Posts Tagged ‘Values Index’

Why Do We Fail to Understand Salespeople Are Multi-Dimensional?

Salespeople are human beings.  Yet so often those in business fail to accept that human beings are not just one dimension but rather multi-dimensional.

In working with organizations as well as with top performing sales performers, I hear about how one assessment was used to determine the salesperson’s potential. Using just one assessment especially one that is neither statistically reliable or valid is a disservice to the organization and especially to the salesperson.

As in life, one size does not fit all when it comes to clothing, assessments or salespeople.

For example, the DISC Index is a great tool to understand how the individual communicates and reflects his or her behaviors.  For salespeople who understand DISC, they can leverage that knowledge to improve their relationship building as well as sales conversations with sales leads to centers of influence.

The Values Index is another tool that looks to what a person values or what intrinsically motivates that individual. This psychometric assessment tool helps both the salesperson and those in sales management to align the sales job description to the salesperson’s motivation.

Today there is much discussion about emotional intelligence.  Again, this is another dimensional of each salesperson.  Salespeople who are top performers leverage their emotional intelligence to increase sales.

Read Jeb Blount’s book, Sales EQ, to understand emotional intelligence within the sales process.

Finally, knowing the talents of the individual is also necessary.  What I know is most people know with far greater clarity what they don’t do well instead of what they do well. My favorite psychometric tool is the Attribute Index which utilizes the work of Dr. Hartman and the science of Axiology.

Possibly now is the time to expand one’s beliefs about people and recognize each human being is multi-dimensional.  Remember one size does not fit all in clothing or when it comes to measuring salespeople.

Take Advantage of this SPECIAL 2017 LABOR DAY Offer – CLICK HERE to learn more.

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What Makes for a Great Sales Attitude?

Noted sales expert Zig Ziglar said an “attitude is a habit of thought.”  If we apply his definition to what makes a great sales attitude, the response will be various habits of thought.

sales-attitudeTop sales performers have more than one habit of thought, more than one attitude when it comes to selling.

These attitudes can be observed through sales behaviors that are supported through various talents. When these talents are combined, they turn into sales skills.

Since each salesperson is a unique individual, he or she will demonstrate a different sales attitude.  For example, being able to sell is many times based upon the talent of persuading others. Two behaviors for this talent might be:

  • A behavior is to have someone change his or her mind
  • A behavior is to demonstrate emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence begins with a habit of thought.  Emotionally intelligent people have the attitude of recognizing and understanding the emotions of others; recognizing and understanding their own emotions and then being able to manage both.  These individuals do not engage in reactionary, emotional behavior.

Another talent might be personal drive. Here the salesperson completes given tasks on time and is always challenging himself or herself to learn something new.  These are the salespeople who have a sales attitude to challenge the status quo.

A great sales attitude looks different for each salesperson. However what is not different are the results.  These results are reflected by increase sales, high percentage of sales conversions to a continually filled sales pipeline.

Just think about the possibilities specific to your sales results if you could learn your 78 key talents and improve how you make decisions?  Would you increase sales? Would you have less stress?

Now is the time early in the 2017 sales year to take advantage of this special opportunity until 3/31/2017 to not only learn those 78 key talents (Attribute Index), but your communication style (DISC Index) and what motivates (Values Index) you to increase sales.

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Are We Confusing Value Creation with Value Connection?

Value creation is still a popular term even though concepts like sales enablement or account based selling seem to be front and center these days.  In working with a new client, I once again realized how value creation doesn’t really exist because what is really happening is value connection.

People buy to satisfy a want or need.  Since the want or need exists consciously or subconsciously (latent needs), then salespeople cannot bring something into existence (create) that was already present.

What I believe good salespeople do is discover what the buyer values and then connects his or her solution to those very value drivers.  Now if the buyer had taken the Values Index, the Attribute Index or even the DISC Index, then the salesperson could have a head start to understanding and then connecting to what the buyer values.

