Greer Hawkins currently serves as a member of The Predictive Index's internal sales force.

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While nothing trumps a Job Assessment to determine the perfect fit for your sales organization, I am often asked by prospective and current clients which Predictive Index (PI) Reference Profiles we typically see in different sales positions. One of the greatest differentiators of PI, and perhaps my favorite attribute of our assessments, is the fact that we do not subscribe to “buckets” or a finite number of different behavioral types. We do, however, have a number of Reference Profiles that help guide us to use PI as a common language. 

All behavioral patterns map most closely to one of our 17 Reference Profiles, which gives us a way to paint the picture of someone’s behavioral drives in broad strokes. You can think of these as easy-to-reference groupings of the characteristics of people who have similar drives.

I have found the following Reference Profiles to be some of the most effective sales patterns. Just remember, there are great nuances to each of the Reference Profiles that follow and it's most important to determine which profile is the right fit for your company or team based on your individual needs.

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1. Persuader

This is the quintessential sales pattern that we typically associate with sales hunter positions. Persuaders are confident, competitive, proactive, and work well under pressure. These types connect to others quickly and communicate enthusiastically, so they tend to work best in highly consultative roles. This profile is great for outside sales positions and commission-oriented payment plans.

2. Captain

Like Persuaders, Captains flourish in roles in which they are cultivating new business. These types work quickly, independently, and are very goal-oriented. Captains can be successful in outside and inside sales, are great strategists, and graduate easily into managerial roles. Being big-picture focused, Captains are motivated by opportunities for vertical growth and closing for commission.

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3. Maverick

Maverick sales professionals are true nonconformist. These creative problem solvers are naturally hard-driving and intense, but also very experimental in their approach. While CRM hygiene may be especially tedious for these folks, they have a tremendous growth mindset and are willing to try and do anything to get the job done. 

4. Promoter

Promoter types are persuasive and persistent closers who do not easily take “no” for an answer. They are very people-focused, connect easily to others, and are flexible to client needs. Promoters look to close quickly, and often find ways to do so creatively; They are particularly adept at selling intangibles. These types can be stifled by detail-oriented work but perform well under commission structures.

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5. Strategist 

Strategists are often your “silent killers.” These types are the least common in sales but often the most efficient. They are laser-focused on their quotas, individualistic in style, and work best in fast-paced, inside sales environments. These types are thoughtful in approach, often painstakingly so, and take time to overcome objections. Strategists are competitive and work confidently for commission.

6. Collaborator

Collaborator types do best in telemarketing or “dialing for dollars” inside sales. They are friendly, laid-back, and comfortable with repetition. Collaborators are relationship-focused, enjoy speaking to an array of people, and are stimulated by connecting to others. These types do well in tight-knit teams with base + commission payment structures.

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Understanding the natural drives and needs of your people will allow you to identify the behavioral style, and eventually Reference Profiles, that will ultimately lead to the success of your people, teams, and organization. 

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