I mined Objective Management Group (OMG) data and compared salespeople who have been with their company for 10 years or more, with salespeople who have been with their company for five years or less. Theoretically, the veteran salespeople should be better and stronger in every way. But are they? Let's take a look and then let's discuss exactly what we are seeing and why.
The first dashboard shows the average scores for all salespeople who have been at their companies for more than ten years.
The second dashboard shows the average scores for all salespeople who have been at their companies for between one and five years.
If you look closely, there is almost no difference in Sales Quotient, Sales DNA or Selling Competencies; the scores are extremely close. The clear difference is in the category of Will to Sell. The salespeople who have been at their companies for ten years or more have lower scores for Desire, Commitment, Motivation and Responsibility. The only Will to Sell finding where the veterans scored higher is in Outlook - how they feel about themselves.
How do you interpret these differences?
It seems to me that the vets are more comfortable and complacent then those who haven't been there as long. It also proves what I have intuitively known for years. On their own, salespeople don't usually improve unless they are receiving quality sales training and effective coaching. Wouldn't you think that salespeople who have at least five more years of experience selling at their company and into their market would be at least a little better than those with five years or less of the same experience?
Unfortunately, that simply isn't the case.
We can blame the salespeople for not investing in their careers; we can blame their companies for not investing in their salespeople. There certainly isn't a shortage of sales experts, trainers, coaches and gurus to go around.
Check out the professions listed for high school career days.
Check out the the majors that colleges and universities make available.
Check out my White Paper on Trust that shows that people, including salespeople, generally distrust salespeople.
The overwhelming majority of salespeople did not choose sales as a profession and the mainstream views sales as a dishonorable profession. I wouldn't be surprised if some in sales still believe that their current role is temporary.
We should be angry with some of the negativity that undermines sales at its core. Until we can change some of this thinking, it may continue to be difficult to help salespeople improve.
You can check out OMG's data in all 21 Sales Core Competencies here.