Individual Profiling of your Sales Staff Pays Dividends

Monday 1 June, 2015 | By: Default Admin | Tags: sales, business development

Fact: Your sales team is made up of a collection of unique human individuals. Therefore your approach should be individual and have a human element, not be completely process-driven. One size does NOT fit all!

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Individual Profiling is one of the main tools sales trainers use to identify strengths and weaknesses in your individual sales people in order to improve their clients' sales.

In my company we use a tool called "SHL profiling" to tailor sales training. It not only trains your management team how to profile their team internally, it will also train your team how to profile your customers and get the best results. In short, you are getting the best out of the assets you have on staff.

For example, when undertaking individual profiling, it's important to look at things such as:

  • What is the individual motivated by?
  • Do they naturally like to lead or initiate?
  • Would they be happier in a supporting role?
  • Are they goal oriented?
  • Can they adapt to suit the audience?

An article in the Daily Telegraph (UK) explains the importance of identifying individual strengths and weaknesses in business with a quote from a leading industry director.

For SMEs moving into uncharted business waters, analysing your team’s current strengths and weaknesses is vital. “We encourage people to be upfront about what they are good at and what they are less good at,” says Kate Oakley, Ten Lifestyle Concierge’s director of people and performance, “so the whole team can make sure that each person is playing to their strengths and asking the right person for support when they need it. My advice is, as a leader, start by telling people on your team what you are not good at, this will help them open up.”

The SHL profiling tool helps determine where an individual will be most comfortable, and therefore most effective, in a typical sales cycle. These factors help sales managers focus the right talent at the right stages, from establishing a game plan or making contact all the way through to closing the sale and farming the account.

It is an interesting process and challenges stereotypes that often dictate the recruitment and development of sales people. The SHL profiling tool accurately identifies the qualities actually needed in today’s more complex sales environment, which as we know is very different from sales even five years ago.

We also look at “Sales Foundation” factors that centre around the core attributes required for success in most professional sales situations. This too forms part of the individual profiling process. For example, we examine confidence, drive, adaptability and listening. These foundations are vital in today’s value-added sales environments. They help to identify sales people that can become “trusted advisors”, not just great sales professionals.

The SHL profiling tool blends these sales foundations with critical “Sales Motivators”. These refer to things such as, money and autonomy and social contact and recognition. Identifying key sales motivators can drive more effective incentive plans, smarter sales management techniques, or improved team selling. Of course, getting motivations right will also be pivotal to the success of an individual.

Companies that use individual profiling quickly realise how important it is for employers to have individual insights into their employees motivations if they want to maximise their training budget and sales outcomes.

A wise woman (Billie Jean King) once said, “I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion."


Peter McKeon is a CCIQ Board Member and Managing Director of Salesmasters International, a leading Sales Training company in Australia. 1300 950 073


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