As opposed to quality, price, or even branding, over 50% of customer loyalty is actually based on the experience they received. So if your business relies on sales as a key aspect of profitability, you obviously need to hire a team with the necessary skills and personality to achieve your quotas. Unfortunately, everyone wants the charismatic closer and no other sales personas.
Hiring people with only one type of personality could spell disaster for your overall sales. Truth is, there are plenty of different sales personas; and you’ll need most of them to succeed. In their sales book The Challenger Sale, authors Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon researched over 6000 salespeople from numerous companies. The aim was to find out exactly what tactics and characteristics were being applied by top performing sales reps so they can replicate their system of selling.
Findings showed that different reps used their own strengths to close deals no matter what their personality was. Some of the best sales people are those who understand how to make use of their talents to not only connect with customers, but rake in hundreds of buyers for life. Out of all the different sales personas, we’ve identified five of the most distinct profiles. Each persona describes a reps behavior, natural tendencies and skills applied while interacting with customers. Just like in our previous article on buyer personas, we’ve also given sales personas catchy names so you can easily recall who’s who.
1: Caretaker Carl – The Order Taking Sales Persona
This is hands down the most common sales persona you’re likely to hire. These employees are referred to as transactional sales people; they’re very passive and more than content to find an established comfort zone.
Order takers are easily identified when dealing with customers. For instance, Carl will simply respond with the price and delivery time when a customer asks about a product. He won’t really be too invested in providing guidance unless the buyer insists. Similarly, this persona won’t hunt for potential sales. He’s risk averse and doesn’t like taking chances that could result in rejection. So, does this sales persona have room in your business?
If you’re a small business (online or otherwise), then your team will most likely be made up entirely of Caretaker Carls. This persona provides competent and steady performance for SMBs. They are adept at positioning themselves at the right place to close a series of quick, small deals. As long as all you need is sales staff that will help buyers find what they’re already looking for, Carl’s your man.
2: Priya the Professional Sales Gal
Out of all the profiles we’ve got here, this is the most hired sales persona. Priya has strong analytical skills and deals with all customers in a professional manner. Unlike pure closers who don’t care about tomorrow, professional sales personas actually build a rapport and develop great relationships with clients.
Most people think it’s the job of a salesperson to convince customers to buy what they’re peddling; regardless of the customer’s needs. However, Priya knows how to uncover true need and build a bond based on fulfilling expectations. With time, buyers always trust professionals because of their ability to deliver on promises. If you’ve got an advertising company or deal in servicing existing accounts, there’s no better sales persona to hire than Priya the professional.
3: Cole the Calculating Closer
You’ve probably heard the old saying that some salespeople are so good they could sell ice to an Eskimo. Well, Cole the Closer is a stone cold, sweet talking SOB who will take customers to the top of the mountain and show them lands filled with milk and honey. Often referred to as born salesmen, this type of sales persona is characterized by brashness, undying persistence, high IQ and a healthy dose of confidence.
Closers always find new ways to coerce, encourage or outright push customers towards concluding deals. Unlike professionals, they tend not to care too much about building future relationships as they do finalizing a purchase that right in front of them. However, Cole can get too aggressive at times and refuse to take no for an answer. But when it comes to that final push, no one offers sweeter incentives that Cole the goddamn closer.
4: Rachel the Relationship Builder
Another distinct and welcome personality is the relational sales persona. This persona is incredibly well rounded and blends all the qualities of a closer with the personal connection found in typical sales professionals. Rachel will focus more on creating strong personal and professional relationships (depending on the customer) throughout the entire organization.
She’s your classic consultative rep who’s not afraid to solve customer problems uniquely. Likewise, these employees are very generous with their time and will go the extra mile to cement long term customer relationships. Rachel is also an active listener who excels at tailoring her sales pitch to every customer’s need. Every business requires this type of sales persona if you hope to build a loyal customer base.
5: Top Tier Tom (Expert Sales Personas)
If there’s a persona with the highest reputation for integrity and unwavering customer trust, it’s Tom the subject matter expert. Almost all the other personalities above will cringe once they hear what the expert approach is. However, Tom is never afraid to tell the customers they might be better off with another product or solution than the one offered by their company.
These employees are also known as challengers because they’re eager to work with customers and discover their pain points, problems and challenges so as to devise clever solutions. Subject matter experts are highly informed in their area of specialization. In fact, they’re more informed than the customers. Tom knows how to avoid risks, achieve results and prepare for future needs. But while this persona might not upsell to increase order size, they’ve got an endless list of suggestions to enhance customer experience. If you’ve got a big sales decision to make, you’ll definitely want all your subject matter experts in the room.
Sales Personas Conclusion
Now that you’ve seen some of the most common sales personas, there’s only one question left to ask. Which personalities work best for your type of business? If you could get in your customers shoes, who would you most prefer to deal with?
Similarly, make sure you’re kitted with the latest tools to gain a competitive edge. With Veloxy, companies can keep track of all their customers’ needs, expectations and behavior patterns as they proceed. Sales leaders can then use this data to generate forecasts and predictions that will not only improve the overall experience of multiple services and business operations, but also help in creating highly accurate buyer personas. With these personas, it’ll be easy to know what type of sales personalities you need on your team.