Personality Characteristics That Predict Effective Performance of Sales People


This study examines the personality traits of effective salespeople and asks whether they can be used to predict sales performance.

The researcher had managers from 10 corporations rate their salespeople as either effective or ineffective, then gave the salespeople a personality test that measured five key traits. It found that three of these traits—the ability to elicit information from others, to self-monitor during conversations, and to adapt during conversations—are good predictors of sales performance.

Despite the small sample size, the study provides some evidence that personality traits can be effectively used to predict sales performance.

Key Points:

  • Sales is a conversation between two people, and effective salespeople are able to guide the evolution of this conversation.
  • The ability to shape conversations is driven by several key personality traits—self-monitoring, openers, and adaptation.
  • These personality traits may provide an effective way to predict sales performance.


Certain personality traits are highly correlated with sales performance and can likely be used to effectively predict sales success.

Ready to make hard hiring decisions easier?

Book a time to connect
Book a demo
Or Call: 480-613-3470