Our client needed to accurately assess the potential of a team of 80 International Solution Sales professionals brought together through merger and acquisition. Identifying the potential to reach exceptional levels of performance quickly and within a complex and competitive environment was essential. This required an assessment approach that looked beyond competencies, pinpointing the underlying drivers of exceptional attitude to change and performance.
We applied our certified methodology to build an objective and analytical approach to identifying potential in this diverse, disparate group. First, we consulted in the creation of a core competency framework to assess technical capability. We then created a concurrent framework, evaluating the cultural and attitudinal factors which predicted top performance in that environment.
Using a short, online battery of assessments, including our new Emotional Intelligence Profile Assessment tool, we comprehensively evaluated the capabilities of each team member.
Once complete, the outputs of the competency and attitudinal/cultural assessments were correlated against detailed sales performance data, giving the business a comprehensive picture on current potential. This analysis clarified the characteristics which predict outstanding performance, allowing us to build a clear psychological profile of success in Solution Sales in this environment.
Discovering the DNA for sales success
Specific dimensions of Emotional Intelligence predicted outstanding sales performance consistently. The most predictive dimensions were:
- Emotional Resilience
- Conflict Handling
Through continued analysis and re-evaluation, we were able to refine and definitively establish the DNA for success in solution selling.
Based on these findings, top performers in solution sales are likely to bounce back well from setbacks, act assertively, are not overly dependent on others and can adapt more easily and effectively to changing demands. They are also likely to work well as part of a team, and be accommodating to others. Top talent in solution sales clearly benefit from a balance of Interpersonal (the capacity to adapt and fit well with others) and Intrapersonal EI (the capacity to be self-assured and emotionally resilient).
Gaining clarity on the psychology of selling has been transformational. The business used this knowledge to identify the following bottom line benefits:
- Recruiting talent—saving £900,000 over a 2 year recruitment cycle through understanding how to avoid inappropriate hires
- Retaining talent—able to retain top 10% of talent who deliver 50% of Sales performance through personalised development and engagement
- Developing talent—saving £500,000 per annum through L&D targeted at specific competencies
Importantly, each sales manager significantly reduces the risk against a £16 million targeting exposure for every inappropriate hire. Managers are also using their insight to inform sales strategy, allocating the right people into the right opportunities at the right time in the sales process. This has resulted in an exponential boost in close rates and volume of business won.
Having created the tools to comprehensively assess the psychology underpinning high performance, our programme evolves into enhancing performance in the team. Not only are managers able to accurately identify potential, they are now armed to drive increased performance in their people through a methodology specifically targeted at accelerating that potential.