The 5 Traits of Great Salespeople


The last email I had from my old friend and coach Ed Percival was a recommendation to get a new book: ‘The Sales Acceleration Formula’ by Mark Roberge (who took Hubspot from zero to $100m sales in less than 7 years) – I’ve just finished it and suggest it’s one of the best books about selling I’ve read in a very long time.

Although Roberge qualifies heavily that the criteria for success differs from one company to another he goes on to highlight the Top 5 Traits of Great Salespeople and I have a sense they may well apply to your business too.

  1. ‘Coachability’ – this was the most important trait, the ability to receive feedback, to adapt and try out new/different techniques.
  2. Curiosity – this trait translates into a key behaviour of being genuinely interested in the customer, their needs, wants and desires.
  3. Prior success – Roberge openly states he’s only interested in the top 10%. But he spells out very clearly that this prior success might be in another field to that of your business. The key is to identify people who have outperformed compared to their peer group and have done so consistently over a significant period.
  4. Intelligence – in particular the ability to understand complex issues quickly. Consumers have more resources available to them than ever before, and they react poorly to a salesperson that understands less about the product or service they’re selling than they do.
  5. Work ethic – having a high degree of energy that translates into high levels of daily activity that in turn contributes to the business goals.

Roberge suggests that every business should first identify the key traits that will have maximum effect, next to weight them according to their priority and then design a series of questions and exercises that will help to uncover whether a candidate really has them or not.

Our Group members will shortly receive a summary of the book together with recommendations on actions to be taken to implement the ideas – find out here whether Group membership is for you.


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