What makes some salespeople more successful than others?
What makes the best sales teams win?
We teamed up with CareerBuilder to create a data-driven solution called Moneyball for Sales.
We were inspired by the bestselling book and hit movie Moneyball.
Sports managers regularly use metrics and sophisticated analytics software to build winning strategies—shouldn’t sales leaders be able to do the same?
Our goal was to create systems that capture data about personality and sales skills, match them to important metrics (including sales figures, quota attainment, engagement, and turnover) and then use data science to figure out what really drives key outcomes.
The results are fascinating.
Discovering missed opportunities
It isn’t difficult to imagine how personality might influence sales success.
Maybe extraverted people work better with teams, or maybe they’re better at reaching out to prospects and interacting with clients? Maybe more agreeable people provide better customer service? Sounds about right.
The best predictive models discovered many different combinations of personality traits that promote sales success. If you only look for one type of salesperson, you will miss out on some great opportunities.
We also found that some of the most valuable sales skills were massively underrated. Salespeople weren’t motivated to learn and develop these skills, and sales leaders weren’t motivated to coach and train in these areas.
But they probably should be.
Data changes minds
No matter how complex predictive models become, the results are still very simple numbers that represent how likely or valuable something is. Anyone can understand that.
Showing these results to people really works.
Just imagine what happens when we have evidence that people with proficiency in a certain (unpopular) skill actually sell more.
Salespeople get motivated to learn and develop that skill. And sales leaders are now motivated to coach and train them.
“Big Data” isn’t really the answer
Moneyball methods in sports tend to rely on “Big Data.”
Combining years of metrics from many different teams, leagues, and divisions into massive datasets provides a great deal of statistical power.
But sales isn’t exactly like sports—different sales teams can be playing completely different games.
Even within the same industries, the traits and skills that drive key outcomes can be quite different from one organization to the next. And even within the same organization, the divisions and teams can be very different.
A sales strategy driven by “Big Data” does provide real value, but not nearly as much as a customized predictive model.
Before Moneyball for Sales, these strategies were out of reach for most sales leaders.
It just might change how the game is played.