Using MBTI to activate your team
We believe that the most important thing to do for proper team building in a sales department is to utilize the individuality of each person as a whole team. Therefore, in this article, I would like to introduce a team building method that utilizes the MBTI, also known as the Myers-Briggs type indicator.
Supervisors who feel that their subordinates' work style is wasteful and inefficient
Let me tell you about a case.
This is a case that actually happened in the corporate sales department of a company that provides services to the Japanese market.
A man, who had achieved excellent results in the past in door-to-door sales and had become a manager of a sales team at a young age, was having trouble coaching his subordinates in the sales team.
His subordinate is not a very outgoing person and often communicates with customers via e-mail rather than face-to-face. Also, the other day, during work hours, he was immersed in paperwork to create a product list dedicated to each customer. I felt that my subordinate's work style was inefficient and wasteful, and he should do something more sales-oriented instead of doing that. I instructed him that he should do more face-to-face communication with customers. However, my subordinate said that he was trying to build a relationship of trust with customers and reduce mistakes in his own way so that he could contribute to sales, and he also said that it was more efficient to make sales calls via e-mail. After some discussion, I reluctantly agreed to see how it goes, but I still feel dissatisfied with the way my subordinate conducts business.
This kind of case is actually a common issue in sales department training.
I understand the feeling of the supervisor that there are other things that can be done during work hours that can directly lead to sales, so why not do them now?
On the other hand, I can also understand the subordinate's feeling that non-face-to-face sales, mainly by e-mail or phone, would allow him to deal with more customers and that he would like to make efforts to eliminate mistakes before they happen and to build a good relationship with customers.
In such a case, what kind of coaching is appropriate for subordinates?
It is the job of managers to work with their subordinates to develop sales methods that bring out the best in them
Some salespeople are active and quick thinking, and can get a deal done in a short period of time, while others take a long time to build a trusting relationship with their customers and finally reap the benefits. The former would be the ones who are strong in traditional field sales. This is the type of person who is strong in making proposals and closing deals with hot leads of more prospective customers. Field sales is a traditional sales method where you go directly to the customer to make proposals and discuss products face-to-face.
On the other hand, the second type is strong in inside sales.
Inside sales involves non-face-to-face communication, mainly by phone or e-mail, to create opportunities for contact between field sales and customers. The main focus is on obtaining appointments and nurturing leads.
Inside sales is expected to improve operational efficiency and increase sales by dividing sales activities and assigning a person in charge according to the phase of the customer.
Looking at it this way, we can see that the performance of the sales team as a whole will be improved if we can utilize the strengths of each individual to conduct sales activities.
Use MBTI to determine the type of subordinate.
Have you ever heard of a personality test used in psychology called the Myers-Briggs test or MBTI?
The mbti refers to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a personality test established in the 1940s by Americans Isabel Myers and Briggs Myers, based on the typology of the psychoanalyst Jung. It has been scientifically proven to be effective.
It is a very famous method, especially in Europe and the United States, and many of my acquaintances have been influenced by the MBTI.
The MBTI uses the four mental functions/attitudes as indicators of personality type: (1) extroversion/introversion, (2) feeling/intuition, (3) thinking/emotion, and (4) decision-making/flexibility.
It is important to note that there is no such thing as superiority or inferiority among these personality types.
Each has its own unique strengths.
Therefore, there is no need to blame yourself for thinking that you must be an extrovert because you are in sales, or that you must be a thinker instead of an emotional person.
What is important is that as a manager, you should know the personality tendencies of each member of the team and have them perform their duties in a way that is appropriate for them, so that they can demonstrate their strengths and the team as a whole can achieve its goals.
The first step is to recognize your own type as a manager. Here is a link to the NERIS Analytics Limited website where you can take a MBTI test.
And how about the types of subordinates you have?
We recommend that you use these results to analyze your entire team.
You may find that some of your subordinates may be able to achieve better results as a sales team by using different sales techniques than you do.
Recognizing subordinates' characteristics with the MBTI
1) Characteristics of the ESFJ
This type of salesperson is considered ideal for after-sales and account managers. They are quick to recognize what is needed not only by the customer, but also by others on the team, and will do their best to provide it regardless of the size of the task. They are good at buffering relationships, so just being on a project team is a good way to keep the team working well together.
2) Characteristics of ESTPs
ESTP salespeople are quick on their feet and thrive on short-term projects, such as acquiring new clients or closing deals after other salespeople have laid the groundwork. These salespeople can also thrive in high-risk jobs, such as sales contests with high bonuses. On the other hand, they are not good at gloomy stories or routine office work, so you can make the best use of this type of person by creating a system where another person who is good at such work is assigned to assist them.
3) Characteristics of ENTJs
The ENTJ personality type is considered a natural born leader, and is logical and results-oriented.
ENTJ salespeople are prepared to plan for the long term and nurture leads to success. ENTJs will shine best in positions where they can strategically solve problems and lead others through difficult situations.
INTJs are independent-minded and place more importance on facts and details than on concepts such as project ideas. As a result, you are good at persuading customers based on facts and evidence-based data. They are adept at identifying patterns in events and play a very important role in sales planning. Some companies set up INTJ team members in marketing roles or prepare sales cases for other colleagues to execute. On the other hand, many people prefer to be alone, so the fewer drinks with customers, the better.
They are good at analyzing facts and finding solutions, so they have good problem-solving skills and have a strong technical side. When a problem arises in a company's sales strategy, it is helpful to have an ISTP on the team. Many ISTPs make excellent sales managers and team leaders. Many ISTPs make good sales managers or team leaders, and you may want to assign them tasks that require them to perform analysis.
What did you think?
There are a lot of managers who have problems in coaching their subordinates in the sales department.
In the case of the problem I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the supervisor may be an ESTP and the subordinate may be an INTJ.
As you can see from the characteristics of both of them, they have different areas of expertise, and the problem occurred because the boss did not notice the good points of his subordinate.
For this person, it is more likely to work well if he is involved in data collection and analysis for customer presentations or sales planning, rather than the light-footed style of acquiring new customers that the supervisor is good at.
In order to conduct optimal team building, managers should recognize the characteristics of each individual and work with them to bring out the best in them.
The MBTI described here can be taken free of charge, so I would like to encourage everyone in your team to take it so that you can build a sales team that can produce better results.