Different Types of Salespeople

In the sales community, there has been much debate over how many different types of salespeople there are. By this, I don’t mean if they do door-to-door selling, telemarketing or some other form of sales, these are just tactics, what I mean is someone’s personal approach to selling. In other words, the outward personality they have when they are selling. Estimates vary wildly with some suggesting it is as low as three types and others suggesting it could be as high as eleven. However, according to Hubspot, when Brent Adamson and Mathew Dixon looked into one of the largest studies ever conducted in the field, they concluded that there was a much more reasonable and realistic number, which was five different types of salespeople. These include, The Challenger, The Hard Worker, The Lone Wolf, The relationship Builder and The Problem Solver. Let’s take a closer look at these types:

The Challenger

You have an intuitive ability to get to the heart of what adds value to your client and use that information to create and deliver an unbeatable pitch. The Challenger operates on the principles of the three Ts. Teach them something valuable, tailor your pitch and take control of the conversation.

The Hard Worker

There’s no question that the Hard Worker puts in the hours and is doing their level best to up their game. However, there is a problem and that’s because they don’t necessarily focus on their clients’ value drivers, which makes things more difficult and means those long hours may not pay off.

The Lone Wolf

The Lone Wolf is a high performer and extremely confident in their sales ability, believing they are better than those around them. Issues can arise in a number of areas, namely that they will never ask for or seek help or assistance and their attitude can make them difficult to deal with on an interpersonal level.   

The Relationship Builder

If there is one profile we should recognise immediately, surely it has to be this one. The Relationship Builder, finds suitable prospects, personalises their approach and builds rapport with the client. By carefully nurturing this relationship, they can lead the prospect further down the sales outsourcing funnel until they can eventually close a sale or agree a deal.

The Problem Solver

The Problem Solver is particularly active and is able to find solutions to issues both in the team and in the client’s business. Their particular abilities build trust immediately and as they tend to continuously keep all stakeholders in the loop, they are allowed to carry out their duties without hinderance. They are often able to meet quotas.

A quick word on the numbers

Within Brent and Mathew’s research, some interesting statistics came up:

  • 40% of high sales performers primarily used a Challenger style
  • High performers were 2x more likely to use a Challenger approach than any other method
  • More than 50% of all star performers fit the challenger profile in complex sales
  • Only 7% of top performers took a relationship-building approach

If you’re in sales, do you see yourself relating to a particular type or do you see yourself as a combination of two or more? We’d love to know, so please tell us! 

Topics: Sales