Value Creation Unleashes the Seller’s Ego

My biggest concern with this idea of value creation is the salesperson believes he or she can create value and that belief may have him or her walking down the no sales path.  The salesperson walks in with the knowledge of the industry, some knowledge of the customer, hears (not actively listens) what the buyer is saying and now knows what the buyer values.  His or her ego is in charge of the sales conversations and potentially ignores clues because the seller has been there done that and knows what this new customer values.

People buy on value unique to them.  This is why there is such diversity in the world. The decision is made to buy from one salesperson even though the other salesperson had the same or even better solution.

Connecting to the value driver’s of the customer sometimes is easy and sometimes not so much.  Good to top sales performers probably engage in value connection without realizing it. Consider looking to how you can connect your solutions to the value drivers of your buyer and discover if this makes a difference for your own sales success.

Until 3/31/2017 take advantage of this special offer and experience three (3) assessments (Attribute Index, DISC Index & Values Index) for a special investment.  Click here to learn more.

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Salespeople Have a Higher Meaning

This past week I attended a “Power Breakfast” sponsored by Pipeliner CRM where the CEO Nikolaus Kimla made the following statement:


“Salespeople have a higher meaning.”

Kimla was discussing how those in sales have been viewed less than positively when being compared to other professions such as doctors, lawyers, etc.  He then added his rationale for this “higher meaning.”

“Salespeople produce wealth and peace.”

His two statements gave me pause.  I had never thought of sales in those connected terms.

Possibly the reason I had not thought in those connected terms is my economic and altruistic drivers are low compared to my other motivational drivers of knowledge, independence and leadership. Note:  The Values Index is a great tool to identify basic motivational drivers.

From a knowledge perspective, when we in sales provide solutions to wants or needs and those solutions meet those wants and needs, we are producing peace.  Depending upon the intensity of the results from those solutions, we not only produce wealth for ourselves, but for our customers.

Your Purpose Statement and Higher Meaning

Upon further reflection, remember I said I have a high knowledge motivational driver, I realized my purpose statement indirectly reflected Kimla’s higher meaning. As I look to be a “trailblazer,” I am willing to tackle the difficult tasks before my clients must experience them.  That is the peace part.

As to the wealth, I am always focused on a positive return on investment for my clients.  Here is the wealth piece.

Those in sales do receive considerable negative attention.  Yet professional salespeople are in high demand because nothing happens until something is sold.

Possibly forward thinking sales professionals such as Kimla may help all in sales to view themselves differently.  As the noted French author Marcel Proust said:

“The true voyage of discovery is not seeking new landscapes, but seeing with new eyes.”

Kimla provided an opportunity for those in sales to do just that

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Knowing the Motivation to Sell Is the First Key In Hiring Top Sales Performers

motivation-to-sellHiring sales people is very much like a crap shoot.  Finding those top sales performers you require to increase sales is even more of a gamble. What might make your hiring easier is to discover the applicant’s desire or motivation to sell. Yet where do you find that in your hiring process? Even with the strongest resumes and references, the motivation to sell is hidden from those in sales management.

So what can a time strapped small business owner to sales manager do to discover and then separate those top sales performers (the red jackets)  from everyone else (gray suits)?

Have you ever heard of the Values Index?

This quick psychometric and talent assessment can quickly determine if the applicant has the motivation to sell through the identification of 7 key dimensions of value and motivation.

The History

This very reliable psychometric assessment is built upon the works of German philosopher and psychologist Eduard Spranger and American psychologist Gordon Allport. How this assessment differs from other talent assessments is it is concerned about people’s convictions. Allport believed an individual’s personality is founded upon people’s values or basic convictions they hold about what is and is not of real importance in life. He used Spranger’s findings to outline six major value types.

  • Aesthetic – Form and harmony
  • Economic – Usefulness
  • Political – Power and control (leadership)*
  • Social – Love of people
  • Religious – Unity
  • Theoretical – Search for knowledge, truth

*Spranger replaced Political with Individualistic to keep the six dimensions.

