High-performance sales personnel: They excel in the same ways they always have …

spUnquestionably, technology has had a major impact on the way salespeople in the B-to-B arena go about doing their daily jobs.

Technology platforms and tech-oriented work practices have leeched into every aspect of sales management — from planning and execution to data mining and reference … sales call and results tracking … and compensation.

fall 2015 survey of U.S. business executives conducted by Brainshark and Forbes Insights confirms the degree to which technology investments are occurring as companies make efforts to improve sales productivity.

Here’s what the survey, which included U.S.-based executives from over 200 companies with annual revenues exceeding $50 million, found in terms of the types of investments that are being made:

  • Sales enablement technologies: ~55% are investing in these tools
  • Analytics: ~54%
  • CRM systems: ~53%
  • Learning technologies: ~45%
  • Mobile sales support technologies: ~44%
  • Social platforms: ~32%

And yet … when those same business executives were asked to identity the #1 most important characteristic of their strongest sales team members, technology-related characteristics don’t show up all that much.

As it turns out, tech adoption is a relatively minor part of being a high-performing salesperson. Instead, this survey found that the most important key characteristic of high-performing salespeople is “the ability to sell value over price.”

Here is the relative importance of five characteristics evaluated in the research – and where tech adoption fits among them:

  • The ability to sell value over price: ~81% identify as a key characteristic of high-performing salespeople
  • Consistency of execution: ~74%
  • Time spent with clients: ~48%
  • Leveraging marketing and sales content assets: ~26%
  • Adoption of technology: ~22%

The takeaway is that even though technology tools are helpful, there’s no substitute for the time-honored selling behaviors that separate the star sales performers from all the others.

For more information on the study findings, follow this link.

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