Sales results speak louder than words

Saunders Lynn & Co, Sales results speak louder than words

Sales results speak louder than words

I have been quoted on the Seek blog talking about unconscious bias previously. Sales Managers often hire people like themselves. Which makes sense – it is great to work with someone who is likeminded and similar to you. You are pretty confident you have a good culture fit and it is so easy to work with someone like you.

At the same time, hiring someone like you might contribute to a lack of diverse opinions, options and strategies. There is a benefit to hiring a broad range of personalities. Most sales people are social, gregarious and outgoing. But not every customer is going to be delighted to see a high energy, A type, high achiever. A sales team needs quiet achievers too. I have seen far too many instances where a quietly spoken candidate misses out on a role because the gregarious sales manager can’t see past their quieter personality.

But how do we recognise a good hire when the person sitting in front of us has a different personality to what we habitually hire into the business? A high energy, high achiever is easy to spot, someone who is a high achiever, but more quietly spoken, may not be as easy to pick up on for some of the socially strong among us.

Regardless of personality, look for the sales achievement, look for the value add to their territory. Has their portfolio of business increased? Has it increased faster than the current rate of market growth? How have they achieved this and how much is a direct result of their efforts, as opposed to the execution of someone else’s bright idea. How strong is their planning and analysis skills to develop a plan of action on their territory?

Look first for the achievements, their results and how they achieved this. Then consider the mix of personalities in the current team and what will provide a good fit, along with a bit of diversity to help match to a variety of different types of customers.

I have seen the benefit many times over, when a sales manager undertakes a review of client lists and switches out a dozen customers in each territory to a new sales consultant to better match the personality of the customer. Often the new sales representative thrives on the challenge of cracking that new account and everyone wins – the company, the sales manager, the rep and the customer.

Happy interviewing!

Kerri O'Connor
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Kerri is a former marketer, sales executive and all round passionate die hard within the architecture, interior design and construction industry in Australia. The last twenty plus years have been spent listening to senior executives, general managers, business owners and graduates.