Sales managers who begin testing candidates for Drive often wonder how their current salespeople, particularly their top performers, will score on the test. So, they assess their current team, comparing test results to sales performance. The underperformers almost always score low on Drive . . . no surprise there. However, inevitably, 1 or 2 top performers also record average to low scores. This can be surprising at first . . . after all, how could a top performer possibly score low on Drive? Nonetheless, there are a few classic dynamics that can cause this phenomenon . . .
- The most common scenario in which a top producer gets a low Drive score is when the individual has built up a great book of business over the years that he or she is now shepherding. This person may be a great contributor to your sales goals, but may not have the degree of intensity you need in a new recruit with an empty contact list.
- A second common case is one in which the high performing salesperson is working with more aggressive teammates who are handling all prospecting and cold calling, allowing them to step in closer to the end of the sale.
- Third, for many larger companies, the brand may be doing the selling and the top performer may be responding to several RFP’s, rather than knocking on doors himself.
Again, in each of these scenarios, the top performing salesperson may be excellent at what they do, and an important part of the team. However, the top performer on any given team is just that . . . the top performer on that team. (The same phenomenon occurs in the world of sports.) When compared to the universe of high-performing sales “hunters,” as measured by the test, they may not necessarily rank quite as highly. We recommend that companies keep these caveats in mind when testing their existing teams, and continue to raise the bar on the hiring side, building a team of high-Drive hunters over time.
Dr. Christopher Croner and Richard Abraham are authors of Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again and developers of the proprietary and patented sales test, The DriveTest™, for sales candidates. For more information, click here.