Sales refers to a specific job that entails communicating and converting potential leads into paying customers. However, the job is actually highly varied in terms of how it's approach and it isn't unusual to see agents leverage a variety of tactics and strategies to complete the same task. Even if reps take completely opposite approaches, they can still achieve the same success.
Sales managers need to understand that as they try to improve the productivity and performance of their departments as a whole. Just because one strategy works for a specific salesperson, that doesn't make it the definitive approach. The different personalities of salespeople have long been a subject that experts have debated, and very little is conclusive except that there are numerous ways to be successful.
Take, for instance, the classic case of aggressive reps versus quiet ones. These two types of salespeople are at completely opposite ends of the spectrum.
As Business 2 Community notes, the aggressive, confident sales person may be less flexible. If they've seen success in the past, they are likely to keep doing what works. They tend to push customers to do specific things – order certain products or set volumes of goods. A more reserved salesperson might pick up on specific customer cues more effectively, however, and adjust their approaches.
Another difference between the two is the ability to listen. A confident and aggressive salesperson is more likely to "shoot from the lips," constantly explaining why a service or product would benefit a company and detailing the various features associated with it. On the other end, the quiet salesperson may be more willing to listen, enabling him or her to tailor his or her approach to what the customer is telling them.
For this reason, sales managers need to appreciate all the different approaches, whether they are hiring new agents or developing sales coaching plans for existing ones.
"At the end of the day, every sales team is different, and every sale team requires different personalities," Business 2 Community asserts. "Choose the traits that best suit the roles that you specifically need, and all your reps will sell more."
Sales coaching is helpful to any agent, regardless of his or her approach to the job. Managers need to take this into account and provide agents with insight and feedback that is relevant to the way they approach the job.