The Cognitive Engine of Sales: Rethinking the Approach

Evan Sanchez - Thursday, March 02, 2017

Problem Solved: Cracking the code of what makes someone an A, B or C player.

Too often, the pursuit of sales excellence focuses strictly on training sales team members on product and service knowledge or selling process skills. Both knowledge and skill are important, but what separates the high performers from the rest of the pack is the will to win. The will must be greater than the skill in order to be a top performer.

It isn’t easy cracking the code of what makes someone an A, B or C player. It requires taking a hard look at “the way we’ve always done it” and the courage to let go of practices that were based on feelings and tradition, rather than data – particularly the hiring process, which is often driven by collective unconscious bias among those in decision-making roles. Candidates may be selected based on perceived likability, common hobbies or educational backgrounds to hiring managers or other similar personal factors that are unrelated to their suitability for the job.

The key to an employee’s success rests on that individual’s performance thinking. Performance thinking links directly to the intangible qualities we often struggle to describe: the “IT” factor, will, heart, drive, versatility, agility and more. One of the major challenges for organizations is creating a common performance language for the culture and driving employee engagement around the performance improvement process, while also linking those to capabilities, developmental paths, and measurable results. Due to the soft skill nature of many of these capabilities, it is very difficult to show ROI and quantitative data. You may know success when you see it, but that doesn’t mean you can replicate it.

Identifying the Will and Ability to Win

Discoveries in neuro-science are making performance drivers visible and providing the data necessary to identify the specific thinking patterns that directly impact performance. These discoveries have led to defined Performance Thinking Algorithms (PTAs) that can be used to predict performance in a quantitative and measurable way. These PTAs allow us to quantify performance capability and effectively hire, develop, and audit talent to the level of the current “A players” or top 10% of performers at the organizational or functional level.

Each employee starts with a personal benchmark of where on they fall on the low-normal-high range in each of these performance drivers. By looking at the profiles of the top 10% of performers in each role, the data will point to conclusions about what these individuals have in common that makes them successful in the organization.

From there, it’s possible to extrapolate what specific types of performance coaching the other 90% need in order to better align their performance thinking with that of the top 10%. When hiring, managers can look for candidates whose performance thinking aligns with the existing top 10%, rather than relying on feelings or assuming that success in other companies will translate to a cultural fit in a new company.

Turning Data Into Action

By identifying and defining the underlying characteristics that make individuals successful in a specific role, within a specific organization, individual performance can be framed in terms of developing adaptability, versatility, ability to manage stress, and drive. Rather than repeatedly sending a group through skills training, each individual receives feedback and clinically-validated coaching to develop the underlying thinking patterns that are driving unwanted behaviors and holding them back from success. Individual employees are able to develop thinking patterns that lead to real independence, ambition, confidence and success. They develop the will and ability to win.

Through a combination of individual and team data, managers can benchmark and measure performance improvements, identify leaders and provide employees with personalized, actionable feedback that they can relate to their day-to-day activities. In other words, the core will become A Players.  You will not have to mess with the development needs that become time sinks for many leaders in sales.

In order to learn more about this process, please join us on March 16, 2017 for our webinar, The Cognitive Engine of Sales.

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"I went through the 10Rule assessment process and I learned it's almost scary how accurate it is at looking at behavior patterns, looking at thought processes, and determining the likelihood of success... The overall process was extremely exciting for me. I think it's something absolutely worth doing; I know folks who have been through this process and their personal performance has improved substantially."

Greg Kalush CEO of Wealth Planner

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