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5 Profiles of B2B Sales Reps


The 5 Profiles of Sales Reps. To put it in context this is selling in the world of B2B complex sales, not transactions in retailing, nor is it about marketing – In many ways it’s about changing the rules!

This month I’m going to talk to you about the most controversial topic in Big Ticket Sales Today –

The Challenger Sales Person

This is research conducted by CEB (See Website) a leading member-based advisory company based in the U.S.

Their research showed that on average the customer doesn’t contact the sales person until their decision is nearly 60% complete. At that stage the customer has:

  • Defined the business problem they need to solve
  • Short listed the suppliers they want to talk with
  • Decided what they’re going to pay for the solution

With this background CEB decided to take a long hard look at the different types of sales people and why some were more successful than others – The results were surprising and controversial!

CEB did a study of 6,000 sales reps across the world, over loads of different industries and they found something remarkable – They found that five profile types existed in the B2B sales space.

So what are the 5 Profiles of Sales Reps, we Explore Here:

The the-hard-workerHard Worker

The Hard Worker is always willing to go the extra mile, doesn’t give up easily, and is self-motivated.

Chances of closing a sale in a complex environment = 10%





problem-solverThe Problem Solver

The Problem Solver is detail-oriented, addresses service issues quickly, and places importance on post-sales follow through

Chances of closing a sale in a complex environment = 7%







The Relationshiprelationship-builder Builder

The Relationship Builder doesn’t want to appear pushy, focuses on customer needs, and is generous with his or her time

Chances of closing a sale in a complex environment = 4%





The lone-wolfLone Wolf

The Lone Wolf is a salesperson who is self-assured, difficult to control, and follows his or her instincts.

Chances of closing a sale in a complex environment = 25%




The Cchallenger-salespersonhallenger

The Challenger always has a different view of the world, understands the customer’s business, and loves to debate

Chances of closing a sale in a complex environment = 54%

So which one of the 5 Profiles of B2B Sales Reps are you then?

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David Doyle

David has spent 30 years in sales successfully building business from zero to acquisition. Having studied Electronics and Computer Science at DIT and Enterprise Ireland's Export Sales Development Programme, he has spent most of his time in selling technology. He is founder and Managing Director of B2B Sell and leads a small team of experienced business and technology trained sales professionals.

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