- June 25, 2020
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
You wake up, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, you open the door and it’s freezing cold outside. Or there is the opposite of that, when there are thick clouds, it’s drizzling, you open the door and it’s hot and humid as hell! Things aren’t always what they appear to be.
In early April, during the earlier stages of the virus-required lockdown, I wrote this article about some of the remote selling challenges that companies were experiencing. Since then, things have improved, especially around the use of video.
However, things are far from perfect, especially around how suitable salespeople are for working from home. John Pattison, COO of Objective Management Group (OMG), dug into OMG’s remote seller data, and learned that similar to the weather, things aren’t always what they appear to be. The table below shows how this data changes according to sales experience.
As you can see, those with 20-24 years of experience are 32% more suitable for working from home in a sales role than those with 0-3 years of experience. There are two possible reasons for this:
- Inexperienced salespeople need more direction and guidance and don’t get it when they are working at home.
- Inexperienced salespeople are millennials and aren’t as responsible as older and wiser salespeople.
Of course, the real reason may have nothing to do with experience or age, but more to do with the two most important things we measure for remote sellers:
- Ability to self-start
- Ability to work independently
However, even that can be called into question when we look at the data by geography. While the differences aren’t significant, there are variations by country.
For example, salespeople in North America are 35% more suitable for selling from home than salespeople in northern Europe (think Sweden, Denmark, Norway), ! How do you explain that? Coincidence? Hours of daylight in the summer can’t keep them out of their swimming pools and off the golf courses?
In the end, the score matters little but we absolutely must know the score. Sales managers are the difference-makers when it comes to selling remotely. If they are proactive and closely manage salespeople who aren’t well-suited for it, those salespeople can still succeed working from home.
You should be hiring salespeople right now. Job postings are getting 400 applications right now! To find out whether your candidates can sell remotely and whether they will succeed in the role you are filling, use OMG’s highly accurate, customizable and predictive sales-specific candidate assessment to help you select your ideal candidates.
Finally, OMG measures salespeople in 21 Sales Core Competencies. See the competencies and the data here.
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