One of the first things you learn when you hit the sales floor is that customers can respond very differently when it comes to different selling techniques. If you can recognise and react to the clues they give you and find the best fit for them, then the deal is as good as done.
In the same way, when you’re managing a sales team, you’ll quickly find that each rep has their own way of doing things and a preferred style when it comes to landing a deal. Your role is to help get the best out of them by guiding and training them to use their instincts and adapt their style if they need to.
The most successful sales people are those who can pull out what they need in any given situation. They are super attuned to the people they’re selling to and match their own style to what they encounter. (You can find out more about the traits of A grade sales reps here). But few reps are born with this ability fully nailed, so it takes training and experience to get there.
The perfect person to sell your goods and services is always going to be the one who is the right fit for the company, your customers and the market place you operate in. For example, a lot may depend on how slow or fast your sales cycle is. If it’s slow then the sales types who thrive on quick-turnarounds are likely to be get frustrated and in a very dry, information-driven market the networker types will never perform well.
Understanding common sales team ‘types’ can be a great place to start when it comes to building a sales force to be reckoned with. Not only so you can support your individual team members better but to enable you to see if you have any gaps and to help you choose new additions that would be the best fit. As like a premiership club, a team full of strikers isn’t going to get far (let alone get on with all that ego in the way!).
To help you get started we’ve pulled together some of the most common sales rep types. Are any of these in your wolf pack?
The Hunter – ‘I could sell anything to anyone’
Everything is an opportunity to sell and everyone is a potential customer. They will not give up easily and are the classic, thick-skinned sales person. They often need training to help put their endless stamina to best use and for help in managing frustration.
The Servant – ‘Let me help you with that’
They are always super helpful and at everyone’s service. "Can I bring you more coffee?". They love getting attention by doing something good. They’ll continue doing it again and again as long as they get love and attention back. They don’t see themselves as sales people, they are first and foremost service oriented people.
The Star-networker – ‘Nice to meet you’
This is the one who has the biggest network of contacts, knows everyone and everyone knows them. They have the latest gadgets and never miss an opportunity to connect with people. They present themselves very well, are highly intelligent and master communicators. They also make excellent marketers as they always look for new ways to reach the most people.
The Informant – ‘It’s all about the facts and figures’
They will have all the information and be technical wizards, knowing how to drive home a point with facts, figures and detail. Always come across as extremely passionate for the topics they are knowledgeable about.
The Companion – ‘Everyone’s mate’
You can’t help but like this person. They are instant rapport builders. They don’t get stressed often and are very consistent in their work. Their sales style is unaggressive, calm and unpressured.
The Top Dog – ‘Chasing the big deals’
This is the one who prefers to go after the big money with those big deals. Often a larger than life personality, they love to take the younger ones under their wings and show them how it’s done. The veterans of the sales world.
The Reader – ‘Master at adapting their technique’
This sales representative can read people perfectly and switch to any of the above qualities when they need to. They are highly perceptive to visual and verbal clues and will adapt to match the person they are speaking with. They may have one more dominant approach to sales but the most successful ones are masters of all techniques and know when to use them.
Now you know what traits to looks for, download our free guide to recruiting the perfect sales team.