Having made use of the Predictive Index® methodology for over three decades in building small, medium and large sales organizations the benefits have been overwhelming. Not only is one able to determine the best fit for a particular candidate or employee, one can further designate a role by whether it will require higher levels of dominance, process, or extroversion and patience. An example would be a job that requires a more technical make up, for instance an engineering product that involves an in depth, detailed description. This particular role would benefit from having someone with a higher formality (stylized as the “D Factor” in PI®). The person would possess traits that are consistent with what is needed to succeed in this role. Some of these aspects would include some of the following:
Skillful detail work, wants to do the right thing
Needs strong structure
Produces highly precise accurate work by the book
By looking for someone with a “high D” (Formality) a company would be able to secure an individual who thrives on that level of detail and knowledge of a given product. This might contrast to a role selling a more general product that may require higher extroversion but not necessarily formality, for example gym memberships. When selling gym memberships, a more important trait may indeed be a “high B” (extroversion). Some of the traits that may work best in this role could be some of these shown below:
Effective with groups
What is also evident is that more and more companies are recognizing the fact that on the buyer side these traits also determine how an individual will respond when buying products. These are typically called “personas”. By paying close attention to these “personas”, companies and sales and marketing teams are able to best craft both a message as well as a sales strategy. For instance, how would a high formality buyer respond to a high extroversion salesperson who explains a product broadly without going into intense detail on the description of the product or service? Refining the different “personas” that a company hopes to capture, requires not only looking for cues of what a person’s make up may be, but also historic data on how these folks respond to different styles and tactics.
In this exhibit below, one can see how some personas may behave when making a decision on a given product or service. From a behavioral assessment perspective, one can see elements of all the traits that are uncovered with the use of the Predictive Index program. If we look at Shirley, we can recognize the fact that she is most certainly not only may be “high D” (Formality) but may also be “high A” (Dominance). This would be a description of someone who has an analytical profile and style. So, if a company is looking to persuade Shirley, it would be best to make ample use of fact-based examples that provide higher levels of detail and data. By taking this approach the company would be providing that “persona” with what they need to make a decision.
The overarching message is that when companies look at both their sales organization as well as their client base, they must determine the behavioral components of these groups. On the sales side, an assessment can be conducted on both candidates as well as current employees. Unfortunately, on the customer side it’s not really possible to conduct an assessment, but what is possible is to train sales and marketing teams to identify behaviors that correspond with certain behavioral patterns. This requires both observation as well as a deeper knowledge of the Predictive Index methodology. The end result is an appropriate sales team that is built to promote a particular product to a well-articulated set of “Personas”.