Salespeople are not all created equal; some use direct value-based tactics while others may prefer to lay on the personal charm. An individual’s personality will influence the kind of strategies they use when trying to convince customers to spend money. It is useful for a business to comprehend the personality type of employees, especially during the recruiting process to see if it aligns with the company’s style.
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (part of our Team Performance Accelerator) is one test that enterprises can use to learn the characters of its salespeople. Not everyone is suitable for the sales department, and a personality test helps to narrow down the options. A good comprehension of personality types can help sales heads to motivate their teams accordingly.
While any personality type can make a good potential sales person, these profiles are seen as particularly suited to sales roles:
This Myers-Briggs personality type is considered the best for after sales professionals and account managers. An ESFJ is motivated to help others. This individual is quick to notice when another person is in need and does everything to provide it. Regardless of the size of the task, an ESFJ will put all effort into getting the best results. The enthusiasm of the ESFJ is suitable for sales because an individual is energised most of the time and is resilient to rejection and negative feedback. Up-selling to existing customers can take a while, and it helps if a representative can maintain the same passion throughout the process.
A salesperson with this personality is most useful for short-term projects – such as new client acquisition or closing sales after others have put in the groundwork. ESTPs are all about immediate results, and they achieve them with style. Such a sales representative would thrive in tasks that involve high risks like a sales contest with a lucrative bonus.
Considered as born leaders, an ENTJ personality type makes a good salesperson because they are outcome driven. An ENTJ salesperson will be prepared to play a long game and nurture a lead through to a successful close. However, they may have trouble in a setting where consensus is required for decision-making, so may thrive as independent field sales agents. ENTJs are creative when crafting solutions, and that is important when dealing with challenging sales strategies.
Although innately independent, INTJs don’t have trouble following a leader. This personality type works best when tasked with providing explanatory perspectives. A salesperson with this personality is effective at spotting patterns, which can be invaluable when developing a sales plan. Some companies set their INTJ team members to work in marketing roles, or preparing a sales case to be implemented by other colleagues.
When problems arise with a company’s sales strategy, it helps to have an ISTP on the team. The flexibility of this personality type makes it easy to adapt to different situations. ISTPs are also adept at picking apart facts to create solutions. Many ISTPs make good sales managers and team leaders.
A Myers-Briggs test will not tell you how successful an individual will be at a sales role, and profiling is no substitute for regular training and individual KPI assessment. ESFJ types may be a favourite for companies looking to improve their sales, but it is important to understand that no one personality type can be defined as perfect for a specific role. Personal traits only provide an understanding of how an individual thinks and approaches situations. Besides the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a company must factor in other elements that make a good salesperson such as transparency, patience and trust.
Using the MBTI, employers can avoid underutilising their salespeople and apply the right motivational tactics to push them. Whether it’s assembling a first-rate team or booking a training seminar, an enterprise should evaluate the personality types of its salespeople carefully.
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