Reward your prospectors and make sure individuals play for the team.
Conventional wisdom has long held that the most successful salespeople are born, not made. However, recent research shows there’s no shared salesperson gene. Instead, the right mix of tools, training and self-awareness can be effectively combined with a wide range of personality traits to create sales success.
By profiling sales professionals who routinely exceed their quotas, a 2016 study by Velocify made the case that high achievers attain success using a diverse set of strategies that play to their own individual strengths. According to the research, while some people may have more obvious attributes that make selling a natural fit, the path to success is as individual as the people involved.
These insights open the door for companies — especially startups — to broaden their thinking when it comes to hiring, training and sales planning.
Stay away from “one-size-fits-all” sales development.
Hiring a sales team is like placing a bet that a person’s production will be worth the investment. For startups, those risks are amplified: There’s not a lot of cushion for recalibrating if someone hasn’t been able to hit the ground running; so one sales hire can mean the difference between success and failure.
Velocify’s research offers some good news that can help alleviate the pressure. Sales success isn’t determined by finding perfect matches for some elusive attribute, Velocity says. Instead, entrepreneurs who focus on a combination of strategic hiring and individualized development have the advantage.