Is There a Perfect Personality Trait for Inside Sales Reps?


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Point is, there isn’t a singular personality – introverted or extroverted – that has consistently produced results in B2B inside sales over the years. Both types of people have their own strengths and faults, as each individual is inherently different. Honestly, I prefer it that way. Spending 40 hours a week around very similar people gets old after a while. Diversity is a good thing. Mixing in a couple of “fun weirdos” with some straight-laced folks always tends to lend itself to interesting work culture. There’s something to be said for managing different personalities; it makes the workplace more exciting.

Our Content Marketing Manager recently pointed me to a post from Hubspot that I felt speaks to this challenge: Are You an Ambivert? What It Means for You at Work. Here’s a quote: 

The most productive salespeople are neither low nor high in extroversion — they’re ambiverts. In that three month period, ambiverts made 24% more in sales revenue than introverts and 32% more in revenue than extroverts.

Grant theorizes: “It is possible [this] is explained by a positive effect of enthusiasm at low and moderate levels of extroversion, which is outweighed by the negative effect of assertiveness at high levels of extroversion.” Another study will be needed to test this hypothesis, he adds.

The concept of the ambivert helps me wrap my mind around why my attempts to place my best reps into a particular bucket are always fruitless. My best folks really seem to demonstrate a combination of both traits in a variety of ways. I’m not surprised to see the survey in the post shows that a majority of the top performers were actually ambiverts.

Maybe I don’t need to drive myself crazy trying to understand why all my extroverts aren’t always blowing it out, while some of the quietest folks on my team are the most consistent performers.

Often, we underestimate the dynamic personality that every sales person brings to the table. It isn’t as black and white as we wish it could be. If it were, then our days spent managing inside sales reps would be a heck of a lot easier. What I owe them is to always make myself available to assist with the unique challenges each individual personality brings to table. On top of that, I must provide a crystal clear expectation of our sales goals along with as simple a path as possible to get them there.

I think it’s time we all begin to embrace the “grey” in all of the sales personalities we’re surrounded by. The sooner we do that, the less likely it is we’ll have to commit ourselves to the looney bin! 

What are your inside sales management experiences with different sales rep personalities?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Craig Ferrara
Craig Ferrara is a Director of Client Operations at AG Salesworks. He joined the company in 2004 as a Business Development Manager, transitioned to Client Account Manager, and was promoted to his current position in 2007. Craig's daily responsibilities include inside sales team oversight, reporting, training, ongoing contact list development and refinement, and managing daily client engagement from a high level.


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