I might sound like a broken record sometimes on my blog, but I will keep saying this over and over again because it is the absolute truth as proven time and time again:
50 PERCENT OF SALES SUCCESS IS DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE PRESENCE OF NATURAL SALESPERSON APTITUDE.
That is a brutal fact. It means that while you can get some improvements in pretty much anyone through training, only those with natural sales abilities will ever truly absorb the training and excel. This makes sense if you view it from the perspective of a coach assembling a sports team or a teacher training classical musicians.
Natural ability makes it easier to learn
In the sports team example, imagine the challenges a baseball coach might have if he has a roster of players who simply cannot throw the ball straight despite instruction, and who wildly swing and miss at every pitch. They act silly rather than focus on the matters at hand, and barely show up to practice. These players clearly have no natural aptitude for the sport, and this team is going absolutely nowhere despite motivational speeches, threats, bribery or begging.
For the musicians, same thing. Picture a group of kids who would rather smack each other with their bows than practice on their violins, and who sound like a choir of screeching cats rather than an anything remotely resembling an orchestra. They can’t read a lick of sheet music despite hours of instruction, and generally cannot hold a tune if their lives depended on it.
I estimate that about a third of every sales team is comprised of people just like that.
Sound far-fetched? Every sales manager has experienced the “salesperson” who is more interested in flirting with co-workers, having three-hour lunches, or browsing social media for hours on end rather than actually working for sales (while claiming that those wasteful activities are “prospecting”).
These behaviors are symptomatic: they indicate an underlying lack of sales aptitude. So the person just does something else, while pretending to sell, in order to remain employed.
What Makes for Sales Success?
To be successful in sales it requires the following five factors:
1. Product Knowledge
2. Natural Aptitude for Sales
3. Selling Skills
5. Sales Process
As already mentioned, the most important factor is #2, natural aptitude for sales.
Those with natural ability display the traits we are all looking for as sales leaders:
- excellent communication skills
- able to align their sales approach with the target customers
- active listeners
- feel comfortable on the phone
- make a great first impression
- handle customer objections professionally
- empathy and ego drive
- can close deals
- build referral-based businesses
- upsell and cross-sell existing clients
Training people on the above skills and characteristics can only occur when the raw material is present.
Salesperson aptitude rules success because it eliminates the dangers of hiring employees that may be toxic to your sales department. Improve your bottom line by using the CPQ to hire and grow your sales teams. For more information about the CPQ please contact us.