Successful sales people generally have thick skin and can weather a lot of rejection, customer gripes, and other adversity. However, even the thickest skin cannot compensate for being put in a role for which there is little natural aptitude.
People are different and personality differences can make a big difference in how jobs are performed. Fortunately, for the sales manager and executive, these differences can be measured and revealed through aptitude testing— such as the Aptitude Personality Questionnaire (APQ).
When the APQ is used in hiring and placement decisions, and this is coupled with role-specific business sales training, profits increase, turnover is reduced, and good salespeople have a better chance at becoming great salespeople.
Here are some of the traits to look out for when deciding who to put in specific roles:
Hunters are your go-getters, the ones out in the field uncovering opportunities in which to sell. They provide new blood to the organization, in the form of fresh customers and leads.Newer organizations and those aggressively pushing a new product should focus on beefing up their roster of Hunters.
One negative trait about Hunters is that they can be impulsive, which causes them to make mistakes by not paying attention to the details of a deal.
Closers are generally a persuasive personality type who can seal the deal.Often, they are a higher authority, such as a veteran salesperson or manager.
A negative with this type is that Closers can lack tact and empathy from having heard every objection before, and might adopt a “take it leave it” attitude towards smaller deals rather than working things through.
Farmers are specialists at servicing the existing customer base, keeping those relationships going and staying attuned to opportunities to sell to it again. Companies with large existing customer bases should employ a sufficient amount of Farmers to handle those accounts and keep them buying.
One weakness with Farmers is that they often have difficulty in dealing with assertive-type buyers, such as C-suite execs, who are often better handled by Hunters.
Understanding the different personality types and how they best translate into sales roles allows managers and executives to design a sales team which properly leverages the strengths and minimizes the weaknesses of its members.
Reinforcing the natural aptitude of each with a well-designed business sales training curriculum will not only better their sales skills, but also make them understand the entire sales process and how their role fits.When done well, everyone understands their position and a sort of “magic” occurs where team members will use the strengths of others on the team to help them do their own jobs, rather than in-fight due to insecurity about their roles.
The entry point to designing such a team is aptitude testing with the APQ. Contact Asher Strategies to find out more about how this powerful tool can help your organization.
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Edna Galvan, Program Manager, United Way