Number One Predictable and Treatable Flaw in Salespeople

Most professional salespeople in my experience have a Low C drive as measured by The Predictive Index survey. What this means for those unfamiliar with PI, is that they run away from, or at minimum prefer, environments that do not have the need for:

  • Process
  • Consistency
  • Focus
  • Long attention span
  • Methodical work style
  • Patience
  • Sympathetic listening
  • Repetition
  • Time

Here is the problem with those realities. “One of the strongest forces in the human organism is the need for consistency,” states Anthony Robbins. Love it or hate it, as human beings we need it. Think of those you know who are inconsistent. Words like this may arise to define her or his behavior: unstable, fickle, wishy-washy, flaky, untrustworthy. Sound like a great label to you? Me neither.

Sustainable sales success is a consistent coordination of many things. However, if a salesperson lacks the focus and discipline to consistently do the necessary things, then that success will be elusive. At best, they can hope for peaks and valleys in performance.

As a leader of salespeople, how do you install skills, behaviors and habits into your people that will truly stick given that many of them struggle with what I’ve shared above? Below are three straightforward options that have worked both for me and my clients:

Stick to a sales process, philosophy and language

Many sales leaders get just as impatient and bored with any process as their people do. This leads to an ‘expert of the month club’ where the language for sales success continues to change. Once you have vetted a solid process for your team, use it. Everyday for a long time. Too many sales leaders change approaches before they have enough performance data to validate if a process was actually the right one or not. Odds are it was good enough to merit the results, if their people would have actually committed to it. But, why commit when I know the next ‘sales book’ or ‘sales expert’ is going to impact our team next month?

Repetition is the key to truly learning

The fear here is that I and my team will get bored and disengaged if we keep talking about the same things. Will it take some discipline to keep using the language? Yes. Will it frustrate some who feel ‘I already know this’? Yes. However, if you do your homework you’ll realize that the pain associated with repetition is how sustainable success is earned. This is how you instill a language and a culture within your team. It will also take the load off of sales leadership to constantly be doing something new and different. There are few right ways to run a sales team, and constant change doesn’t happen to be one of them. Once you pick a process, decide how you will train and consistently reinforce it every day, week, month and quarter. At each interval make an intelligent decision as to how you will continue to reinforce key principles that lead to your team actually practicing and using any desired skill. Teams tend to do what the boss cares about most. With your behavior and language you will be transforming your team through boring old repetition.

Train and develop your people for the job, but manage needs and drives of the individual

Sales people are human beings, not machines. There are practical limitations to how much each of us is willing to change based on our needs and drives. When we are pushed beyond that capacity we get de-energized, disengaged and disinterested. As a leader, get to know each of the individuals on your team and learn what drives them. Where do they get their self-confidence? What parts of the job take the most energy? Then, listen to them. Yes, if you are in sales there are numbers to hit and a job to get done everyday. However, if your needs are not getting met, what position will you be in to be truly productive? I use The Predictive Index with my clients, but there are other valid and reliable tools on the market to gather similar intelligence on you and your people.

If you would be interested in having me take a look at you and your team as it relates to sales results, philosophy, process and language simply reach out via the contact page and use my name to schedule a meeting. If you are already one of my clients, you already know the drill.