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Outbound Telesales Rep Profile:
Compare High Performers to Low Producers

Position Overview: Requires excellent product knowledge, the ability to tailor ones’ presentation to individual customers and react convincingly to customer concerns and the desire to constantly pursue new sales opportunities; this is driven by the ability to work long hours in order to achieve goals.

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


Excites the customer with an enthusiastic presentation style; demonstrates value and actively promotes products and services by making an emotional appeal; holds the customer’s attention and interest by keeping the presentation content relevant; varies style to build toward a buying decision


  • Makes formal presentations that focus on creating an impact while communicating information
  • Has the potential to capture and hold the audience's attention
  • Takes charge and keeps control of the information being communicated through a presentation that is polished and rehearsed
  • Varies his style and content to appeal to the audience
  • Projects his enthusiasm about a solution to the audience, moving them closer to a buying decision
  • Monitors audience response and adjusts his presentation to stay on target


  • May be more comfortable with establishing a dialogue that emphasizes listening and an exchange of ideas than with making an impact on the audience
  • Uses presentations to entertain rather than inform or persuade
  • Sticks too closely to a script and does not vary the content or emphasis to address the needs of each audience
  • Too focused on the mechanics of the presentation itself to pay attention to audience understanding and concurrence
  • Cannot easily adjust to a nonsupportive audience response and may rush an ineffective presentation just to finish it rather than alter the presentation to change that response


Takes a proactive approach to finding additional business opportunities; is comfortable with the networking and cold calling needed to find new prospects and customers; takes the lead in meeting people and building a contact base for new business development


  • Investigates all possibilities in a quest for additional business
  • Remains focused on the objective of expanding the customer base
  • Gives priority to building a contact base for new business development
  • Comfortable cold calling on prospects and building a network of contacts to find new leads
  • Keeps a high profile in organizations or activities that attract the interest of prospective customers


  • Becomes discouraged by rejection and waits for prospects to raise their hands in interest
  • Treats prospecting as an activity to occupy slow periods
  • Lacks persistence in seeking new business opportunities
  • Timid about meeting people with the intent to interest them in his product offering
  • Uncomfortable with the personal interactions required to build the network of contacts needed to continually supply additional business leads


Keeps up a brisk pace without becoming fatigued; pushes physical resources to the limit during periods of peak demand; prides himself on the amount of work accomplished; approaches work with considerable energy and stamina despite distractions or unreasonable demands


  • Shows the capacity to work rapidly and efficiently, completing a considerable volume of work within tight deadlines, often in the midst of continuous change and shifting priorities
  • Tends to be highly energized and keeps up a brisk pace without becoming fatigued
  • Takes pride in being a hard worker and accomplishing a significant amount of work
  • Continues to push during periods of peak demand, exhausting his physical resources, then resuming an active pace after immediately replenishing his energy and endurance


  • Adopts a methodical and deliberate pace that minimizes the potential for making mistakes
  • Experiences reduced physical capacity when faced with significant physical challenges or external pressures and may require an extended period of rest before tackling that volume of work again
  • May physically burn out too quickly by trying to do too much (tends to burn the candle at both ends)


Recognizes that the limited opportunity for negotiation requires a probing of customer objections to uncover the 'hot button' that established or standard features and benefits will address; actively listens and clarifies benefits; is well-informed of features and benefits; helps the customer understand why the proposed product offering is the best alternative


  • Brings objections to the surface and tackles them head-on
  • Chips away at objections rather than sidestep or give up on them
  • Listens to and agrees with the validity of the customer’s concern
  • Familiar with a wide variety of products, along with their features and benefits
  • Understands the benefits that can pull a customer out of an established buying habit and into a better solution
  • Convinces the customer that the seller offers the best buy
  • Presents relevant information that will dispose of the objection, keeping the answer complete and concise


  • Misinterprets unspoken objections as nonexistent objections
  • Dismisses objections without validating the customer's concerns
  • Is argumentative in an effort to overcome versus resolve objections
  • Responds emotionally to objections or resistance perceived to be a personal attack
  • Overcomes concerns with textbook answers versus understanding and resolving them
  • Lacks information about the product/benefits, giving inconclusive answers that leave objections unresolved
  • Gives a long-winded explanation with more information than is required to gain the customer's cooperation and commitment, clouding the issue and possibly exerting pressure for an answer
  • Promises more than the product can reasonably deliver


Possesses a working knowledge of products and applications as the backbone for understanding customers’ needs and making suggestions for solutions; keeps abreast of (or contributes to) product/service developments, changes, and improvements designed to enhance competitiveness and achieve market preeminence; concentrates on acquiring knowledge that is less comprehensive and more focused on what specifically impacts the customer; builds knowledge base through real-world applications; uses product knowledge as a means to an end in providing appropriate suggestions to meet specific customer needs


  • Acquires the necessary knowledge of products and product sales strategies required to keep on target with client needs
  • Has the confidence in his expertise to establish himself as an effective resource
  • Believes that there is always something new to learn
  • Recognizes that his credibility as a resource to customers is dependent upon the frequency and thoroughness with which he updates his product and applications knowledge


  • Prefers to acquire knowledge through a personal sharing of information and hands-on observation
  • Taps a variety of individuals as resources and builds his pool of knowledge from the knowledge and experiences of others
  • Prefers to focus on the big picture and may not develop an awareness of product modifications at a more detailed level
  • Thinks he can stay ahead of the customer with only a superficial understanding of products and applications
  • Believes that most recent developments are cosmetic and do not require investigation
  • Embarrassed to admit he does not know something, and rather than ask for help, can inefficiently invest time poring over written materials or waiting for a formal training opportunity
  • Absorbs information more effectively through a structured learning process than by listening to and learning from others in a less formal manner


Thrives on working; tends to achieve higher results in direct proportion to the time he is willing to commit to his work; remains focused on the goal and is not easily discouraged or distracted; uses work as an opportunity for interaction and incorporates interpersonal contacts into task accomplishment; sees work as a major source of personal satisfaction


  • Commits time and resources to results accomplishment that surpasses what is just acceptable or expected
  • Is dedicated to achieving business results, even at some personal sacrifice
  • Defines himself to a great extent by his work and derives personal satisfaction from his success and accomplishments in his career
  • Builds into his schedule the time required to lay the groundwork and develop the plans for achieving his work objectives
  • Retains control of his objectives by preparing action steps and evaluating his progress
  • Remains focused when the commitment to his work is threatened by internal or external distractions
  • Enjoys finding opportunities to mix personal interaction with goal accomplishment


  • Seeks a balance in his professional and personal commitments that inevitably limits the time and resources devoted to his work
  • Is more inclined to work a set schedule of hours than to commit resources as required by the objective
  • Distinguishes personal time from work and career commitments and is not likely to make consistent sacrifices in his personal life to accommodate extraordinary advancements in his work objectives
  • Becomes distracted by unexpected obstacles or may not effectively plan to deal with his job demands
  • May not recognize that opportunities to advance his goals can be present in the personal interactions that occur in the workplace

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