Are Your Sales Reps Selling the Wrong Stuff? - Safari Solutions

Are Your Sales Reps Selling the Wrong Stuff?

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A Harvard Business study revealed that 80% of sales are produced by 20% of the sales people. The old 80/20 rule. Yet, if only 20% of sales professionals produce results, what are the other 80% doing?

The study further revealed that 55% of sales reps have little or no sales ability and should probably work in other fields. The remaining 25% are mismatched. Mismatched means they are selling the wrong product or service based on their behavioral style. Not all sales people are created equal. Some people are better suited for quick sales cycles; others excel in longer consultative sales cycles. While some sales reps are better at selling products, others are more effective selling services. And, some people love building relationships; others prefer closing and passing account management to others.

So, ask yourself, “Do I have the right sales person for what I sell and how it needs to be sold?” Industry experience, years of experience, and education may not mean a thing if a sales person is mismatched for your sales position. According to Gallup research, poor fit to the job is the #2 predictor of employee turnover.

As part of your hiring process, we encourage our clients to identify their company’s sales style and then hire sales reps that match. Sales assessments provide a simple way to evaluate the behavioral style of a sales candidate. There are many sales assessments in the marketplace. We use a Devine sales assessment that measures candidates’ abilities in four sales styles.

• Value
• Consultative
• Account Management
• Commodity

A sales professional who scores high on the Value style has a higher chance of success in sales. They can create demand for product or services and shortened the sales cycle.

If members on your sales team are struggling to produce results, they may be more successful selling something else. For example, a person with a background of selling newspaper advertising may be successful with quick sales cycles. Yet, this same person may struggle in a longer consultative sales process selling expensive technology solutions.

If you would like to learn how to identify if your sales team is matched well to their sales roles, call us at 317-413-4221 or email us at

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