Understanding the different abilities someone has to have to be a successful sales rep is key to a business achieving increased revenue.
First it is about evaluating your sales team, and then recognising what skills needs to be developed through coaching or training. But what comes next is knowing whether everyone on your team is actually trainable – as not everyone is.
Understanding the sales DNA of your team
Learning who on your team is trainable—and who isn’t—can be done with a validated assessment tool, which can accurately test using the correct methodology. Essentially, the assessment evaluates a salesperson’s ‘will to sell’ (desire, commitment, responsibility and outlook) together with their ‘figure it out factor’ (how quickly they will ramp up and learn new information) and their sales DNA. This is then analysed, with an outcome around whether they have a real ‘incentive to change’, which will determine if each individual salesperson is trainable.
But wait, what is sales DNA?
Sales DNA is an intrinsic trait in a person. They either have a particular aptitude for something or they don’t, and it is almost impossible to change through training or coaching. Why? Sometimes there are things we, as humans, are wired a certain way for. If you are right-handed and one day you were told you had to start using your left hand, you would likely find that difficult. Even if you were trained in the correct way to use your left hand, it would probably still feel unnatural.
It is important to note that this is no reflection on an individual’s intelligence or ability to learn, it just means that there is a lack of incentive to change.
Research using data collected on over 750,000 salespeople has found that 74 per cent of those in sales are inefficient at what they do. Further findings identify that 30 per cent of those are actually untrainable for one reason or another – which means there is really nothing that can be done to increase their ability to be successful in sales.
Wouldn’t every sales business want to know that information so they don’t spend money on development for those are simply unresponsive to sales training? Again, it’s not about the person being unable to learn, it is just that when it comes to sales, there is a hidden weakness or something in their selling DNA which prevents them from being able to do what it takes to succeed.
However, there is good news
According to Kurlan, statistically 56 per cent of the bottom 74 per cent can be saved under the following circumstances.
The company must have:
- The luxury of time.
- Energy to spare.
- Desire to see these people succeed.
- Patience to wait for it.
- Effective sales coaching.
- Financial resources to wait for them to become productive and to pay for their training, coaching and development.
Plan for it to take around 18-24 months of training and coaching to help ineffective salespeople become productive. In comparison, salespeople in the top 26 per cent can improve on their existing skills and strong performance in as little as 4-8 months of the right training and coaching.
Yes, it does seem like a lot of work, but if you are unable to hire the A players then it is important to understand all of this, so then the right steps can be taken to improve performance and increase revenue.