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Hunters Versus Farmers

No two sales roles are the same….
Sales roles vary widely as do the people best suited to them. The two most different roles are those of Key Account Manager (KAM) and New Business Executive. The contrast between these roles and the individuals best suited to them is quite staggering. Therefore it’s hardly surprising that good New Business Executives don’t make good Account Managers and vice versa.

Chalk and cheese
For example, Account Management roles typically involve selling to a small selection of companies – or sometimes only one - with whom a relationship already exists. In fact, nurturing and maintaining long terms relationships is critical to success in such roles. Therefore, the people best suited to them tend to be patient relationship builders who are methodical and logical in their approach and are often prepared to lose the odd battle in order to win the war.

In contrast, salespeople undertaking New Business Development roles must continuously prospect and typically encounter a lot of rejection. As a consequence the people best suited to such roles are high activity individuals who are emotionally resilient and don’t take rejection personally. Typically they are impatient for results, are not terribly interested in forming relationships and have an overwhelming desire to win every available order.

The differences in basic personality characteristics for individuals suited to these contrasting roles can be seen in the Compatibility Charts from our CPQ personality profile.

Striking the balance
Whilst NBE and KAM roles represent the opposite but increasingly common extremes of the spectrum of sales positions, most sales roles involve both new business generation and the management of existing accounts. Therefore, before hiring, it is critically important to establish the ratio of these activities within the role. Once established, you can then ensure the individual hired has a balance of skills and personal qualities that underpin satisfactory performance in each area.

No more square pegs in rounds holes
Having been designed specifically for the assessment of sales personnel, the personality profiles used by Sales Team Focus Ltd are capable not only of assessing overall suitability for sales, but also the type of sales role to which an individual is best suited. For example, using our CPQ personality profile, overall suitability is readily assessed from the Compatibility Chart where individuals are rated on a scale of 1-50 against the requirements of a particular role. The scoring site includes a wide variety of standard job titles and associated recommended scores which can be augmented by company and role specific norms as required.

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