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Coaching to develop sales performers

Top sales performers are born that way – they intuitively know what to say and do and – well, they are instinctive superstars! 

#1 popular myth about salespeople

Not necessarily so! There is nothing “natural” about becoming a world-class sales rep. The best became the best by listening to their coaches and mentors, opening up their minds to new schools of thought, and working hard at their jobs. According to research from Miller Heiman, the best sales reps:

  • Prepare for their sales calls
  • Plan their approach for targeting clients on calls
  • Have a standard process in place for reviewing opportunities

None of these are natural-born behaviors.  

Harvard Business Review delved further into behaviors of top salespeople. Their surveys of thousands of top salespeople at leading companies identified the following characteristics:

  • 91% of top salespeople had medium to high scores of modesty and humility
  • 85% had high levels of conscientiousness – a strong sense of duty and reliability
  • 84% scored very high in achievement orientation, continuously measuring their performance against their goals
  • 82% scored extremely high in curiosity levels, with the tendency to ask questions to gather information and close the sale

Behavioral psychologists say we can understand people by observing their behavior. The Predictive Index measures behavior. So – if we know the behaviors of top performers in our sales team, according to their Predictive Index results, then we can create a coaching plan to elevate the average performer to superstar status!

How, then, does a manager coach an employee to become a top performer? The manager uses The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment, Job Assessment (Performance Requirements Option) and Coaching Guide to:

  • Identify the behavioral patterns of top performers from the Behavioral Assessment
  • Measure these behaviors against the ideal behavioral pattern from the Job Assessment
  • Identify differences between the average sales performer and top performers
  • Create group analytics to determine gaps between the average and top sales performer
  • Create a Coaching Guide for the average performer to elevate them to a top performer
  • Coach the average performer, set goals, guide them and provide ongoing feedback

Managers have the tools to build a team of top performers, in sales or any other department, by using the solutions offered by The Predictive Index to develop employees.

Pinpoint where your reps are hitting it out of the park and what they need to succeed.  

Download our tip sheet, “Data-Driven Development: How Informed Coaching Can Accelerate Sales Performance.” 


Thad is a senior marketing director at PI.

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