Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Can you predict which personality traits are critical to sales success in your organisation?

Top performers in sales roles can sell over 10 times more than low performers, according to a new study by assessment specialist cut-e. The question is: what makes a top performer and can you spot them in your applicant pool?

cut-e claims that the personality traits of top performers in any organisation can be analysed and the results can be used to identify, engage and recruit people with the highest sales potential.

In a validity study with Swiss company localsearch - which produces online, mobile and printed directories of business listings and local area information - cut-e found that their top sales performers show different personality traits than low performers.

Seven personality traits were found to be critical to sales success at localsearch. For example, top performers are ‘less sociable’ than low performers and prefer to work alone; they’re ‘less imaginative’ and more likely to stick to conventional, tried and tested solutions. They’re also more driven by recognition and more motivated by the acknowledgement of their achievements.

Armed with these insights, localsearch changed its recruitment process, to find candidates who fit this profile. The time to recruit new sales staff was cut in half and localsearch achieved a saving in recruitment costs of around €5,300 per person.

Gabriela Länger, Head of HR at localsearch, explained: “We identified the personality characteristics that bring sales success in our business and we amended our recruitment process accordingly. Our high performers can now contribute to the business much faster.”

Juerg Gabathuler, the firm’s Head of Management Development, added: “Using a psychometric assessment with proven predictive value means that HR is able to support our line managers much better. cut-e’s personality questionnaire automatically generates an interview guide which helps our line managers to probe for the relevant competencies. This is a further step that helps identify whether an applicant is likely to be a top or middle performer. cut-e’s experience and recommendations have been extremely valuable.”