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The Characteristics Crucial to Sales Success

  • Oct 7, 2022

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin

What characteristics does it take to succeed in B2B sales? The list is long – and adaptability is at the top.

That’s according to an independent survey of 300 B2B sales professionals in US, UK and Nordics. Jiminny commissioned the survey which was conducted by the research firm Coleman Parkes.

The survey presented respondents with a list of more than 30 possible attributes – along with the option to write in an answer. Respondents were asked to only select the characteristics they believe are the top three.

The results? Adaptability (26%) topped the list. It was followed by ambition (25%) and confidence (24%).

Interestingly, the answers were fairly even across roles. In other words, both leaders and individual contributors, who comprised 57% and 43% of respondents, respectively, largely agree on what attributes are required for success.

The results also mirror findings from a short survey of the top 20 sales attributes we conducted earlier this year. The numbers and precedence vary some, but the top three attributes identified in both surveys are the same.

While the samples of both surveys were random, there were a few differences between the surveys. Most notably, the previous survey polled 207 respondents based in the US and was open to sales professionals in all industries, not just B2B.

Why B2B sales pros believe adaptability is a top attribute

When asked respondents in open-ended remarks why they believed adaptability is the top attribute. Below is a representative sample of the answers we received.

  • “Adaptability allows you to be open to new ideas.”
  • “Adaptable leaders command the respect of their peers and inspire those they lead to accept change.”
  • “It helps prepare yourself mentally to handle whatever life throws at you.”
  • “This guarantees that you stay marketable even in an ever-changing work environment.”
  • “One thing we cannot dispute is that pleasure, fulfilment, and capacity to develop a solid relationship are heavily reliant on adaptive ability.”
  • “Makes you question the established quo and makes you eager to defy tradition.”
  • “Adaptability allows to persevere in seemingly hopeless situations.”
  • “Adaptability is a skill every leader must have.”
  • “Helps you manage change.”
  • “People that are adaptable are not afraid of change.”

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Read all the findings – including the top B2B challenges, the remote sales environment, and thoughts on the economy – from the complete survey here: The Adaptability of B2B Sales Teams in Uncertain Times.

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