The Present

Innermetrix realized that Political from Spranger and Individualistic from Allport need not be mutually exclusive. Also, to comply with EEOC, mention of religion is not favorable.  The publisher Innermetrix has substituted regulatory with religious. The present Values Index has seven dimensions instead of six.

  • Aesthetic (Original) – Balance, Form and harmony
  • Altruistic (Spranger’s Social) – Humanitarian efforts
  • Economic (Original) – Economic or practical returns
  • Individualistic (Allport’s) – Independence and uniqueness (Self-Leadership)
  • Political (Spranger’s) – Control or have influence (Leadership)
  • Regulatory (Spranger’s religious) – Establish order, routine and structure
  • Theoretical (Original)- Search for knowledge, learning and understanding

The Results

From the works of others and myself, an economic driver in the top 50% indicates the motivation to sell is present. Additionally those applicants with a high altruistic driver and a low economic driver may be more concerned about building relationships and earning the sale is third or fourth on the list of their own motivational needs.

Having an economic driver in the lower 50% does not mean the salesperson cannot be a top sales performer. What it does mean is the salesperson must be aware of that lower value of dimension.

Also if the culture of the organization is not forward thinking or toxic, even salespeople with the highest economic drivers will not be successful. This assessment helps to quickly identify the potential of hiring tops sales performers respective to the motivation to sell.

This assessment tool, the Values Index, like many other assessments benefits when debriefed by a certified consultant.  Even though value type assessments are available for free, employing these “freebies” may be harmful to the organization without understanding the results from both an individual and organizations (team) perspective.

Remember, hiring is an investment when done well and a cost when not done well. 

Making an investment of $100 to even $250 ensures you are hiring those with a motivation to sell is money well spent.

Invest Just $97 and Save Thousands by Identifying The Motivation to Sell

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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How to Quickly Identify Top Sales Candidates

Some say selling is different today than yesterday.Whether this is true or untrue, small business owners still must hire top sales candidates quickly. With 97.7% of all U.S. businesses having under 20 employees, a bad hire is extremely costly. These small business owners with their limited resources also must adhere to EEOC guidelines or face some very ugly and expensive consequences.

top-sales-performersRecently in a discussion with one small business owner, he shared he had spent over $170,000 to hire several different salespeople and none of them could perform in spite of glowing resumes and referrals.  For him, salespeople had become a liability.

What truly separates top sales candidates from the rest of the resume pack is their motivation to be successful.  Identifying what motivates a person to sell is the starting point in the selection process.

The question then becomes this one:

How do I as a small business owner or sales manager separate these potential “hungry” top sales candidates from everyone else without the expensive hiring curve?

A Bit of History

Over 100 years ago, a German philosopher and psychologist, Dr. Eduard Spranger, published a book entitled Lebensformen. In 1928, his work was translated into English as Types of Men:the Psychology and Ethics of Personality. Spranger’s work identified 6 motivational dimensions or drivers:

  1. Aesthetic
  2. Economic
  3. Political
  4. Social
  5. Religious
  6. Theoretical

Then in the 1950’s Dr. Gordon Allport used Spranger’s works to further understand human nature. Allport rejected Freud’s psychoanalytic approach and placed more emphasis on the present than the past.  From Allport’s efforts, he and his team created an assessment measuring a person’s value hierarchy. This assessment has seven motivational dimensions or drivers:

  1. Aesthetic
  2. Altruistic (replaces Social)
  3. Economic
  4. Individualistic (Spranger’s addition)
  5. Political
  6. Regulator (replaces Religious)
  7. Theoretical

The Assessment

Many firms have taken this original assessment by Spranger and in some cases updated it.  These updates can be good or not so good depending upon the publisher.  The actual assessment usually has a series of statements in which the respondent has four choices and ranks them as most agree to least agree.

With some publishers as the Innermetrix Values Index, all four responses are ranked from most to least. The ranking of all four responses increases the accuracy by 35% over those where only two responses are ranked.  As to the time involved, usually 15-20 minutes for the respondent and 15 minutes to review the results per respondent.

