You have salespeople who are low performers!
They get the same sales training.
You recruit them in a similar way.
You use the same tests for selection.
They sell the same services and products.
They have the same boss, you.
Do you know why?
If not maybe you should read this article.
I have been working with sales for over 40 years and this topic has followed me since I started selling. There have been many sales courses, consultants, sales training and books over the years. Not to mention all the seminars and lecturers or should I call them entertainers on the subject. Some of them are fantastically good speakers.
What made me reflect on the subject again were two reports on what distinguishes salespeople who sell more from others. One from Rain Group; one of the largest sales training companies in the United States, which conducted a study of 2,000 salespeople they trained. Yes, all those who train do not become sellers who sell more, but they have identified which variables differentiate those who sell more from those who sell less.
At the same time, I received a study of 5,000 salespeople from the company I represent in Europe; BSRP Inc which is a research company in sales and which has also done a study what distinguishes those who sell more than others based on their research on Sales Call Reluctance and other contributing factors that reduce the ability to prospect. BSRP does not work with sales training but measures the variables that have been shown to be important, ie the variables that differ “The chaff from the wheat”. They have a psychometric test (SPQ Gold/FSA) that can measure these variables and thus with good certainty pick out those that will sell more than others. They have done many such studies over the 40 years they have been on the market and with similar results.
So what is it then that sets those who sell more from others?
My first reflection is that the salespeople in a company are employed on similar terms, They have the same manager as coach, they have been recruited by the same people or at least according to the same principles. They have probably done the same test, usually a personality test and they get the same sales training. Still, low-performing, mediocre salespeople are hired who should have another job there that can be successful. It seems like all these professional sales managers, recruiters and trainers do not see the forest for all trees.
Research repeatedly shows the following.
Those who sell more do so because they are more motivated, have a clearer goal picture, they want to succeed more than others. They are more proactive, ie they initiate more contacts and make themselves more visible than others and they react faster than others.
So hire salespeople who are motivated, have a clear goal picture and who are very proactive in their way of working. Of the thousands of Sales Call Reluctance test we have done on sales staff, 12% say they do not want to talk to people and yet they are employed by professionals. 20% think it is so hard to contact customers and prospects so they would like another job (in these 20%, the 12% are included). The SPQ Gold / FSA test that we use measures precisely these variables to facilitate the selection in the recruitment process or to see what we need to do for an existing sales force to have increased productivity and efficiency. Then why does this not happen? Probably because many have their own assumptions that may be based on their experience and background. Assumptions are in my world one of the most dangerous sins when it comes to both strategic and tactical thinking. We need to make our decisions based on as many facts as possible in order to develop selling talent in the right way, recruit the right people and ensure that our experienced salespeople are constantly allowed to work in a motivating environment with clear goals that they are passionate about too reach.
Short summary. Those who sell more are;
1. More motivated
2. Have a clearer picture of where they are going and are passionate about achieving these goals
3. Has a lower degree of sales barriers so they are more proactive and respond faster than others to customers’ needs. In other words, they prospect more than others.
It is not more difficult than this.
Christer B Jansson VD Confident Approach AB
This article was originally published on the saleseffect.se in Swedish.
Link to the article: