Half of sales people don’t like to admit what they do for a living

Despite the essential presence of sales professionals in most organisations, the stereotype is such that many don’t like to disclose their occupation. A new poll conducted by Gong claims that the majority (54 percent) of enterprise sales professionals don’t want to admit they work in sales. Reasons as to why many sales representatives don’t like to expose what they do for work, is driven by  the feeling that others assume that they only care about sales commission (40 percent).

This was closely followed by misperceived personality traits attributed to salespeople including being untrustworthy and pushy (39 percent), manipulative (34 percent) and greedy (29 percent). Other detrimental misconceptions that hold salespeople back from admitting what they do is the public’s view that a typical salesperson is a poor listener (29 percent).

While these misconceptions create a negative image that is difficult to change, good salespeople tend to demonstrate the opposite features. Data from Gong suggests that the strongest performers are good listeners as well as empathetic and extremely collaborative individuals. In fact, it was recorded that the ideal ratio of speaking and listening for sales professionals in a pitch is 43:57 respectively. Insights also show that top sales reps use language cues to paint a picture or offer an explanation such as ‘imagine’ and ‘that means’, 31 percent more often than average performers.

Furthermore, salespeople that understand and address prospects’ challenges and outline a clear solution tend to perform better than their peers. Describing a customer’s problem more accurately than they can leads to increased trust in a rep’s ability to solve it. Some of the most effective professionals use pain/gain words such as problem, challenge, solution, and opportunity 36 percent more often than others.