One other factor to be considered is the validity and reliability of the assessment.  Since the assessment is inductive in nature and subjective, a good validity and reliability ranking is near .85.  What this means is out of 100 people, the assessment will correctly identify 85 people.

The Process to Identify Top Sales Candidates

After the initial applications have undergone a first screening, then the remaining candidates each receive the Values Index assessment. The goal here is to separate those with an economic driver in the top 50% of all dimensions.  Those with the economic dimension in the top 50% are probably more likely to be high performing top sales candidates. Yes, there will always be exceptions. This is why a second review of all employment application information should be undertaken before a final selection pool is made.

In working with clients, I have observed many salespeople with economic dimension in the lower 50% of all the dimensions. The motivational driver of altruism in some instances is number one or in the top 50%. What this suggests is this salesperson is very social, but lacks the driver to earn or close the sale. The result of the Values assessment can be measured against the current results of the salesperson.

The Benefit of Using the Values Assessment

By using the Values Index Assessment, small business owners or sales managers can quickly and affordably separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak.  As long as the hiring process is the same for all applicants, this assessment tool becomes a quick way to identify top sales candidates. Depending upon the vendor and the depth of the actual assessment, the investment ranges in from $15 to $50. Many vendors can train small business owners or sales managers to understand the basic fundamentals of the Values assessment especially if the publisher has provided additional information beyond the basic listing of the six or seven motivational dimensions.

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If you want to identify top sales candidates, then call Leanne Hoagland-Smith at 219.508.2859 (CST) to discuss the Values Index along with your other goals for strategic growth.

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Is It Sustainable as to What Drives You?

To keep going and going when times are tough is a testimony to what drives you. I wonder how many people in business especially sales people ask themselves about their own ability to maintain such sustainability?


Can you with clarity answer this question as to “What drives you?”

For many the answer is probably no because of this one word – clarity.

Several years ago I started reflecting upon what gets me going, what keeps me going (sustainability). I realized I lack clarity. Sure I had some idea, however there was some vagueness, some fog within those reflective thoughts.

To find some answers I completed an assessment entitled the “Values Index.” This performance appraisal tool is based upon the work of  Dr. Eduard Spranger and Dr. Gordon Allport. These two gentlemen looked to what drives and motivates individuals.

Within this tool are these key areas:

  • Aesthetic
  • Altruistic
  • Economic
  • Individualistic
  • Political
  • Regulatory
  • Theoretical

What I learned was Theoretical is my primary driver off the chart (over two deviations about the norm) with Individualistic and Political (more than one deviation above the norm) holding a strong second place. Economic was fourth (just within the norm) and this allowed me to recognize I must not lose site of the economic motivator if I wanted my own executive consulting and small business coaching company to thrive.

The high Theoretical driver also helped for me to internally reconcile why I love knowledge so much as well as thinking. My first major in college was philosophy, but I soon learned there was not a significant demand for female philosophers.

Additionally, this assessment works in conjunction with three other assessments I use within my practice:

  1. Attribute Index
  2. DISC Index
  3. Emotional Intelligence Quotient

In working with clients, this performance appraisal and talent management tool, the Values Index, has become quite invaluable especially for small business owners who have sales teams.  If a salesperson has a high Altruistic driver and the Economic driver is number four, this could explain why the salesperson fails to increase sales. This person is a great relationship builder, gives back to his or her community which are all great behaviors and to be commended. However if the salesperson cannot increase sales (close the deal) this is a huge problem. Sales Training Coaching Tip: Understanding why someone cannot increase sales cannot be presumed. Effective talent management assessments separate symptoms from problems as in this example separate motivation from specific sales skills or talents.

So to answer the question “Is it sustainable as to what drives you?” may begin with knowing with absolute crystal clarity was to what drives you, what motivates you to keep going and going and going just like the “Energizer Bunny.”

On Thursday January 3, from 12-12:30pm, begin to secure some clarity for yourself as you start the new year through this FREE webinar Be True to You.

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