Why Companies are Failing to Duplicate Great Sales Professionals

Last month, Indeed put out a list of the main characteristics that make up a great salesperson.  They make the statement that, “It’s said that it takes a unique type of personality to succeed in sales, possessing most of if not all the following characteristics.”

     The list they compiled was composed of the typical traits you would think to see.  (view the full list here)   Some of the characteristics included were:

  • Active Listening                                               
  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Honesty 
  • Multi-Tasking
  • Optimism
  • Self-Awareness

Let me be clear…there is nothing wrong with this list or the other thousands just like it.  Every trait they mention is in fact what you would like to have in your sales team, however these characteristics alone WILL NOT determine if someone will be successful in front of a client.  

Great sales professionals are a blend of more than just their characteristics.  A great sales professional is strong in 

  1. their characteristics and traits 
  2. their selling methodology and training
  3. their product knowledge and acumen  


Unfortunately, many sales leaders’ gap on how to optimize the above 3 categories.  

Some leaders feel that characteristics are by far the most valuable, so they only hire and develop based on those.  The problem with that is I bet you have known people who checked every single one of those boxes, and failed in sales.  We have to realize that in today’s market it’s not just traits, characteristics and attributes anymore.  That is the easy way of anointing those who they hope will be successful without taking the responsibility to create an atmosphere and program so when someone shows up with those features, they can truly have a shot at success.  

Then there are those organizations where characteristics and methodology are “important”, but not as important as the product.  They hire and develop tons of people and train them for weeks on every detail of what they sell and then send them out to go sell.  We call these “rep factories” this is a very popular way to weed out what the company deems “good sales people”.  Again, companies can have success with this tactic, but it’s extremely expensive in both time and dollars and the long term advantages are not there.

Finally is the methodology of a company.  This is where most sales leaders know they need to improve but with literally 100’s of Sales and Training Programs available, how do you find one that fits your culture and creates the success you need?  

So what can happen is every year or 2, a “new” Sales Training company arrives and companies spend tens of thousands up to several million dollars to help new and existing sales and marketing employees sell more and increase revenue.  Once everyone goes through the program, you see a small bump in production for a short period, but because most of these companies don’t have a strong follow through or coaching program, almost everyone will go back to doing what they have always done.  Then 2 years later…rinse and repeat.  Companies spend money with no guarantee on investment in hopes that maybe this time it will permanently help.  That’s what companies and sales professionals ULTIMATELY want, an approach  that has long term results and reinforced with world-class coaching. The goal is to make sure that it continues to duplicate throughout the company and everyone begins to speak a similar language and communicate as one in order to drive performance.

So the solution is simple.  You need to implement a methodology that will ACTIVATE and elevate the characteristics of your teams and the value of your product.  The right methodology will take your 80%ers and give them a platform to be excellent as well as take a good product and turn it into a great solution.  It’s optimizing the 3 so your sales teams and company have the best chance for success.

A great resource for individuals and teams to learn more about this topic and our entire NeuroSelling Program is with our brand new Braintrust Academy.  This academy is an interactive digital training experience that offers the full breadth of Braintrusts trainings including:

The Science of Decision Making


Mastering the Virtual Customer Conversation and much much more!

For more information, visit www.braintrustacademy.com

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