7 years ago
April 21, 2017

7 Personality Traits of Top Sales People

Successful sales reps share similar traits. Are you a top sales rep? Read about the 7 Personality Traits of Top Sales People.

Rhys Metler

Sales people are a unique breed. There are certain personality traits that make people ideal sales professionals. Even within the sales industry, there are certain traits that are common with top sales performers.

A new study has identified the key traits that separate sale reps who regularly achieve sales quotas and those who struggle to close and meet sales targets. Here are the key findings of the study:

  • High-performing salespeople communicated at the 11th to 13th grade levels
  • 84% of top-performing salespeople are able to consistently crush their sales goals because they rank highly on achievement orientation
  • Almost two-thirds of high-performing sales reps actually fell on the pessimistic side of the spectrum
  • High-performing reps were more likely to rate their sales organization’s morale and standards of accountability higher than underperformers

Personality Traits of Top Sales People

High performing sales reps tend to share similar personality traits, but they may not be what you expect. Based on his research and interviews with thousands of sales reps, Steve W. Martin outlines 7 traits of top sales reps in Harvard Business Review:

1. Modesty:

91 percent of top salespeople had medium to high scores of modesty and humility. They are more likely to position the team (rather than themselves) as the centerpiece of the solution.

2. Conscientiousness:

85% of top salespeople had high levels of conscientiousness. They take responsibility for results and take their job seriously.

3. Achievement oriented:

84% of the top performers tested scored very high in achievement orientation. They are goal oriented and have a desire to achieve at a highest level.

4. Curiosity:

82% of top salespeople scored extremely high curiosity levels. They are inquisitive and will press clients by asking difficult questions to get answers and learn more about prospects.

5. Lack of gregariousness:

Top performers averaged 30% lower gregariousness than below average performers, meaning they have less reliance on developing friendly relationships and are more business focused.

6. Lack of discouragement:

Less than 10% of top salespeople were classified as having high levels of discouragement. With people saying no more than yes, it can be easy to be discouraged. Top sales reps understand that rejection is part of the sales process and don’t take it personally. They are competitive and take resistance as a challenge.

7. Lack of self-consciousness:

Less than 5% of top performers had high levels of self-consciousness. They are more aggressive and are willing to work toward their cause, even when faced with pushback.

Learn more by reading:

5 Marketing Tactics a Salesperson Should Know

5 Types of Sales Strategies

SalesForce Search is a sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit sales people in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right sales person for your organization, start your search here.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.