A common thought among sales consultants and business owners is that the “Lazy Z” DISC pattern is best for sales performance. The Lazy Z pattern would look something like this on a 1 to 100% DISC scale . . . D (60-70%), I (65-85%), S (25-40%) C (40-60%). For many sales positions, that might work fine. Yet, what is often overlooked is that all sales positions are not created equal and this pattern does not fit every sales position.
To determine the right DISC pattern for a sales position, you must first determine the right sales style for the role. Sales style is determined by how you “go to market” with your product and services. According to The Devine Group, there are four basic sales styles which are determined by two key factors: 1) Length of sales cycle and 2) Customer demand.
1. Unique Value – Short sales cycle, Demand creation
2. Consultative – Long sales cycle, Demand creation
3. Account – Long sales cycle, Demand fulfillment
4. Commodity – Short sales cycle, Demand fulfillment
Each style requires different sales competencies and behaviors. A sales person’s success in one style does not necessarily translate into success in all styles.
With DISC, the one common denominator for all 4 sales styles is high D behavior. Yet, the mix of the other 3 behaviors may differ. The Lazy Z pattern may fit well for Unique Value and Commodity sales styles, yet be a complete bust for Consultative and Account sales. Consultative and Account sales styles require more patience and disciplined processes, so a high “I” individual may not enjoy and succeed in these roles.
Another DISC style is the U shape. The U shape has “D” and “C” as the highest behaviors. Individuals with the U shape are generally good problem solvers and may work well with consultative sales. Unfortunately, the U shape DISC style is not common. The U shape would be ideal for Sales Engineers, yet companies may struggle to find candidates with this unique combination of behaviors.
The take away point is that there is no perfect DISC pattern that fits every sales style. We like using DISC, yet believe complementing it with a comprehensive Devine sales assessment results in a better determination of an individual’s best sales style. The Devine assessment clearly reveals a sales reps’ best sales style helping you make a more educated hiring decision if used as a pre-hire assessment tool.
Sales assessments, DISC and Devine, are routinely used in our SalesScore™ hiring process to determine if sales reps fit your company’s sales style. If you have an underperforming sales rep, perhaps the individual’s sales style does not match up with the position’s sales style. There are many reasons why a sales rep may underperform. Yet, if you can determine if sales style is not the underlying cause of the poor performance, then possibly sales training, process, or management may be the root cause. All of which are correctable. Yet, if the wrong sales style is the problem, a replacement hire may be the answer.
If you would like to assess your sales team’s sales style or learn more on how to hire the right sales professionals that fit your company’s sales style, give us a call at 317-578-1310. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org