It’s no secret: I am fascinated by data, especially how it relates to salespeople, sales managers and sales success. And I have access to plenty of data, including details on 450,000 salespeople.

Who’s Better?

Lately, I was curious about whether there is any difference between salespeople currently employed and those salespeople who are candidates for new positions. (Yes, I realize that a currently employed salesperson could also be a candidate for a different position. However, those cannot be separated out from the database for this exercise.)

Database Deep Dive

The database I’m using is supplied by Objective Management Group, the leaders in sales specific assessments and I wasn’t certain if there would be anything interesting when I began my project. The only way to know was to dig in.

I reviewed the different categories of salespeople based on OMG’s Sales Percentile. This element of the OMG evaluation is like a standardized test, in that it compares the results of all those who have taken it using a standardized percentile score. So, if someone falls into the 75th percentile, it means they scored better than 75% of those 450,000 that also were evaluated.

Benchmarks

OMG’s Sales Percentile data separates salespeople into four categories. They are:

  • Elite – 95th to 100th percentile
  • Strong – 84th to 94th percentile
  • Serviceable – 51st to 83rd percentile
  • Weak – 0 to 50th percentile

The Findings

First, I looked at the composition of all current employees.  These are salespeople who have been evaluated using the OMG tools on behalf of their employer to determine the upside potential of the team and specifics surrounding how to execute at a higher level, and here is the breakdown.

Next, I compared the database of candidates who have taken the OMG assessment as part of a hiring process for a potential new employer, and here is that breakdown.

Looking at existing salespeople (those with a position), 59% are in the weak category and only 13% are strong or elite.  By comparison, of sales candidates (those looking for a position), only 38% are in the weak category and 25% are strong or elite.

This data illustrates that there are far better salespeople out there and more of them than you likely have working in your company right now.

My Takeaways

  • Weak salespeople need to be developed or replaced. They might be dragging down your team’s overall success.
  • If you are scared to go find better salespeople, get over it and do it. Excellent candidates are out there.
  • If you are lucky enough to have elite and strong salespeople on your team, hang onto them. Provide them opportunities to advance and grow.  Nurture them and guide them.  Otherwise, they might be those that are seeking employment elsewhere.
  • If you desire to upgrade your team, use the science available to make better decisions by employing OMG (ask me how) because it is hard to distinguish between a strong and a weak salesperson just in an interview – clearly.

Great Salespeople are Waiting

If you have ever wondered whether the salespeople out there are better than the ones you’ve got, the answer is yes. So, go get them. They are definitely out there!  And, if you’d like to compare your sales team to those of similar companies check out this Sales Statistics Tool provided by OMG for free.