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Personality Traits – The Forth Dimension to Measure While Recruiting Salespeople

Steve Suggs by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | on December 19, 2011 | about Recruiting | 0 Comments

In this series of blog posts on recruiting salespeople, we have been exploring the five dimensions of the “Best Salesperson Profile”. The first three were – Attitudes, Motivations, and Character Traits. Over the next several weeks, we will explore the forth dimension – Personality Traits.

Personality is genetic. It takes less energy to do a task if we have the natural personality tendencies that are in line with particular job duties. It drains our energy if tasks are outside our natural personality tendencies. Our Personality traits also determine how we react to our environment. Some of us have personality traits that are at a level which help us bounce back more quickly from challenging circumstances. Others may have levels of personality traits that make it more difficult to bounce back quickly from our circumstances.

Over the past eleven years, I have been helping sales leaders recruit salespeople using the Craft Personality Questionnaire (CPQ).  (For more information on this tool, please visit

Dr. Craft completed a significant study where 10,000 salespeople were given the CPQ. Their results on the CPQ were compared to their sales performance. A profile for high activity salespeople in the financial services industry was created.  This is the baseline profile I use to help many organizations that wish to recruit salespeople in a high-activity, high-rejection environment.

This personality profile has eight personality traits. Each trait is scored on a scale of 1-100. The ideal high-activity salesperson has scores in specific ranges for each trait. The ideal ranges are as follows:

  • Social Drive            90-100%
  • Social Confidence      45-75%
  • Goal-orientation      90-100%
  • Need for Control      50-75%
  • Detail-orientation      10-35%
  • Skepticism            50-80%
  • Good Impression      60-90%
  • Need to Nurture      15-40%

These CPQ scores are indicative of salespeople who have the drive and confidence to perform at a high level in a high-activity, high-rejection and competitive environment where it is necessary to find prospects and turn them into customers. These high-energy salespeople have an independent, entrepreneurial spirit who can work with low amounts of supervision.

Keep in mind, Personality Traits are only one of the five dimensions of the “Best Salesperson Profile”. It is important to measure all five dimensions, not just personality.

In my upcoming blogs, I will further explain the personality traits in greater detail and how to measure these while recruiting salespeople.

Blessings upon your recruiting efforts.

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Steve Suggs is a partner at Sales Manage Solutions, a sales consulting firm focused on training sales managers to recruit salespeople and coach them to greatness. You can also read Steve’s sales productivity blog.

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