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Inbound Telesales Rep Profile:
Compare High Performers to Low Producers

Position Overview: Requires the ability to tailor ones’ presentation to individual customers, effectively identify customers’ primary needs, analyze problems objectively and provide profitable solutions; this is driven by a commitment to maintaining customer satisfaction.

Predictive Skills: Five characteristics will predict telesales rep success in this sales position. Review below how top sales performers will differ from lower performers.


Tailors image to fit customer expectations; adapts to different situations with sincerity and realism, taking care to avoid obvious role-playing or acting; recognizes the value of first impressions; studies the image or style with which the customer is most comfortable and adopts the dress, conversational style, and language most trusted by that customer


  • Exhibits interest and commitment through involvement in customer industry activities
  • Quietly promotes self and company in a manner that is respected by and gains credibility with the customer
  • Before the first impression is made, becomes familiar with customers, their markets, and how success has been achieved with similar companies in the past
  • Recognizes the business etiquette (such as dress and speech) appropriate to a situation
  • Has the ability to read people and react to individual needs
  • Positions himself at the appropriate professional level to match the customer
  • Adjusts own communication style to ensure that the message is heard and to encourage dialogue


  • May blatantly promote company or self without anticipating how the customer will respond
  • Fails to do the homework on a prospect or customer that would identify or verify the image that would be consistent with customer expectations
  • By focusing so intently on his own style and objectives, he fails to make it a priority to establish and reinforce credibility with the customer
  • May ignore or fail to be concerned with the image projected to others
  • May be inflexible about changing personal style to accommodate a customer who would be more comfortable with or impressed by something different


Objectively analyzes a problem situation and takes steps to provide a solution; identifies the root of the problem before pressing for a resolution; remains engaged until a solution is reached; tries to see all sides of the problem and thus understand others’ assessment of the issue or response; takes personal responsibility for identifying a resolution


  • Objectively isolates and defines problem areas clearly
  • Determines the true nature of the problem rather than deal with its symptoms
  • Is willing to ‘think outside the box’ to find a solution
  • Displays sensitivity and genuine interest in understanding others’ perspectives and will not ignore their concerns
  • Regards any problem as a challenge to be met with eagerness and enthusiasm
  • Remains engaged until a problem has been resolved
  • Takes personal accountability for the result


  • Can be biased and make judgmental or inappropriate assumptions without analyzing the situation objectively
  • May press toward resolution without identifying the root of the problem
  • Becomes wrapped up in his own views and loses sight of how others may see the problem or response
  • Becomes frustrated with solving the same or similar problems over and over again
  • Tends to take complaints and problems personally and feel oppressed by them
  • Sees problem resolution as an inconvenience and a distraction
  • May oversimplify a problem and its solution and disengage his efforts before identifying a satisfactory solution
  • Resists taking ownership of the solution


Seeks to provide an appropriate solution by understanding what the customer is trying to accomplish; spends time in a needs analysis process that identifies key objectives specific to an individual customer; gives the customer’s agenda priority over a standard response; changes the sales approach or solution to accommodate the customer versus force fit the customer to an existing model


  • Asks questions and studies the customer’s key priorities
  • Incorporates the customer’s responses and input into a business plan tailored to fit that customer’s needs
  • Takes the time to explore options or alternatives for helping the customer to achieve key objectives
  • Accepts the rejection or modification of his suggestions in an effort to best understand and help the customer


  • Lacks a thorough approach to a customer needs analysis, preferring to move immediately to an existing solution
  • Can be distracted from learning customer requirements by the personalities or politics of a situation
  • Tries to fit the customer’s methods or goals into a standard model or solution
  • Takes it as personal criticism when his suggestions are challenged
  • Can be too invested in his own agenda to comfortably yield to the customer’s agenda


Prioritizes customer satisfaction as a major objective in his efforts to succeed in a sales role; works to establish rapport and concentrates on building a trusting relationship with customers; demonstrates this commitment with a hardworking approach and a sense of urgency in the face of problems


  • Understands that success depends upon a willingness and ability to provide a genuine benefit to customers
  • Sets high expectations for the level of customer satisfaction he provides and is unwilling to settle for anything less
  • Dismisses the length or strength of the customer relationship as a factor in making the effort to ensure customer satisfaction
  • Steers customer conversations and interactions to be sure he gets the information needed to produce the desired results
  • Concentrates on effectively executing the basics of customer care rather than the appearance or impression he creates in the process; he is not watching to see if others are watching him


  • May put forth a diminishing effort over an extended period of time, particularly if it is difficult to please a customer
  • Focuses on those customers who are less demanding or with whom he has a long-standing relationship
  • Tends to ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ and is reticent to search for problems that may be in the early stage of development
  • Wants to impress customers with what he can accomplish for them, turning their attention from being pleased with the solution to being pleased with his efforts


Proactively weighs decisions, recommendations and actions against their impact on the bottom-line; looks for options that accomplish what needs to be done without compromising profitability; understands the economics of the processes he uses and those of his customers; leverages knowledge of the business and the customer to provide recommendations that are efficient and practical


  • Makes a proactive effort to choose the most profitable options and will not be surprised by budgets that run over or profits that don't materialize
  • Evaluates his actions and decisions against the need to contribute to the organization's profitability
  • Manages resources wisely, and makes decisions that enhance the organization's financial position
  • Values practicality in getting the job done and will not add unnecessary frills or extras that could compromise the bottom-line
  • Keeps an eye on profitability when solving a problem or implementing a plan
  • Is sufficiently involved in all areas of the business to know key performance criteria
  • Uses his knowledge of the business and the market to weigh options so the desired results can be accomplished most profitably
  • Is knowledgeable of methodologies to control assets and ensures they are applied


  • Cannot effectively formulate a more profitable approach when historically, things have always been done a certain way
  • Does not anticipate potential threats to profitability or identify alternatives to circumvent those threats
  • Focuses on an isolated piece of the solution without understanding and evaluating its overall economic impact
  • May judge the quality of a recommendation or solution by its ‘sizzle’ or pizzazz than by its impact on the bottom-line

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