Diagnostic Sales People are a Rare Breed Strong on Listening Analyzing and Facilitating

If our sales staff is to play the role of diagnostician with our prospects, then we need a team of individuals strong on listening and analyzing and short on oratory and, perhaps, group presentation skills. Further, these individuals should exhibit lots of patience and careful attention to detail. Finally, much like a psychologist, or a therapist who is adept at putting patients at ease, these individuals need to expertly facilitate conversation and information exchange with prospects.

It should be clear, then, that the personality type for sales diagnosticians is far removed from the alpha male or female who takes over a room and bullies a prospect over a finish line to a sale. Of course, both types of sales people — diagnostic and hard sell — share a proclivity for making money, but the way each one goes about getting to the goal is, in fact, radically different.

We like to refer to true diagnostic sales personnel as individuals who have a skill for “playing chess with people.” The worst example of this type of personality will be less than forthcoming, prone to lying. Further, the low end of the employable spectrum for these personalities will exhibit an ability to manipulate others in a self serving manner. On the other hand, the high end of the spectrum on this personality type can produce extraordinary results when armed with well thought out products and prospects that fit a buyer’s profile. In fact, the high end of this spectrum can be trusted to finish the qualification job if the lead development team has not done its job completely.

To an extent this personality type is introverted. Introversion works to be benefit of a facilitation process as this personality type will certainly be responsive to the need to allow prospects the stage to share as much information as they see fit on specific topics.

Nevertheless, when selecting hires, it is recommended to look for a hint of extroversion and leadership. After all, once the diagnostic has been completed, the sales person will have to modulate into a different role, one where he or she can truly lead the prospect forward towards an inevitable decision that should be completely crafted around the product at hand and no other. The best examples of this personality type will have the composure to exercise these skills with care and subtlety.

We have ample experience identifying and recruiting team members for clients based upon targeted types of personality. If you are looking to hire diagnostic sales staff for a complex product, then we would be most interested in speaking with you. Please contact Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at imblonder@imbenterprises.com.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved


Include a psychological picture of sales and marketing candidates as standard operating procedure for innovative tech recruitment

Analyzing the results of personality testing tools like a Myers Briggs profile or the results of a Kuder vocational aptitude test is a worthwhile activity for recruiters who need to identify staff for innovative technology businesses. In our experience there are identifiable patterns of personality types with regard to assembling a composite picture of a “right” individual to either lead an innovative technology business or to fill a management requirement. The above mentioned tests can and will shed light as to whether or not an individual is a good candidate for targeted requirements.

Therefore, innovative technology businesses should have the resources to purchase recruiting services that provide, at a minimum, the results of these tests or acceptable substitutes. Deviating from the norm is not recommend with regards to choosing senior managers. Further, the internal hiring team should ideally include individuals who have experience recruiting winning teams of participants. If the members of the internal hiring team do not have this type of experience, then management should select a recruitment firm that can fill the gap.

Consistently adhering to these guidelines pays off. Simply consider the success of EMC Corporation in the mid 1990s. Many of the regional sales executives of EMC in the period of 1995 to 2000 pulled down compensation packages in the high 6 figures. Some of the regional executives earned 7 figure compensation. Of course, these compensation packages were the direct result of excellent performance to sales plans. The facts were that EMC was trouncing competitors across most markets; therefore, sales compensation was very attractive and entirely consistent with sales performance.

Much was said at the time about the competitiveness of EMC Sales staff; specifically, management had made a point of recruiting individuals who enjoyed competition, usually through sports. By carefully selecting a “right” personality type EMC sales management successfully assembled a super team of producers who more than delivered planned revenue targets.

If a joy in competition and, specifically, winning is an important personality trait for highly successful sales staff, then persistence against adversity, patience, and a dedication to merciless self reflection and a willingness to take counsel from a wide range of confidants is clearly characteristic of successful entrepeneurs in the tech business space.

As mentioned above, we highly recommend that innovative technology businesses pay close attention to staffing candidates to ensure that the candidate chosen for a position does, in fact, embody the personality traits required of the position. We can certainly help make the likelihood that such a choice becomes a reality. Please call Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at imblonder@imbenterprises.com. We will be happy to show you why you should be thinking about the Internet and Social Media to engage with your marketplace.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved


On the Value of a Liberal Arts Education for Marketing and Sales Leadership

The best marketers that we have encountered, whether the inventor of a piece of foundation-level process automation equipment (the PLC), or an individual who took three different business ventures to independent public offerings are each characterized by a healthy, rich combination of creativity, business acumen, common sense/logic and, finally, an ability to communicate information (verbally and in writing) in a big way. It is worth looking closely at creativity and communications. We are very much of the opinion that the most promising tech business prospects will be built by a management team that features at least one key individual who can utilize creativity and communications skills successfully. It is important to emphasize, as we wrote in one of the earliest posts to this blog, tech businesses entirely driven by engineering rarely produce the type of market impact that we are after.

Admittedly, so-called creativity can be as much a product of an education in mathematics or physics as it can be the product of a course of study that emphasizes fine arts or liberal arts. One can even contend that creativity can also be learned from left side of the brain exercises like meditation practice, or yoga. Therefore, it is difficult to delineate a narrow range of educational options that will produce a proclivity for creativity. Most very early stage tech businesses with big impact potential will be driven by a CEO who provides the requisite creativity factor for the business. If the CEO can not provide the creative factor, then she/he ought to make every effort to add other members to the core management team who can deliver the required creativity. Further, it is very beneficial if the individual who provides the creative spark, who is nevertheless not the CEO, is chosen to head up marketing. After all, it is specifically in the areas of product marketing and marketing communications that creativity can be implemented to deliver high value to the growth potential for the business.

A liberal arts education and, specifically, a strong background in language arts (for businesses based in the United States the language will be English) are absolutely required for management driving marketing communications. After all, marketing communications is all about language regardless of chosen marketing media (don’t lose sight of the fact that video clips require scripts). Therefore only an individual who can demonstrate substantial dexterity with language should be chosen to head up marketing communications.

So-called “charisma”, then again, is a horse of a different color. The most charismatic entrepeneurs that we ever encountered produced charisma from very much unexpected backgrounds:

  • One was otherwise dyslexic
  • The other was clinically deaf

Therefore we cannot posit a great background for “charisma” beyond noting that we (along with lots of other people) will know it when we see it.

We are interested in staff recruitment requirements for tech businesses targeting enterprise markets. If you need to staff up with senior management and would like to discuss your needs, then please call Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at imblonder@imbenterprises.com. We will be happy to show you why you should be thinking about the Internet and Social Media to engage with your marketplace.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved