A Misfit Within the Sales Force

Do you have this feeling like some people within your sales force are just not right for the job? We can relate in this article!


Cindy Boisvert

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I was having a conversation with a colleague about a call i received from Comfree (duproprio) regarding a contest I had taken part in. They had called me to evaluate my needs, despite the fact that I hadn’t won that contest.

That phone call brought back some memories. I told my colleague how much I had loved working in the real estate field, between 2004 and 2007, where I was supporting a sales team. I was passionate about that field; always surfing the internet, going over real estate websites, looking through house pictures, try and find marketing ideas to promote the house listing, and so on. Back then, I loved doing research for my clients, build a good action plan and use a lot of analytical skills along the way.

My colleague asked me why I left real estate if I loved it so much and the answer was quite simple: sales are not for me. I hate sales because I am not good at it; or I am not good at sales because I hate it. it was a classic “the chicken or the egg” dilemma.

A revealing sales diagnosis

Referring to only a few of its dimensions, my At-Plus Sales report revealed several aspects which confirmed my awkwardness about the development of new markets and my discomfort with the requirements of my job at the time.


You are at ease and can be a good performer when having to develop new territories or recruit new customers. You do not only look at maintaining existing clientele but also, as required, participate in the research and development of new business relationships.

Product orientation

You appreciate being able to analyse the needs of your customers and consider the various alternatives to your answers. It is important for you to have an in-depth knowledge of the characteristics of your products or services. It is based on this expertise that you build your credibility and try to influence your customer.

Hoping to increase a clientele base when one does not have that innate talent to find and establish new business relationships becomes extremely demanding for the employee. As for me, it would have been beneficial and advantageous for both parties to assign me to tasks which involved maintaining existing customer relationships and master all aspects of our existing products.

Understand strengths and limitations

Knowing the strengths and limitations of an individual is an integral part of business and sales force success. To have an “ideal” employee starts with, among other things, his or her ability to perform the tasks expected of them, with the greatest ease possible. Thus, for both the individual and the employer, it is important to identify those tasks that align up with their existing experiences, interests, but most importantly: strengths and talents.

For example, an introverted sales representative would require more effort when the time comes to exchange, mingle with a group or, collect a few business cards at a conference. That sales person might, however, triumph despite everything, and here are a few circumstances that might justify this success. If this individual is:

  • results-oriented; their desire to surpass themselves is what motivates them
  • stimulated by challenges; monetary incentives, or their need to meet challenges ensures they will overcome any discomfort associated with being more visible or extroverted
  • assertive; it is his or her desire to have the last word, to find answers to objections and the need to be affirmative that will ensure their success

By examining different personality aspects together, it becomes much easier to understand the reasons behind a person’s success and failures, and will move us towards focusing on their strengths, rather than dwelling on their weaknesses.

Finally, I now understand why ultimately, I was not fulfilled at that job. I knew something was wrong, but could not identify what it was; I liked my colleagues, my personal closed office, the area. It wasn’t until many years later that I validated my doubts after learning how I was truly built.

If you think you recognize this situation on your team, or if you think you are living it yourself, could it be because your tasks are requiring you to go against your natural talents?

As I mentioned earlier, you can rest assured that sales is not my thing; so you can read about the benefits of the Atman test and of the At-Plus Sales without fear!

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