How to predict sales success

If there is one area of a company that requires rigorous and effective recruitment, selection and development then surely it is sales.

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If there is one area of a company that requires rigorous and effective recruitment, selection and development then surely it is sales. Unlike many other areas the ‘wrong fit’ in a sales role soon becomes evident through a failure to hit sales and growth targets. It is estimated that approximately 40% of sales representatives miss their annual targets and turnover within sales functions is often high. Research indicates that success in a sales role can be both predicted and developed, yet the vast majority of companies fail to factor personality into their selection (and development) processes. Traditionally sales selection is based on a candidate’s track record, such as experience, contacts and education, as well as interview impressions. Even though finding talented sales professionals is a key and constant requirement, HR professionals and sales leaders have been slow to adopt personality analytics. Generally, this is because they’re not aware of the importance they can play in finding potential sales stars or they are not skilled in psycho-analytical areas.

This is fast changing. One of our fastest growing consultancy service areas is helping our clients match and align their people to specific roles, not just in sales but also operationally, across people management and at senior leadership levels. By using Hogan’s range of Insight reports, we can provide companies with proven, scientifically validated information and recommendations about an individual’s strengths in any given role, as well as predicting their reliability and stress management profile. By using the power of insight analysis data companies can target increased sales and ROI. Past studies have identified candidates with an optimum sales profile averaging over £100,000 more in sales than those not meeting the optimum profile.

We also work with existing sales teams to profile personality. This allows us to benchmark star performers, highlighting the characteristics that make these people successful. You are then able to identify more of these individuals or develop existing sales talent against key behavioural areas through our sales leadership development and training programmes. By identifying the existing fit of a sales team through proven personality indicators, it is possible to identify the behavioural ‘gaps’ that are holding back their sales potential. This has been particularly effective when the external marketplace demands a different sales methodology, such as a need to move more towards a consultative, relationship management sales approach.

For more information on our science-based approach to sales development and success please contact Jennifer Jones, our Director of Consultancy Services, to find out how we can support you or your organisation.