Measuring Sales Potential and Gaps
This poses a challenge for sales managers who direct the efforts of salespeople. Some of the reasons why sales people do not perform are:
- They should not have been placed as salespeople in your company in the first place. In other words: Poor job/ company fit.
- Lack behavioural characteristics required to effectively perform duties
- Lack of product training, sales training, exploring markets, meeting regularly to keep all informed
- Poor sales management
Imagine if average sales people were performing like the top 20%? Unrealistic? Or, is worth exploring how to at least improve that percentage?
Last week, I sat with the sales coach and sales manager of a top company in South Africa. I gathered feedback about their sales people. I helped establish a benchmark of what the ideal sales people would look like in their environment. After much engagement, and disagreement, we were able to reach consensus on expectations. The first step to any improvement plan is to profile (assess, measure) sales staff against this ‘high performance’ benchmark.
The assessment tool used is the Profiles Sales Indicator™, which provides a means of selecting people who have the five qualities that make salespeople successful: 1. Competitiveness, 2. Self-reliance, 3. Persistence, 4. Energy, and 5. Sales Drive. It also predicts on-the-job performance in seven critical sales behaviors: 1. Prospecting, 2. Closing Sales, 3. Call Reluctance, 4. Self-starting, 5. Teamwork, 6. Building and Maintaining Relationships, and 7. Compensation Preference.
The PSI can be customised by company, sales position, department, manager, geography, or any combination of these factors. Empirical data can be used to develop a pattern that will tell you how well a job candidate matches your successful salespeople.
The PSI is easy to use. It can be taken in just 15-20 minutes and produces clear, readable reports that are direct and to the point. These reports can be used for selecting, managing, and training salespeople more effectively. This tool provides objective data for developing a more effective sales team, one person at a time.
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