High Performing Salespeople

high performing salespeople

High Performing Salespeople

What separates high performing salespeople who exceed their quota from underperformers who miss their quotas by more than 25%?

Recent research carried out by Harvard Business Review involving nearly 800 salespeople and sales leaders to better answer this question. The research provides interesting insights about the attributes of high-performing top salespeople compared to their lesser successful counterparts.

Key attributes of High Performing Salespeople

Verbal acuity. This refers to a communication level where the meaning, nature, and importance of the words spoken by the salesperson are personally understood by the customer. For a salesperson to establish credibility requires that messages be conveyed at the recipient’s communication level, not too far below the level of the words that the customer uses. On average, high-performing salespeople communicate between the 11th and 13th grade level when scored by the Flesch-Kincaid test as opposed to the 8th and 9th grade level for underperforming salespeople.

Achievement oriented personality. Eighty-four percent of high performing salespeople tested scored very high in achievement orientation. They are fixated on achieving goals and continuously measure their performance in comparison to their goals.

Situational dominance. Situational dominance is a personal interaction strategy by which the customer accepts the salesperson’s recommendations and follows his advice.

Inward Pessimism. Over 90% of high-performing and underperforming salespeople described themselves as optimists. However, upon further review nearly two-thirds of high-performing salespeople actually exhibit pessimistic personality tendencies. The explanation for this dichotomy is that salespeople always have to maintain a positive attitude and pleasant demeanour while in front of customers. However, inward pessimism drives a salesperson to question the viability of the deal and credibility of the buyer. Therefore, high performing salespeople are more naturally driven to ask the customer tougher qualifying questions and are more likely to seek out meetings with senior level decision makers who ultimately decide which vendor will be selected.

Sales management impact. Does a salesperson’s manager play a determining factor in achieving success? Study participants were asked, “Outside of setting my quota, does my sales manager plays a key role in determining whether or not I make quota?” Surprisingly, the response from high and underperformers was identical. Forty-six percent stated the sales manager plays a role in my success and 54% were neutral or disagreed with it. Moreover, 69% of high performing salespeople rated their sales manager as excellent or above average compared to 49% of underperforming salespeople, indicating there is a correlation.

The top three factors for underperforming salespeople were industry expertise and product knowledge, communication, and coaching skills.  These results reveal how high performing salespeople and underperforming salespeople utilize their managers differently. Underperformers tend to use their managers to make up for the product and industry knowledge they lack.

Sales organization influence. The research suggests that sales organization morale influences individual sales success. Fifty three percent of high performing salespeople rated their sales organization’s morale as being higher than most sales organizations. In comparison, only 37% of underperforming salespeople rated morale higher than most companies.

When considered, sales performance is more likely dependent on the attributes of both the individual and sales environment characteristics over company-related influences.

How a CRM can help with your organisation with High Performing Salespeople

A CRM system benefits an organisation through the visibility of its sales activities. This visibility is fundamental to managing sales performance and control of the sales process. This visibility enables management to understand why, when, who and how opportunities are being won, stalled, or being lost.  If it cannot be monitored, it cannot be managed. The visibility offered within the CRM system also allows management to make educated business decisions based on hard data. A CRM system will enable structured data to be used to access performance. This assessment should indicate which salesperson is outperforming others.

How ProAptivity can help your organisation with High Performing Salespeople

ProAptivity are an independent CRM solutions provider. We focus on the implementation, training, and support of highly customised CRM software solutions. Our CRM software supported by our sales training provide customers with the tools needed to deliver successful sales process management.

Fundamentally, we help organisations embed CRM best practice throughout their organisation. This helps organisations become more competitive, customer focused and ultimately more profitable.

If you need help in understanding why my business needs CRM, maybe some of our  eBooks could help! Alternatively visit Maximizer CRM for more information. Contact us today in Belfast on 028 9099 6388 or at our Bedford office on 01234 214004. Alternatively email us on info@proaptivity.com. Contact us today for a free CRM consultation that will assess if your business is CRM ready.

Source: HBR

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