Regardless of the technology involved, the price, or the proposition, people ultimately buy from people. We each base our buying decisions on emotional responses and we quickly form opinions on the people behind the products.
As a sales professional, we begin each conversation confronted with a certain level of distrust, as most prospects are sceptical about our intentions. Overcoming this isn’t easy and the only way to make any progress is to be completely yourself. By behaving naturally, you can hold a regular conversation and offer suggestions on how you can help.
When we’re acting naturally, our personality type plays a significant part in how we’re perceived. So, with that in mind, it’s important that every member of your sales team has their own tailored set of tools to highlight their best traits. At Xcel, we use psychometrics to understand more about our team and rather than use generic scripts for calls, we build call structures around their individual qualities.
What is psychometrics?
Psychometrics is the science of discovering skills and personality traits through different forms of testing. It unearths a range of information including how someone might react in a particular situation. An IQ test is actually a form of psychometrics, but the most common types of test measure personality.
How can it help sales teams?
There are generally several different angles to take when discussing a product or service with a prospect. Understanding more about someone’s personality type helps sales managers to guide different members of the team down particular routes. For example, some people may be more comfortable with an analytical approach to sales which focuses on data, whereas others will sound more natural when they’re thinking on their feet.
There are several different styles of test, but the most useful are:
- Personality tests
- Numerical reasoning tests
- Abstract reasoning tests
The Myers-Briggs test was created during World War II by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. It’s constructed around the teachings of Carl Jung, who believed that humans experience the world in four key ways – sensation, intuition, feeling and thinking, with most of us favouring one over the rest. Essentially, it consists of a series of statements that the participant can either agree or disagree with on a sliding scale. The result is a four letter code that represents a particular type of personality.
INFP – Optimistic idealists that are guided by their own beliefs, such as A.A. Milne and Princess Diana.
ESFJ – Eager to help those around them and loyal to their friends and family, such as Victoria Beckham and Hugh Jackman.
ESFP – Spontaneous entertainers who enjoy being the life and soul of the party, such as Marilyn Monroe and Sir Paul McCartney.
ISFJ – Hardworking, practical and grounded individuals who can be trusted upon to get the job done. Kate Middleton, Anthony Hopkins and Prince Charles.
ISFP – Quiet creative types with an artistic soul and a spontaneous approach to life, such as Thich Nhat Hanh and David Bowie.
ESTJ – Logical organisers with a pragmatic outlook, such as Henry ford and Michelle Obama.
ESTP – Energetic problem solvers with a playful approach, such as Winston Churchill and Evel Knievel.
ISTJ – Reliable, traditional and steady individuals who enjoy being part of a bigger picture. Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria.
ISTP – Adaptable problem solvers who are independently minded, such as Miles Davis and Lance Armstrong.
INTJ – Intellectuals who are constantly looking to learn and self-improve. Stephen Hawking and Sir Isaac Newton.
INFJ – Reserved helpers who can offer creative ways to overcome problems, such as Mohandas Gandhi and Emily Bronte.
ENTJ – Analytical leaders that enjoy creating systems to improve the world around them. Napoleon Bonaparte and Adele.
ENTP – Curious visionaries with an unconventional intellect, such as Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci.
ENFJ – Idealists that are driven to make the world a better place. Oprah Winfrey and Martin Luther King Jr.
INTP – Complex observers who are often deep in contemplation, such as Albert Einstein and Marie Curie.
ENFP – Enthusiastic storytellers and masterful communicators, such as Brian Cox and Keira Knightley.
Numerical Reasoning tests
These help to identify which members of the team most enjoy using numerical reasoning to explain a particular product or service. Sometimes it can help to discuss the granular aspects of data, but you need to feel comfortable doing this.
Abstract Reasoning test
Being able to adapt and think on your feet is helpful in certain circumstances. This form of testing will uncover your best problem solvers – those who consider the big picture as well as the details.
Plenty of companies offer testing as a service, but if you’re initially just looking to dip a toe in the water, here are a few free alternatives: