Why some sellers sell more than others

You have salespeople that not perform

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 i.e. You?

Do you know why?

If not, maybe you should read this article.

Today I have been working in sales for over 45 years and this topic has followed me since I started with sales. There have been many sales courses, consultants, sales trainings, 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 fantastically talented lecturers.

What made me reflect on the topic again were two reports on what are the difference between low and high performers in sales. One study is from The Rain Group; one of America’s largest sales training companies that conducted a study of 2,000 salespeople they trained. Yes all they train do not become sellers who sell more and they have identified which variables distinguish 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 also made 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 proven to be important, ie the variables that differ ” the chaff from the wheat”.  They have a psychometric test 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 existed in the market and with similar results.

So, what distinguishes those who sell more from others?

My first reflection is that the salespeople in a company are employed on similar premises, they have the same manager, the same coach if they have any, they have been recruited by the same people or at least according to the same principles. They have most likely done the same test, usually a personality test and they get the same sales training.

Nevertheless, they still hiring low-performers, mediocre salespeople who should have a different job where they can be successful.,  It seems that all these professional sales managers, recruiters and trainers don’t see the forest for all the 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 i.e. they initiate more contacts and make themselves more visible than others and they even react faster than others.

So, hire salespeople who are motivated, have a clear goal and who are very proactive in their way of working.  Of the thousands of tests, we’ve done on salespeople in Sweden,

12% say they don’t want to talk to people and yet they’re employed by professionals.  20% consider it so hard to contact customers and prospects that they would like another job.

Latest info from USA is that over 80% of sales people show traits to be close to a burn-out. 50% of sales people are looking for a new job.

The SPQ Gold/FSA test that we use measures these variables to facilitate selection in the recruitment process or to see what we need to do for an existing sales force to have increased productivity and efficiency and in the same way increase psychological wellness. 

Why, then, is this not happening?

Probably because many people have their own assumptions that may be based on their experiences and background. In my world, assumptions are one of the most dangerous culprits when it comes to both strategic and tactical thinking. We need to make our decisions based on as much facts as possible to both develop a selling talent in the right way, recruit the right people and ensure that our experienced salespeople constantly get to work in a motivating environment with clear goals that they are passionate about achieving.

So short summary. Those who sell more are.

  1. More motivated
  2. Have a clearer picture where they are going and are passionate about reaching these goals
  3. Have a lower degree of sales call reluctance so they are more proactive and react faster than others to customer needs.

In other words, they prospect more than others. It’s not more difficult than that.

Christer B Jansson

VD Confident Approach AB