The Myers–Briggs of Sales – How Do I Benchmark My Sales Team?

2019-06-06 16:06

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

Ever since I started in sales, there has always been a need to map salespeople, in fact to map all people with an organisation. From a sales prospective, the only way we can measure this is based on past performance or with employees we often use objectives. Employers are often asking questions about their staff and wanting to a measurement rather than fluff or past performance. When I’ve run team reviews, the answers were often very qualitative, rather than quantitate. I had one leader who put all his staff (high and low) performing people in the high performing quadrant, why? “because they are a top team was his answer”.

We see these questions being asked in more and more companies:-

  • How do I know who my best performers are? (apart from using part performance?)
  • How can I screen candidates (all CVs seem to say that the salespeople have performed at 150% year after year)
  • Who will pass the probation process?
  • Who in my management team will meet the challenges of digital?
  • How do I measure all my employees in terms of digital?
  • How can I take the risk (and cost) out of recruitment?

In the past, we have measured sales people based on what they have sold, which is great, but often that does not take into account, cultural fit. Or as I mentioned above, every sales person we are looking to recruit, each CV will manipulate the figures so sales ability or sales measurement looks great. Using terms like “sales to date” or “achievement today”. When often the year for them was from loaded and they are trying to move jobs because they have no pipeline. How can I stop us recruiting rubbish sales people?

Companies also have costs associated with recruitment of sales as with any staff and wouldn’t it be great if we could strip out that waste? I once asked a sales leader the question “how do I recruit one great sales person?’ and his reply was “recruit three and fire two of them”. This does not seem much like “science” to me, I’m trusting to much to hope. And as we all know, hope, isn’t a strategy.

The other issue we see is that leadership often are saying that they need to be part of the digital transformation and this is true. But how do we measure that. We were in a meeting in Australia and were told that “all senior leadership had been on an intensive 5 day training course about digital transformation”. Our answer was “excellent, and has anything changed?”. The answer was “no”. All the senior leadership had been through intensive digital training, but nothing had changed! We may laugh at that, but the right answer would have been, how do you measure that change?

Here at Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) we often talk about digital culture and how companies need to create one as part of any digital transformation. Digital isn’t about system change, it’s about using people and process more efficiently and more effectively. This could be in Sales, but it is also the same in Marketing, Human Resources, Customer Services, etc etc. How can you have a best practice measure for “digital” and then provide a journey that allows your staff, team, employees to have a measurable journey to digital?

Here at Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) we have created, well the best way to describe it is The Myers–Briggs of digital. Which we have started using in our sales transformation programs, but you could, of course, use it in Sales, Marketing, Leadership or individual contributor digital measurement. We measure, skills, knowledge and behaviour. Think of it as like LinkedIn SSI (social selling index), but SII only measures use of a tool. DLA,s measure is about to asses what “good looks like” and a measurement against a “standard”.

How have we done this? For ever, Social Selling program we take a before and after snapshot of the people’s digital profiles, we then set a “standard”, some might call that “best practice”. That we can then measure sales people against. This measurement, can also be used for any employees in terms of their digital capability. This could be management or individual contributors. DLA, of course, provide the coaching and inspection as part of this certification and accreditation. As this is what we do, you can also be reassured that we have the accountability of measurement.

So where do we see this working?

In Sales

  • Screening of candidates
  • Proving a path to enable sales people to contribute quicker
  • Which existing sales people are most likely to make their number

In Management

  • Which of the Leaders will make the journey to digital

In Human Resources

  • Which employees should we recruit and how doe this map to a talent matrix?
  • Strip the risk and cost out of recruitment
  • Which people will best transform to digital?


  • Which people are digital or will transform to digital

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