How are salespeople like NFL teams, and what are the top five traits that separate salespeople at the top from salespeople at the bottom?
This weekend was the start of the NFL season, and we know that what differentiates the best teams from the worst is the abilities of their quarterback, receivers, special teams, defense, and kickers. Sports fans are dedicated to dissecting statistics and using real science to separate the best from the worst.
Even though we know there will be good teams and bad teams, they all started out this week thinking they would have a great game and a great season and that they will eventually win the Super Bowl. This is a lot like the best and the worst salespeople thinking they will close the deal, make their numbers, and crush their targets. We all know most of them will not even pick up the phone or follow up on a lead.
Five traits that separate salespeople
So what are the top five traits that separate the best salespeople from the worst? Data from Objective Management Group’s two decades of evaluating 1,000,000 salespeople from more than 200 industries has helped us determine the five competencies that separate the best from the worst.
Closing: It’s no surprise that the top salespeople are four times better at closing than the worst salespeople are. The best salespeople follow a repeatable, predictable sales process. They participate in effective sales training programs, and they know the right time to close.
Qualifying: The top 10% of all salespeople are 2.5 times better at determining whether their prospects are the right people, whether those prospects have the budget needed, or whether their prospects can find the resources to make a purchase. The best salespeople don’t waste their time with unqualified prospects. This trait plays a definite role in their closing abilities.
CRM Savvy: In his best-selling book Fanatical Prospecting, Jeb Blount puts it very simply, “Your CRM is the most important tool in your sales arsenal.” If you don’t use it, you will waste your time, and time is the most important resource for any salesperson.
Commitment to Sales Success: Top sales people will do whatever it takes (ethically) to be successful in their sales efforts. They will go that extra mile to achieve. They will not make the excuse that they have to complete the sales training, blame the economy, or say the work it is too challenging.
Hunting: The ability to generate business from new clients requires successful salespeople to reach decision makers and prospects consistently and to generate sales, not friends.
Sales is a competitive exercise, and just like the NFL, there will be winners and losers. In another similarity to football, we can statistically identify the traits exhibited by top salespeople (the five traits that separate salespeople) to accurately predict whether the salespeople you hire will crush their sales targets or just think they can crush their sales targets. I ask clients, “If you could hire the best salespeople, would you?” It is easy to identify and hire top-tier sales people if you have the right tools and the right partners, such as TruCore Business Development.