Identifying the Right Salespeople in 2021

by John Kleeman / December 16, 2020

Business has changed dramatically over the last twelve months, but one thing at least has remained exactly the same: recruiting the right salespeople and coaching them to drive success for your organisation is a significant challenge.

As Jill Konrath says, “Sales is an outcome, not a goal. It’s a function of doing numerous things right, starting from the moment you target a potential prospect until you finalize the deal.” In order to achieve the sales outcome, having the right people in your team is essential.

Within those teams, however, another problem arises – the problem of qualifying.


Qualifying Well Is A Critical Skill

It remains a struggle for salespeople to consistently qualify sales opportunities well.

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that having lots of opportunities qualified in is an indicator of a healthy sales pipeline, as this means you have more chances to close more sales. Unfortunately, a trap is exactly what it is, and the truth is almost completely the opposite.

As Mentor Group CTO James Barton puts it in his whitepaper ‘The Art of Being An Optimistic Sceptic’, good salespeople qualify in; excellent salespeople qualify out.

The evidence we see continues to suggest that if a salesperson qualifies in and progresses too many opportunities, their sales pipeline might look good, and their activity levels might also look good, but the end results – closed sales – will almost always be reduced.

The best salespeople, the ones you want to recruit and develop, qualify out more than they qualify in, and focus their most productive time and energy on identifying the healthiest opportunities that are most likely to result in a sale.

Qualification skills are critical for B2B sales success. They lead to more accurate pipelines and sales forecasts, which in turn leads to more consistent sales success for your organisation. Sales teams that struggle to qualify well (by qualifying out properly) tend to suffer from unreliable sales forecasts and poor sales.


Questionmark B2B Sales Qualification by Mentor Group

Questionmark and Mentor Group have released a test to help organisations battle the problem of poor qualification.

“Questionmark B2B Sales Qualification by Mentor Group” can be used by your existing sales teams to test skills already in your organisation, or with potential recruits to ensure you’re hiring the right people.

With this assessment, you can identify which salespeople are qualifying opportunities successfully, and which needs development – including suggested areas for training and coaching.

For more information on how this assessment can help drive consistent, elevated sales performance within your organisation, visit and get a sample test, or book a demo.

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John Kleeman

John Kleeman

John Kleeman is the Founder and Executive Director of Questionmark, the assessment management software company.