up focussed training programs for their development.