Tony Cole

Does Your Team Have the Sales DNA?

By Tony ColeTony Cole

DNA is a molecule called deoxyribonucleic acid, which contains the biological instructions that make each species unique. So what makes up the very unique and coveted sales DNA? Is there a genetic code for successful sales people, and if so, wouldn’t every organization like to crack that code?

There are three absolute must haves for high performing sales people. The Sales DNA components are:

  • Hunter
  • Qualifier
  • Closer

Using an OMG sales person evaluation, let’s further explore each one of these DNA strands. Here are the hunter characteristics:

Uses Sales 2.0 Tools: The successful hunter uses technology to aid and assist in the traditional methods of prospecting: pre-approach mail, direct mail, social networking, and prospect facing networking opportunities. The key here is to understand that a hunter does not rely solely on social networking and technology to build their pipeline. They do not sit and play catch hoping that someone responds to a connection request on LinkedIn. They use current technology applications to supplement and enhance their current prospecting efforts.

Attends Networking Events: A true hunter not only understands the importance of getting face time with many people in a single block of time, but also has a consistent strategy and execution plan to attend events and turn events into prospects.

Prospects via Phone and/or Walk-ins: A skilled hunter knows that the phone call starts the process. It is one thing to get an introduction, to attend a networking event or to get a response to an email invitation, but all of that effort is for naught until they pick up the phone and attempt to reach the prospect. Regardless of tenure in selling, the phone is still the key to starting the sales cycle and the buying/selling relationship.

Gets Introductions from Customers and Network: Getting introductions doesn’t sound like hunting, but it is a by-product of the hunting activity. They do more than simply suggest “thinking of them” once in a while when their clients meet someone that needs the hunter’s product or service. No, they pro-actively ask and expect introductions.

Schedules Appointments: The effort of networking, social networking, and asking for introductions turns into appointments. A sales person that puts forth the great effort of picking up the phone has one of the necessary characteristics to be a successful hunter, but unless they actually schedule the appointments, then they will continue to struggle to fill their pipelines and meet personal income objectives.

Reaches Decision Makers: Just like in real hunting, the hunter has to eventually get face-to-face with the “game” they have intended to hunt. It’s one thing to be in the woods; it’s another to actually come face-to-face with your intended game. Hunters get prospect decision makers “in their sights.”

Will Prospect: This is the sales person that, when held accountable to prospecting activity, will prospect, no matter what!

Prospects Consistently: This is the sales person that, based on their own internal desire and personal commitment to success in sales, and their sense of responsibility for results, will prospect without direct supervision and will take accountability for their own prospecting activity.

Has NO Need for Approval: This individual gets past gatekeepers and has a very powerful message to deliver to the prospect. They are not likely to be thrown off by the gatekeepers blocking techniques or the objections of the prospect. They realize that they have a job to do – get the appointment. They do not hesitate to tactfully challenge the gatekeeper and work to overcome objections.

Recovers from Rejection: Like all sales people, the hunter faces rejection on a regular basis. The difference between this person and an account manager or ambassador is that they also understand the formula of SW3N – Some Will, Some Won’t, So What? – Next.

Maintains a Full Pipeline: Finally, this is the one metric that helps you quantify the strength and skill of your hunter. Do they have a full pipeline that turns into business?

Your next step is to look at your current sales team and identify who is and who isn’t a hunter.

Learn more about Tony Cole at his blog and website. Enjoy Tony’s e-Book 9 Keys to Sales Coaching Success.