The Right Salesperson for the Job


Sales person

If you run a sales team, or if you are a salesperson, it’s important to understand that different types of behaviors play into your success (or lack thereof) and also that of your sales force. By determining what kind of environment and what type of sale is occurring on your team or in your company and industry, you can put the “right” sales person on your team and have a better chance at achieving the following:


  • Improved sales results
  • Care what customers think in order to meet their needs and close more sales
  • Know that time is money so you get a more focused sales person
  • Work more effectively to achieve higher results
  • Sustain higher levels of activity for longer periods and not “burning out”


At PI Midlantic, we use a behavioral assessment tool and methodology to predict general behavioral attributes that give us and our clients great insight into the type of person we are about to hire. In sales, knowing these attributes beforehand gives us a better chance at finding the right person for the job and setting them up for success. A handful of the attributes that we consider when hiring a salesperson are dominance, extraversion, and patience.


Individuals with a higher dominance tend to have a more competitive edge to them. They are much better at cold calling, value added selling, and being a proactive sales “hunter” as we say in the industry. These folks do great in an environment where they can make their own claim to fame and stand out as the top dog. On the other side of the spectrum, those with lower dominance tend to be more service selling and relationship building salespeople. They enjoy repeat visits to same customer, reactive sales, and sending out or dropping off the holiday cards/cake to the lady at the front desk. These are our “farmers” or account managers. Major accounts and long sales cycles favor these individuals.


Highly extraverted salespeople sell intangibles and concepts well; they create a need and appeal to emotions. It goes without saying that these folks really enjoy the face-to-face environment and may not do well in a call center. The lower extraversion individuals, however, do better with consultative, problem solving sales experiences. They are typically better at selling technical products and also selling to a specific, existing need.


Patience (root word, pace) gives us great insight into how a person will do with the sales cycle. Salespeople with higher patience perform much better in low pressure, steady, sales environments. They tend to do well at servicing an existing customer base and performing repetitive sales activities in order to drive numbers. Those with lower patience, however, thrive in a fast-paced and agile environment, able to change direction on a dime and “keep the ball moving”. These folks want to see results and they want to see them NOW. Urgency to finalize, self-pressure to get it done are the names of the game.


The moral of the story here is there is no single, overarching “best salesperson” out there (trust me, I’ve been looking for that person for a long time). Know your environment, play to your strengths when it comes to choosing the type of sale at which you will perform best; and if you are a sales manager, set your team up for success by aligning your prospective employees with your sales environment.