We know that individuals with Drive make great salespeople, but there are a number of other traits that complement Drive and are important to consider when looking to hire top-producing salespeople. These are sales traits that you just cannot identify from an interview alone. That is why it is critical to start out with an assessment that measures Drive. Keep the following five sales traits in mind during your next performance reviews or sales assessments to help you identify high-potential salespeople.
Five Traits of Successful Salespeople
A sales rep with Drive is ambitious and cannot stand to sit on the sidelines. This kind of employee does not wait passively for someone else to come up with the solution.
A high-Drive salesperson will take the initiative to learn as much as they can about their product and customer.
Drive is made up of three, non-teachable traits:
- Need for Achievement — the desire to do well just for the sake of doing well
- Competitiveness — the motivation to want to outperform peers and win the customer over to their point of view
- Optimism — the understanding that there is no success without failure and rejection is just part of the game
According to Sales and Marketing Management magazine, storytelling is the oldest trick in the sales book. Stories help consumers understand your brand, product, or service. A well-told story creates an emotional connection between your ideal consumer and your brand.
One way to do this is to make the customer the hero of your story and your product the humble sidekick or mentor. This increases the emotional tie to your product while allowing the client to feel important.
3) Active Listening
Listening skills are crucial for a successful close. A sales team that balances listening with storytelling is less likely to be perceived as pushy.
In an interview with Forbes, Dave Mattson, CEO of Sandler Sales Institute, emphasized the importance of listening when he said, “The sales process is a conversation…” Mattson emphasized that having your salespeople ask questions also signals to the consumer that they are valued and that their problems matter.
Candidates that have previous sales experience and are high in Drive understand that listening to the consumer is the first step to building a relationship. However, listening skills entail more than just asking questions and hearing the answers. A great listener conveys their interest in the details and is able to make the client feel comfortable sharing their experience.
4) Creative Thinking
Not to be confused with storytelling, creative thinking is another skill that can be hard to assess during the hiring process. Sales reps who think creatively are able to anticipate possible objections while finding a suitable solution.
High-potential candidates often possess the capacity for creative thinking. Top-performing salespeople are always thinking about the next step, anticipating different outcomes and preparing for each with creative solutions.
The best way to persuade people is by proving that you are on their side. Demonstrate that you know their problems and care about solving them.
An empathetic sales representative has the emotional intelligence to imagine themselves in the consumer’s position and can use that to connect to the customer.
The Importance of a Sales Assessment
If these five sales traits seem to overlap, it is because they do. Each trait influences the next.
A great listener will take the initiative to know the customer’s unique situation. Through active listening, the sales rep can then craft a unique story that connects emotionally with their client. And by anticipating different scenarios, creative thinking leads to a greater sense of empathy for the consumer. All of these sales traits help build relationships and rapport with customers.
During the hiring process, assessing a candidate’s skill level in these areas can be challenging. How well a salesperson will actually demonstrate these traits usually does not become clear until well after hiring.
Sure, there are questions hiring managers can ask during interviews to try and assess these skills, but how often has a great candidate in an interview turned into a terrible hire?
This is because people prepare and rehearse for interviews, and to be frank, sometimes fake enthusiasm. That is why it is so important to integrate a well-developed sales assessment into your interview process.
It is time for a more efficient hiring process, with long-term results. Start weeding out the imposters early on and focus only on high-Drive candidates with the SalesDrive assessment.