Is Psychometric Sales Forecasting a Step Too Far


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Getting sales people to take forecasting seriously isn’t easy. Too often, the process forces them to confront the optimism which keeps them going. And it reinforces the risks inherent in any all or nothing competition.

Can psychometric techniques, developed for personality assessment, help them do a better job, by supporting their forecasting process?

We are very big fans of sales forecasting based upon qualification, and continuous qualification. In our view the very best way to make the most of each and every sales opportunity is bid review – should we be spending our limited sales resource on this deal? How likely are we to win the business, and what can we do to increase our chances? At which point will we decide to walk away and how do we show the prospect that’s what we’ll do, if our interests aren’t accommodated in the buy/sell process.

Persuading sales people of the value of such a discipline can be difficult. They naturally want to chase every potential. But they can often waste our opportunity, and their time, by doing so.

Is there a way of engaging them in a business, as opposed to a sales, process? Is there a way of getting inside their heads and showing them how to do a better job, without the sales manager doing if for them?

Yesterday we were exposed to a new concept – a complex series of questions they can answer on-line which results in a %probability of winning and list of suggestions of how they can improve it.

The parallel with psychometric testing is a little tenuous, but the system follows similar principles. The questions are organised in such a way so the sales person can’t game the result.

Right now, we’re somewhat sceptical, but interested enough to find out more, and will report our conclusions once we’ve researched the subject.

What do you think? Is there room for science in the black art of selling?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steven Reeves
Consultant, author, software entrepreneur, business development professional, aspiring saxophonist, busy publishing insight and ideas. Boomer turned Zoomer - thirty year sales professional with experience selling everything from debt collection to outsourcing and milking machines to mainframes. Blogger at Successful Sales Management. Head cook and bottle washer at Front Office Box.


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