By Eran YessodiJanuary 02nd, 2024

What attributes distinguish your most successful salespeople from the average? Why do some business development reps thrive on cold calling yet others excel at closing long sales cycles? Personality psychology sheds light on the inner workings powering all human behavior – including what drives sales excellence.

By examining the characteristic ways individuals think, feel and act, personality assessment reveals strengths, weaknesses, triggers and talents. When applied to high-ticket B2B selling, such understanding allows matching reps to optimal sales roles, prospecting approaches and deal-closing situations. It also assists coaching around behavioral gaps that may inhibit revenue growth.

Personality Framework Fundamentals

Personality Analysis for Sales and Dealmaking

While ideas around temperament date back centuries, several psychological frameworks now aim to systemize personality measurement into quantifiable dimensions or categories. Among the most relevant models for sales include:

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): Categorizes individuals across four spectrums like thinking vs feeling and introversion vs extroversion, with 16 resulting “types.”
  • DISC: Assesses behavior along the dimensions of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. Displays results on a diamond graph.
  • Big Five Model: Suggests five pillars – openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism – constitute foundational personality traits that exist along a continuum.
  • Psychoanalytic theories: Emphasize the unconscious mind and past experiences as shaping persona, like Freud’s stages of psychosexual development.

While genetics play a partial role, these frameworks acknowledge nurture alongside nature. Cultural exposure and life events interact with biology in forming an individual’s personality.

Redesigning the Selling Environment

Within sales organizations, personality profiling using qualitative interviews and quantitative assessments provides game-changing insights around talent optimization. Understanding reps at a core psychological level enables leaders to:

  • Identify ideal roles for skill sets shaped by intrinsic behavioral drives. For example, outgoing extraverts suit lead generation outreach while detail-oriented analysts fit complex solution configuration.
  • Tailor coaching, training and sales methodology based on backgrounds, motivations and communication styles illuminated by personality data.
  • Strategically construct sales teams with sufficiently contrasting yet complementary personalities capable of excelling across the entire sales cycle, from first calls to closed-won deals.
  • Pinpoint the specific types of prospects individual reps will best resonate with based on psychological similarities like thinking vs feeling preferences. This facilitates personalized account assignment to improve win rates.
  • Assess candidate likelihood to thrive and align with company values during the recruiting process using personality indicators as an input.

Just as customizing teaching methods and curriculums to student learning styles enhances education, optimizing sales development around the psychology of top talent takes effectiveness to the next level. Personality psychology will only grow in relevance for B2B revenue acceleration and retention as insight into human behavior feeds qualification, coaching and closing. Beyond forecasting future performance, understanding the core drivers, motivations and compatibility match-ups between reps and prospects enables breakthrough conversions from contact to contract. Executives leading data-driven sales teams leverage the psychology behind persona to maximize human potential.