June 10, 2019

The Impact of Behaviour-Based Sales – A Case Study

Sales are the lifeblood of every for-profit company. Regardless of the other departments, the company wouldn’t survive without a strong focus on sales.

And yet, very few business owners are willing to experiment and find ways to improve their sales concept. We’re seeing a whole lot of traditional ideas and very few innovative ones.

Performance-based selling has always been a dominant concept. Salespeople would focus on hitting goals as the measure of personal and professional achievement. Most companies’ main motivator is the money and benefits that come with the job.

Maybe it’s time to change this.

What would happen if a company was to shift to behaviour-based sales?

This is exactly what a study at Western Michigan University tried to show.

The researchers created a series of training for two organizations to follow. There were four seminars covering the following:

  • Antecedents, behaviours, and consequences and their impact on sales performance

  • PIC (Positive, Immediate, and Certain)/NIC (Negative, Immediate, and Certain) analysis

  • SD/S delta as it relates to the indicators for when to ask for the sale and identifying/overcoming objections.

  • Verbal behaviour and non-verbal behaviour (client and representative), and closing/pre-closing behaviours.

The package also included feedback and rewards that the employees would get for participating.

The study used the closing percentage as the main success indicator. Researchers measured it before, during, and after the training.

The first company had a baseline closing percentage of 59%. During training, this number jumped to 63%. Four weeks after the training, the closing percentage was 60.75%.

The second company showed more modest results. The baseline was 20.51%, with 21.7% during training, and 20.975% after training.

Even though these improvements might appear minor, these 1.5 and 1.75 percentage points can make a huge difference to the sales department’s performance. Moreover, the study proves that with proper training, salespeople can achieve higher results.