Why the data behind sales performance matters

Many industries will not hire a salesperson without an evaluation to determine the candidate’s skill level. While a robust resume or a smooth interview can easily impress, assessing actual skill levels can reveal critical tendencies and potential weaknesses that CEOs need to know before making a job offer. 

Banks realize that they need to know this same information about their current sales team. It is sometimes difficult to understand what makes top producers so successful and how to find, attract and develop more of them. There is a science to the soft skills world of selling. We utilize a sales evaluation tool from Objective Management Group, and here are a few examples of why this data is so important if you are leading a sales team and must grow the company. And, if you’re a salesperson, understanding this data is critical to honing your skills and improving performance.

These skills can be coached, but it doesn’t make sense to invest in sales training and techniques until your company and salespeople understand the dynamics.

Here are three examples of how measuring these skills makes a difference in measuring sales performance.

Example No. 1: You’re introducing your team to a sales approach they haven’t used before. It has a consistently successful track record, but they don’t have buy-in on it. If they don’t first understand and adopt it, they will never utilize it. Beliefs drive behavior, and behavior drives outcomes and results. If no change is made, then sales training budgets are wasted on this approach.

Example No. 2: If your salesperson is unable to “stay in the moment,” they are likely to miss critical cues from the prospect because they are focusing solely on their side of the conversation. Many salespeople struggle with this particular factor because they are good at presenting and telling and not at listening and asking relevant, open-ended questions. This more consultative approach is what elite salespeople have mastered. They can listen very closely to the prospect, follow the prospect’s lead and ask the right questions to let the prospect self-discover why your solution is the best way to fix the problem.

Example No. 3: Your salesperson might have great relationship-building skills, be strong at qualifying, and be prepared to ask all the best questions of the prospect, but what if they are uncomfortable discussing money? They will often not ask about budget or fees and proceed down the path to the proposal stage without a handle on what the prospect will pay to solve their problem. If a salesperson recognizes that they feel that way, they can be coached on how to ask the money question easily and comfortably. Practice will help implement those improvements, but first they need to know the reasons behind their hesitancy to ask those questions.

The reason why the data behind the sales performance is so important is this: You cannot change that which you cannot see. If you need to improve your sales team, make certain that your sales training provider utilizes a sales-specific assessment. It is critical that you understand the data beneath the behavior and can address the root of the sales problem to achieve long-term, meaningful change and results.



Jeni Wehrmeyer is COO/CMO of Anthony Cole Training Group. Contact her at [email protected]