Dysfunctional Sales Team


This month we explore how the FinxS Team Report helped identify the reasons for poor performance and unhappy team members. This team faced some real challenges caused fundamentally by the downturn in demand for its products caused through aggressive competition. While sales are buoyant, it is easy to overlook weaknesses but when sales become difficult to achieve, then gaps in the system will widen.

We provide some information about invalid reports. The FinxS online assessment system has an built-in validity check and will not produce reports that are unreliable. In addition to this feature, the consistency of answering is measured and it is possible to identify reports that might be suspect.

The company involved had a very good track record over some forty plus years and had weathered many ups and downs.

Interestingly, and as we have seen in many other cases, the sales team were of a similar behavioural style to that of the CEO. Not surprisingly they had been selected by the CEO, who was himself a very good salesman mainly because of his experience. This meant that the selection of the sales team was based on compatibility with the CEO.

Again, this is not uncommon but when times are tough this puts extreme pressure on the individuals to perform and in some cases can lead to stress. We all know that stress affects performance and in this particular case the matter had become a serious issue.

The CEO recognised that the team had become dysfunctional, but he didn’t know why. The team was comprised of people he knew well and had worked with, in some cases, for over thirty years. Weekly sales meetings were often ineffective with a lot of “finger pointing” and the reasons for poor performance difficult to identify.

In desperation he decided to consult an HR professional and the first step the consultant took was to obtain a FinxS Behavioural Report from each member of the sales team.

The similarity in the behavioural styles became obvious and the consultant knew that he had identified a major cause for the difficulties facing the CEO.

He produced a FinxS Team Report and the Arrow Map (shown opposite) in the report provided him with a graphical explanation for the major problem.

The questions the consultant focused on were:

  • Do the team members have similar behavioural styles?

  • Are the arrows all moving in the same direction?

  • What are the respective roles of each member of the team?

  • Does their behavioural style suit the role?

The Arrow Map supported his conclusions.

  • The team members had similar behavioural styles and were mostly in the S and C segment. Only one featured in the DI segment. The CEO’s style was SIC and he was responsible for hiring. Consequently, he favoured those who were similar to his style although he was not conversant with behavioural style analysis.

  • The CEO did not realise the importance of matching behavioural styles with specific roles. As you can see all the arrows were moving in the same direction. The problem was however that this meant a huge change in their Profile I (their perceived need to adjust and the end of the arrow in the graph). This meant they felt they had to work outside their natural comfort zone. This lead to stress and pressure, and sometimes frustration.

  • It is difficult for an S or C style to “get out and sell” and this was the fundamental reason for the lack of performance. It was different when buyers were walking on to the yard and there was no pressure to “sell”, but times had changed.

The outcome was that three of the team, after understanding what their reports were telling them, resigned while the CEO was forced to dismiss a couple of the team for poor performance – something that he did not enjoy!

The company now uses FinxS Behavioural Reports in all recruitment situations and the five people who have moved on were replaced by sales people with the ID or DI mix. Sales improved dramatically and the CEO is now a firm advocate of behavioural style analysis and especially Extended DISC® methodology and the FinxS Online Plaform.