Businesses do not typically profile sales people when hiring. Instead, they focus solely on the CV. While a CV tells you about a person’s past achievements, it is not a very effective tool for predicting a person’s future success. Furthermore, businesses do not assess the true strengths and weaknesses in skills required to be successful in a sales role. The best way of predicting a person’s likelihood of success in a sales role is to profile the type of sales person or profile required for a specific sales role. This is where a sales profile comes in.
A sales profile is a tool that is used for optimizing sales performance by measuring how well a candidate fits a specified sales role. It enables an organization to evaluate a candidate based not on their past achievements, but on their personal skills and how these skills fit into the specified sales job.
When hiring, many businesses jump to conclusions about stereotypes for a job description. For instance, hiring managers will automatically choose a hunter profile for a new business development role. Here, they might fail to consider the actual percentage of new to existing accounts when making the hire. By hiring a hunter when the bulk of sales comes from existing accounts, the business is not effectively optimizing its sales performance.
Predicting Sales Success
According to research, age-old stereotypes about sales people do not hold water anymore. Most people associate successful sales people with characteristics like good communication skills, assertiveness and aggression. While many people who go into sales possess these character traits, the traits themselves cannot be used to predict success. While most assessment tools are effective at describing a person’s personality, they do a poor job of predicting their chances of success in a sales role. Most assessment tools also fail to take into account the differences between different sales roles.
To predict a sales person’s chances of success, a business first needs to specify the type of sales role that is needed. Different sales roles require different skills. Selling cars is different from selling software. A business should have detailed requirements for each role. Once the different sales roles are identified, the business should then identify the granular, role-related character traits and behaviours that separate top performers from bottom performers. For instance, the traits that contribute to success for a hunter are very different from those that contribute to success for a farmer. Doing so allows Chally to assess a candidate and predict their chances of success with an 80% accuracy.
Selecting a Sales Profile
Most sales roles generally fall into one of the following 14 sales profiles. It is important to note that a person’s success in one role does not mean that they will automatically be successful in another role. This is because the specific traits that make him successful in one role could be counterproductive in a different role.
So, how do you select the correct sales profile? Before you can settle on a specific sales profile, you need to consider the following questions:
- Is the sales person required to make the sales over the phone or face to face?
- Will the sales person sell directly to customers or will they sell indirectly through distributors and resellers?
- Will the sales person sell all of the business’s products and services or will they focus on a specific product or service line?
- Will the sales person sell by territory or will they handle specific accounts?
- Is the sales person tasked with introducing new, innovative products/systems and providing a sound business case or are they tasked with working as advocate to solve customer problems and strengthen the customer relationship?
- Is the sales person tasked with primarily selling a fairly tangible and standardized product or service or are they tasked with selling a complex package of parts and services that require individual and custom design, installation and packaging?
- Is the sales person tasked with acquiring new accounts or are they tasked with acquiring and maintaining existing accounts?
This process is important because hiring the right sales person depends on more than a person’s general personality. For instance, it is assumed that since sales involves talking to people, all sales people need to be extroverted. However, in some roles, introverts may make better sales people, because whereas an extrovert will spend way too much time talking, an introvert might spend that time listening, which is a key ingredient for effective selling.
Only by asking these questions can you identify the skills needed for each different role. Once you identify the required skills, you can then test them during the hiring process.
Personality traits may identify people with a high likelihood of success, but then these people would require to be in a specific type of sales role in order to be successful. When placed in a different role, their performance might be negatively affected. Similarly, sales people who are failing in one role can achieve success when transferred to a different sales role. This is why businesses need a skills assessment tool like Chally, which enables them to identify strengths and weaknesses of candidates and employees and enables them to manage any weaknesses.
SalesRehab uses a scientific approach to find and profile the right type of salesperson specifically for your organisation. With GrowthPlay’s Chally Assessment, SalesRehab scientifically assesses sales skills to get the right fit, as well as manages response handling to remove frustration from the recruitment process.