The Animal that is the Sales Executive

Through engaging with various clients, it has become abundantly clear to me that the nature of sales has changed in recent times. Whilst successful sales people in the past tended to be those who understood their products inside and out, who had the “gift of the gab” and who could “sell ice to an eskimo”, the selling landscape has changed, and a different type of sales profile is proving to be successful today.

Today, sales people need to listen more than they speak. Rather than pushing an off-the-shelf solution at their clients, they need to be able to understand the context and challenges of their clients’ businesses, and they need to be able to find solutions that solve these problems.

As a result, the behavioural make-up of the successful sales executive looks vastly different today than it did several years ago. This is having a massive impact on the sales landscape, and as sales is the heart-beat of any business, it is impacting the growth and competitiveness of companies across the globe.

Fortunately, a range of behavioural assessments exist that can be used to predict the likely sales approach that potential candidates will follow once they are hired. One of these tools is the Personal Development Analysis (PDA), which can be used to predict each candidate’s approach to the entire sales cycle, as well as which type of sales approach the candidate will most likely adopt once hired. This can assist companies to not only select the ideal candidate for future roles, but it can also be used to identify the gaps in a current sales force, so that these can be addressed.