Sales personnel are likely to have particular Myers Briggs types, according to recent research.
A pilot study by Ashridge Business School and sales consultancy Silent Edge found there was an over-representation of NT (intuition and thinking) combinations among those sales personnel analysed. They were also far less likely to be SF (sensing and feeling) types.
The study also found that sales directors were five times less likely to be ISTP types, but twice as likely to be ESTJs. According to the report – Success at Sales: Does personality matter? – “certain aspects of personality that are popular stereotypes of sales people show no statistical correlation with sales effectiveness.”
These stereotypical behaviours include both rational decision-making and systematic planning.
The report concluded: “Results indicatethat more intuitive approaches to gathering customer and competitor intelligence would be of benefit in the sales process. We suggest that less formulaic approaches to preparation, account planning and selling may improve performance.”
It recommended using more role-plays in sales training that focus on the importance of open and inclusive attitudes of sales personnel tocustomers.
The report was based on assessments of 60 sales staff from six organisations, and took place between June and September last year.