I've written before about the question, "are elite salespeople made or born?". After nearly 10 years as an entrepreneur and B2B salesperson, I am convinced they are born. When I talk about "elite" I am referring to the top 20% in their respective fields. A better way to ask the question may be this...
Is it more likely you can.....
1) Take a person who is not a natural-born salesperson, give him/her some sales training, good motivation and a good product, and that person can become a top 20% performer in his/her field? - OR
2) Take a person who has all or most of the proven traits for being a great salesperson, give him/her a good product, and that person can become a top 20% performer in his/her field? Note that I excluded sales training here.
My hypothesis is that if sales is in "your blood" and you have a good product or service to sell, you are much more likely to become elite in your field. So, my vote is for #2. Add sales training to the mix and elite status is almost a certainty.
It is for this reason we use the CPQ for sales assessments of candidates and incumbents. The beauty of the CPQ is that it measure 8 components proven to be critical for sales compatibility, and it provides an overall compatibility score that helps evaluate prospective hires.
Even though an overall sales compatibility score may not be relevant for incumbents, the CPQ provides 3 important elements that can be applied to improve the performance of incumbents...
- Assessment of the 8 dimensions proven to measure sales compatibility - this gives the incumbent and his/her manager a deeper insight into why the individual may be strong in some areas and weak in others
- Coaching report - this provides the manager guidance on how to coach the individual to help him/her attain maximum potential
- Selling styles report - consistent with the DISC profile assessment, the CPQ takes the 8 dimensions and translates them into the person's natural selling style. This enables to individual to understand his/her natural style and how that needs to change to match the personality or buying style of the individual to which he/she is selling. We call this "mirroring and matching".
In our online marketing business we take a data-driven approach to developing marketing strategies and optimizing performance. That's why WebStrategies is so deeply invested in Google Analytics. In the same way, we've taken a data-driven approach to sales development, and that's why we always start with a quantitative sales assessment of prospective hires and incumbents. By having quantitative data, we can be certain of the foundation with which we are working.