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.
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.
“Analytics” is the trendy term for the complex statistical analysis of behavior. In marketing, “analytics” refers to the analysis of buying behavior. That represents a shift from the usual study of sales behavior. Sales management has spent too much time on the development and tweaking of sales scripts and techniques that it risks losing its bearings. It may be time to accept that customer centered selling creates a positive consumer experience, and that strengthens relationship and builds loyalty.
Customer centric sales definition
CustomerCentric Selling®, a pioneering study by Michael T. Bosworth, John R. Holland, and Frank Visgatis, set up the vocabulary. It wants sales people to foster intelligent conversations with their buyers to help them visualize how to use your product. Sales Reps need to develop the connection that helps them see how your product will achieve their goals, solve their problems, and satisfy their needs. Sales, then, becomes the act of “facilitating the customer buying process.”
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.
10 Teamwork Tips for Sales Success
Any number of players can form a team. Tennis has its doubles, golf has foursomes, and soccer has eleven on a side. But, a sales team lies in the strategic make-up – not the numbers. Regardless how many people a sales manager puts on a team, it needs some strategic organization, intelligent staffing, and purposeful incentives, such as these 10 teamwork tips for sales success.
A reward is a prize given for sales achievement. A sales incentive is something that drives performance towards achievement. In a sales department, we wrestle with the strategy of offering incentives on a team or individual basis. In previous articles, we examined the positive and negatives surrounding sales strategies that recognize the sales team win; here, we want to weigh the pros and cons of individual incentive plans.
Advantage to Individual Incentive plans
In the B2B world, an ideal customer profile is a description of the best sort of companies to which you sell.
Using the word “profiling” scares me. It always sounds so negative. I don’t know how to use it without suggesting the downside of stereotyping. And, stereotyping always suggests labeling a group based on one.
An ideal customer profile is the prospect description you would put in front of new hires. The profile represents the sort of company you want to list and mine as prospects.
Without defined inside sales team roles, any sales team will find its own organizational dynamic as it grows.
The inside sales reps will recognize their own top performers and fall in line behind. Most will keep their heads down and manage their tasks with little optimism or engagement.
The Inside Sales Manager must organize teams into functioning systems showing the ability and desire to win. Still, all teams need the clarity of individual roles and common purpose. A recent repIGNITE article examined role differentiation at its simplest. Here, we want to strengthen that understanding as applied to a more complex organization.