What MBTI insights mean for sales management? Contemporary psychologists show little patience with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®). They continue to criticize its weaknesses. These include low “test-retest reliability” because there is a 50/50 chance that a retest will place you in a different personality category.
Another criticism finds the MBTI® scoring personalities into mutually exclusive categories when most people are a mix. And, perhaps because there is no positive correlation between personality types and success in any specific occupation, even The Myers-Briggs Foundation warns against using it to weed out candidates for a job. But, given the indicator’s heavy use, we want to consider just what MBTI insights mean for sales management.
It takes quite a leap to move from the Carl Jung legacy to contemporary sales management. Jung’s thinking wasn’t meant to analyze or predict sales success. Taking those early psychological theories literally and applying them to 21st-century business relationships is a stretch. However, Jung’s theories grew into outcomes that can be very useful.
So, repIGNITE.com would like to continue our examination of the heritage that has led to the correlation between psychology, technology, and sales management. For example, to understand what tools like Insights® Discovery, Benziger Brain Types, Marston’s DISC® Model, and other psychometrics might bring to your sales department, we have to consider what Myers-Briggs insights mean to your sales success.
Current and future success in sales depends on a fuller understanding of the behavior of sales reps and customers. Much has been learned about the carrot and sticks that marketing can exploit to stir up interest in products and services. You might call these the macro strategies.
We have more to learn about human behavioral relationships at the micro level – between sales managers and sales reps and between sales rep and prospect. Before we can connect sales performance with the technology to enhance that performance, we must return to the origin of understanding motivation, to the appreciation of what early insights mean to your sales success.
Inside Sales Managers trust their hiring instincts too much. Trusting to a gut feeling about who will match their needs and fill their vacancies is no strategy for long-term success. If you want to upgrade your hiring, you need to recognize and recruit candidates by following these 5 key steps to hire the A-Player for Inside Sales.
Step #1 – Start with Human Resources.
Early in your management tenure, you can meet at length with your Human Resources recruitment people. They really do have something to contribute, but it might take several meetings to get everyone on the same page regarding the valued knowledge, skills, and abilities.
A recent repignite.com post – Drawing an Employee Recognition Roadmap – illustrated the big picture of a strategic approach to employee recognition. Here, we want to show how to create a recognition roadmap for Inside Sales Reps.
The picture imagined a board game strategically anticipating twists and turns, ups and downs, and enough roadside attractions to engage interest. But, it was more picture than plan, a way of seeing something difficult to understand.
Why A-Players Hire A-Players? Sports vocabulary can trip you up. Managing a sales team, you start to put everything into sports lingo.
You train and develop sales reps because you want more strength on your bench. You hold tryouts for open positions. You are always looking for team players, quarterbacks, and play callers. The sales unit follows a playbook, and A-players are the superstars. And, incentives are awarded for achievement in sales games, races, and tournaments. The language values the A-players, so it makes sense to ask how and why A-players hire A-players.
People not the process
A sales unit staffed with talented and dedicated employees has the best possible chance at succeeding. Many experts hold that sales success lies in the people not the process, but process has been pretty worked out. What is not so clear is what makes A-players and what they bring to the sales game.
Sales talent is always in demand. There is a worldwide shortage of employee talent, and that increases the needs of Sales Managers. At the same time, today’s sales talent is generally better educated, more tech savvy, and driven to succeed. But, finding the talent, bringing it on board, and retaining it remains the Sales Manager’s biggest challenge. Learning the best approaches to sales recruiting makes the sales team better and you a better sales management leader.
5 best approaches to sales recruiting
- Pay sales what they want. The Sales Manager has to structure a package of compensation and benefits that satisfies and sustains interest and engagement. When the sales are in the hands of one employee, there is no problem with the rep who is it in just for the money. But, when there is a team or department, you want to frame a package that rewards individual effort that, at the same time, facilitates group success.
Sales managers can find thorough and constructive assessments to aid in recruiting sales people. They can train in the psychometrics of personality assessment and cultural fit. But, when time, resources, and finances are not in their corner, they will rely on their own interview experience. One way or the other, the Sales Manager is accountable for learning how to hire the right sales people, the candidates best suited by personality traits to the Sales Representative position.
When applying gamification and effective use of game persona roles to real world business situations, we have to avoid swallowing game theory lock, stock, and barrel.
When recruiting candidates for B2B sales, we have to be careful not to fall down the rabbit hole into the gamers’ middle-earth. In B2B sales, we are not playing in dungeons, and we do not build business on dragon relationships. To make effective use of game persona roles, we must remember we are dealing with metaphors. Still, lacking other strategies, game personas can provide helpful profiles for filling open sales positions.