How Psychometric Science Prompts Prescriptive Sales Training

The industry of sales training has been revolutionized by the idea of prescriptive training.

This industry has experienced many new developments in recent years. Oftentimes, companies are focused on sales training in order to increase their revenue. This approach has largely been the standard in the business industry, but recent studies are suggesting that this one-size-fits-all training approach is ineffective in regards to revenue growth.

In order to understand more about this change in sales training, we sat down to speak with LaVon Koerner, Co-Founder of Revenue Storm. LaVon has experienced this shift in mindset regarding sales training firsthand.

LaVon has seen the benefits of individualized, prescriptive sales training since beginning his company in 2001, after becoming aware of the lack of progress that regular sales training had on salespeople and their revenue growth.

Here are the highlights of what LaVon had to say.

Discovering Prescriptive Sales Training

In 1999, LaVon Koerner was the president of a fast-growing sales training company. It was in this same year that LaVon conducted a study on the impact of sales training, only to find out that his work was not truly affecting the revenue growth of those his company had trained.

Discouraged, LaVon resigned from his presidential position, and took a year off to evaluate his sales training approach. This led to the discovery of psychometric testing and prescriptive sales training.

LaVon began Revenue Storm in the year 2001 in order to reinvent the way sales training was done. The development of psychometric testing was a major breakthrough in this reinventing process. Now, LaVon was able to discern with 85% accuracy who would be able to be a successful salesperson.

LaVon relies on science to determine how to best serve an individual, as well as an entire company. In his own words, “Everything we do with a company is, in fact, science driven, right down to the individual, and right up to the different sale cycles.”

Discovering prescriptive sales training

Competencies and Attributes

Within this prescriptive training, LaVon has determined 27 competencies and 34 attributes that are most important in becoming a successful salesperson.

After speaking with many different companies, LaVon has determined that the two largest competency deficits in sales candidates are executive credibility and political mapping.

In order to remedy these competency deficits, two attributes are required: high-risk tolerance, and the ability to have empathy. These attributes are two of the 34 that make up the 27 competencies for sales success and revenue growth.

LaVon is quick to identify the challenge most companies face in the world of sales when dealing with competencies and attributes.

“The real paradigm today is, he who has the most competencies in the fewest bodies, wins… You have to hire the right bodies who have the right attributes and the only way you can do that is you have to use psychometric science.”

Levels of Sales and How to Move Up

According to LaVon, there are four different levels of salespeople. Unfortunately, many salespeople are unable to unlock their potential without proper training, and only reside at level one or two.

At these first two levels, a salesperson is stuck in the demand-capture mindset. They believe they must go out and find people to sell to, but they are unable to create new customers.

A shift in mindset happens at the third and fourth level of sales, which is the demand-creation mindset.

levels of sales and how to move up

This growth isn’t possible for everyone. In fact, based on LaVon’s studies, 47% of people cannot make the journey to a level three or four salesperson. For those whom it is possible for, it requires prescriptive coaching.

“You do prescriptive training,” Lavon says, “and you follow with, always, prescriptive coaching.”

What is most effective when someone is trying to sell to you?

We like to ask all of our podcast guests this question. Here’s how LaVon answered:

“I want them to come to me through my industry, if they can come to me with industry knowledge.. If the salesperson comes to me from that area, and they can put something in my mind that I have not thought, or they put some options I have not considered, or help me draw some connections I have not drawn, I’m going to be there. I’m going to suck that individual dry because they have just become a resource to me.”

Acceleration Insight

In each episode of the B2B Revenue Executive Experience, we ask guests what one piece of advice or information they would like to impart on a sales professional. LaVon answered this way:

“You’ve got to come to the place in your mind that there will not be enough customers for you to find for you to make your growth numbers. You’re gonna have to shift to making customers rather than finding customers. That means you’re moving from demand capture to demand creation. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, that should be number one on your list.”

This post is based on a podcast interview with LaVon Koerner from Revenue Storm. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to the B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

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