Recruiting, Assessment & Training Solutions
  • All Sales Reps are Not Created Equal


    What’s the formula for success for a great salesperson?

    If you’ve hired sales reps for any amount of time, chances are you’ve got a list of traits that you could name in trying to answer that question.

    And while those traits may be the “right” answer for sales reps at your company, they may be completely different from the traits listed by other sales managers at other companies.

    All sales reps are not created equal.

    While I’m certain that there are universal traits that we could name that would apply to successful sales reps across the board, I also know that the list of traits in its entirety would be as diversified as the types of reps out there.

    Let’s take a look at some of the factors that will play into success for a given sales role:


    What are your sales reps selling? Software? Pet food? Financial products / investments? Lumber? Certainly the type of product or industry that your sales reps are representing factors into the model for success for their positions.


    What types of clients are your reps calling on? Will they work with executives, plant managers, farmers, scientists, or high net worth individuals? Will they be highly educated or poorly educated? Your sales reps will need to have an affinity with the clients that they are working with and be well-received by the group that they are targeting.


    An extension of customer base in a way, the type of environment is also a factor in determining success in a given sales role. Will your rep be working in a call center or a home office? Will he be visiting corporate headquarters or plant floors? Will she be working in a retail or corporate sales environment?


    Sales is becoming more specialized these days. It’s no longer a given that one person will handle the entire sales cycle, from prospecting to closing the sale to servicing an account. Are your reps expected to be hunters, farmers, prospectors, closers, or schmoozers? Do they sell alone or as part of a team? Different roles in the sales cycle will require different skill sets.


    Where is the sales role based? New York, Idaho, or India? Is the territory a thriving metropolis or large rural area? Again – different types will be better (or worse!) suited to different areas.

    All of these variables will help to determine the “formula” for success for a sales rep in a given role. Intellect, education levels, personality traits, interests, and experiences will all come into play as potential candidates are considered for their suitability for sales roles.

    Because not every sales job is alike, the requirements for success will differ. Understanding the blend of characteristics that have already produced success in sales roles at your organization will be the key to understanding how to produce future success.

    LEGEND Talent Management can help sales managers to increase their chances of hiring successful sales reps by helping them to determine the “formula” for sales success at their companies. To learn how to find the formula for success at your company, contact us at