Timeless Truths About Sales

June 1, 2010

A winning team needs winning individuals.

Not everybody is born, or is even capable of being trained to be, a top salesperson. Even with extraordinary talent or the ability to soak up best practices like a sponge, mating the right person with the right product or service and the right manager is key to reaching and exceeding sales and business objectives. Making a bad match often results in low productivity, which in turn leads to high personnel turnover. This is clearly a lose-lose situation – for the employer, the employee and the customer.

One way to increase your odds of making a good match is a really simple one: identify the likely best performers before you hire them. Obviously, every sales manager has this as a clear goal. Fortunately, there are some profiling tools, like this one from Robert N. McMurray, who in 1961 described a set of personality traits that are most often associated with successful sales people that can help:

* A strongly developed “wooing” instinct or “a compulsive need to win and hold the affection of others.”
* A high level of energy
* Abounding self-confidence
* A chronic hunger for money
* A well-established habit of industry
* A state of mind which regards each objection, resistance, or obstacle as a challenge.1

Choosing individuals who have many or all of these personality characteristics with help you shortlist candidates, it does not take into consideration the qualities needed in the employer, nor the right synthesis of factors the need to be present between the two to ensure a successful partnership. Solving the turnover problem requires new instruments and new approaches.

In addition to tangible factors such as training, product and management, intangible factors such fitting into the team, an internal sense of success and the sense that you are contributing and are appreciated for your contribution are equally important to salespeople. Employers have to look beyond numbers and quotas to ensure that their “organization” provides these intangibles.

Please consider using TeneoTalent’s mix of specialized employer- employee assessments, in-person recruiters and coaching to maximize your sales force hiring. TeneoTalent is based out of Denver, Colorado.


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