Sales is a difficult role, I would argue the most difficult role, in any company. The skill set and mind set required to be successful is rare in the general population. Yet, strong salespeople are out there and hopefully on your team.
However, most teams that we assess have a salesperson (or more) who is not performing up to expectations. This salesperson seems to have the tools, but something is holding him or her back. The concern I always have, in this situation, is that they possess the most dangerous sales weakness.
For sales, this is the big one. This weakness can single-handedly neutralize any strengths the salesperson possesses. The powerful issues with this weakness is that it can stop the salesperson before they even start. Their fear of getting a “no” will paralyze them in difficult situations.
The key is simple, yet utterly difficult to overcome. The salesperson must learn to separate their value from their performance. Imagine an actor playing a role in a movie, the actor’s portraying someone else (i.e. a performance). Sales requires a similar mindset – it is a performance that does not tie directly to their value.
I know, we want genuine salespeople, not fakes. The separation of role vs. identity can be achieved while still maintaining an authenticity to the sales role.
The best advice I can provide – assess for this ability before you hire them.