Are your sales people playing to their strengths?  Or have you shoehorned people into roles they’re really not suited for?

When working with sales teams one of my first questions is “Are the right people in the right roles?”

Because if they’re not, you risk wasting two precious commodities.  Time and money.

Let’s start with time.

Most organisations judge sales performance on the basis of revenue brought in.  Deals closed.  And while that’s absolutely a valid measurement, a more important one is time.

How much time was wasted by not targeting the right prospects, not being able to delve into their issues and not having the ability to move the sale towards a close.

Broadly speaking there are 3 stages in a sale.

Opening, diagnosing and prescribing.

Each is a different skill set and having the wrong person in the wrong role will drastically affect your sales results.

Opening involves reaching out to prospects and starting a conversation.  It takes someone who is personable, can develop rapid rapport and keep a conversation moving forward.

Diagnosing is a skill whereby you first have to deeply understand your prospects and then probe the pain and what they’d like instead.

Prescribing is akin to closing the deal.  Having the gumption to say, “I understand your issue and where you want to get to.  Now this is what I recommend as the way forward.  This is what you’ll need to invest.  When would you like to get started?”

Ask yourself.  Which role are you most comfortable with?  And if you have a team, where do they sit?  Sometimes just moving someone from one role to another can give your results a major boost.

Jill worked as a rep for one of our clients.  Her job was to ring 20 to 30 clients a day and ask if they needed to order supplies.

But Jill wasn’t making her numbers.  She was spending 30 to 40 minutes talking to each client, chatting away rather than taking orders.

So was about to be fired when I intervened.

We moved her from prescribing to opening where she could ring prospects, develop rapid rapport and open accounts.

Within a couple of months Jill became one of their top performers.  A win, win, win.  The organisation won as they opened more accounts.  Jill won as she kept her job.  The new clients won as the company had great products which benefited them.

So what’s the lesson?  Sometimes you need to take a hard look at yourself as well as your team and make sure you don’t have square pegs in round holes.

There are a number of innate characteristics which affect sales performance.  Work with us to ensure you have the right people in the right roles.  Then hone their skills via our sales coaching, mentoring and training programs.

You can contact me at for more details.

Till next time, this is Rashid Kotwal.

Share this...