Thomas International Releases Study on the Secrets of Sales Performance in the New Economy

TORONTO, Canada / August 31st, 2010 — Thomas International, a global provider of objective management systems and work-based assessment tools, has released new findings from an in-depth sales analysis, focused on the characteristics and strategies of extreme sales performance in North America.

Thomas International partnered with over 60 innovative North American companies who employ business-to-business sales professionals in order to obtain a detailed snapshot of elite sales performance in 2010. Data was collected from 63 Senior Sales Leaders and 522 top performing sales professionals. Senior sales leaders selected top performing sales professionals from their organizations for the study based on performance metrics of total revenue or net profit. This allowed study findings to be totally focused on the top echelon of sales professionals. Participating sales performers completed a personality assessment, an aptitude assessment and an opinion survey. Key findings of the study include:

• A significant variance between leaders and their sales people in regards to the most beneficial type of training. 52% of leaders feel one-on-one coaching by managers is the most beneficial type of training, while only 24% of sales performers feel the same way.

• In today’s environment money rules every aspect of sales performance. In sales, the top motivator is financial reward and the most significant market challenge, which is a barrier to sales performance, is lower-priced competitors. Listed as reasons why sales professionals leave an organization, 55% of those who participated cited better compensation as the top reason for leaving.

• Word meaning, a measure of comprehension and one’s ability to express thoughts and ideas fluently, emerged as the highest mental aptitude score associated with high sales performance. 60% of the total sample scored above average on this competency, with only 9% scoring below average.

• Reasoning, the skill to make inferences, to deduce information provided and draw correct conclusions was the second highest mental aptitude score for sales performers. 52% of participants scored above average on this competency, with only 18% scoring below average.

• Contactability, drive and self-confidence emerged as the top three behavioural competencies among sales performers. A total of 54% of study participants had one of these traits as their primary behavioural competency

“Our goal in this extensive venture was to partner with progressive organizations in order to better understand the specific characteristics and strategies that lead to extreme sales performance in this new business landscape,” said Merle Ballaigues, president of Thomas International in North America. “The feedback we received thus far from participating organizations advocates that not only have we achieved this goal, but in many cases challenged traditional opinions and provided sales leaders with a fundamental element of their sales strategy for 2010 and beyond. We’d like to thank all participants and look forward to partnering with sales leaders prepared to rise to the challenges of the new economy.”

To download the full sales study, along with strategies for extreme sales performance, visit:

About Thomas International, Inc.
Thomas International is a global provider of objective management systems and work-based assessment tools. With over 25 years of experience, we enable organizations to recruit, retain, develop and manage their people effectively. Our experienced team of consultants and advisors support clients to achieve outcomes of reduced attrition, higher employee productivity and engagement, and more effective leadership — positively impacting the bottom line. For more information, visit

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Media Contact:
Scott Mackintosh, Thomas International
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