As memorialized in the book and movie Moneyball, Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane revolutionized the way baseball teams selected players through the use of statistics and data analysis.
The A’s were able to compete against much richer teams through this competitive edge, which allowed them to eschew tired old ways and “wisdom” used to pick players, and instead examined player traits no one else was looking at to assemble a world-class team.
In the same way, top-notch sales teams are put together by forward-thinking firms using a similar methodology. Instead of relying solely on past sales volume, resume data, and a personal interview, these companies are examining other traits through sales aptitude assessments — and thereby successfully competing against richer firms in the sales arena.
Pick the Traits that Matter
Baseball teams were focused on traditional stats like RBIs (runs batted in), batting average (percentage of times a player would get a hit when at bat), and stolen bases, but Billy Beane focused on different player traits, such as slugging percentage and on-base percentage, to discover great players who were being ignored or undervalued.
In the same way, by picking traits that correlate to higher sales performance, rather than choosing superficial traits such as whether a prospect wears a nice suit and drives a Mercedes, sales managers and executives can select salespeople that might otherwise be passed on and make them into champions.
Sales aptitude assessments like the Craft Personality Questionnaire focus on the traits that matter. For example, the CPQ can tell you whether an applicant has a strong Need to Nurture trait coupled with a low Social Drive and Social Confidence trait — the combination of which would indicate a very bad pick for an outside salesperson.
Or it would indicate someone who makes a Good Impression and has a high Goal Orientation and Social Confidence…in which case they might make a fine sales hunter type.
Coach like the Pros
While natural talent is extremely important in sports, no one is born the perfect athlete. Every competitive player has one or more weak spots that are addressed through coaching and training.
In the same way, sales greats need natural aptitude, but they also need to address their own blind spots and weaknesses through classes, one-on-one coaching, seminars, and other methods. The great part about using the CPQ as a sales aptitude assessment solution is that it provides detailed coaching recommendations to improve performance in certain areas.
And, everything is written so the layperson can read and understand — you do not need an advanced psychology degree to interpret the results!
So, if you are ready to take the Billy Beane approach and use stats and data analysis to build the best performing sales team at the lowest possible cost – consider the CPQ. Over one million tests taken over 30 years prove that eight major personality traits revealed by it make all the difference between a sales team that hits it out of the park consistently or one that warms the bench!