What are the 4 DISC model personality types and how can they increase a company's sales?

15/11/2023 | Santander Universidades

Do you know what are the DISC model personality types and that this tool can help to configure a more efficient sales team? Combining the profiles of different staff members to create a team that really works is a real challenge for any company. However, a cohesive team impacts several areas of business, such as the atmosphere at work and sales. Can you imagine if all the staff in charge of communicating with customers were shy? 

We live in an environment that can change quickly and at any time, so it's essential to create teams of people who mesh together and who, in turn, are aligned with the company. Moreover, at present, it's vital that they understand how to communicate and add value, and the DISC model is one of the key ways to do so. 

What are the DISC model personality types? 

The DISC model personality types serves as an evaluation system which has various applications at companies, e.g., in recruitment, managing teams or optimising sales, and is used to enhance productivity, communications and teamwork

It was created by William Moulton Martston in 1931, to identify patterns of behaviour. Here, DISC is an acronym that stands for four personality types, identifying the intensity with which each of these types is present in a single person, and explaining how they are combined:

  • D (Decision). This identifies how a person acts when faced with challenges and obstacles, i.e., their decision-making ability and goal orientation. It describes a person with a dominant, decisive style, who's happy to take risks.

  • I (influence). This consists of the ability to influence other people using optimism and enthusiasm. Persons possessing this skill know how to build rapport with others and reach a consensus to unite the group, as well as managing to make them strive for a common goal. 

  • S (Serenity). The ability to respond patiently and calmly to changes in the environment or to the pace of work. People with this skill foster harmony and help bring about an agreeable atmosphere at work. 

  • C (Compliance). This describes the ability to respect the established rules and procedures. Such people are precise, pay attention to details and value order and structure in the organisation. 

Now that you know the four DISC model personality types described by the acronym, it should be noted that no single person ever falls 100% into one of the DISC personality types in particular, but rather they adapt according to the circumstances of each moment. For example, there might be an employee with an amazing ability to influence clients, but when it comes time to close the sale, their decision-making abilities shine bright.  

DISC model personality types

How to apply the DISC model to boost sales 

What happens when a salesperson communicates with all potential customers in the same way? If a salesperson fails to adapt and connect with the specific needs of each customer, always acting in the same way, then they will most likely lose sales, and this will affect the company's profits. 

The main application of these DISC model personality types is in sales, where the aim is to identify a company's ideal client profile in order to identify how to treat them, connect with them and sell. However, they can also be used to build an effective sales team that includes complementary profiles or, for example, to find the ideal candidate for the position of Sales Director. 

So, if your goal is the latter, you can conduct tests with questions such as the following, to reveal which traits are dominant in that person according to DISC model personality types. Plainly, the right candidate for a managerial post in the sales teams will need a dominant personality, and know how to influence and work towards objectives. 

  • Do you keep track of your goals? If the answer is yes, they're a goal-oriented person. 

  • Do you like meetings? If yes, they're a sociable person who therefore usually works well in a team. 

Conversely, if the DISC model is used to understand the customer in order to increase sales, then tests can't be used. In this case, it will be necessary to study a range of aspects after analysing data from the website, social media, competitors and the market. Similarly, some of the elements that can be analysed are as follows:

  • What does the customer need? Understanding the customers' concerns and what they need helps to focus the sale of a product or service towards addressing such needs. 

  • How do they act in relation to the company? How a potential client searches for the company is something that can be analysed, along with what interests them, how they connect with the organisation, for example, on social networks or in other environments. 

  • How do they best communicate? Do they prefer phoning, email or chat messages?

  • What's their cultural and work background? It's essential to understand this factor in order to adapt to each person. 

As you can see, it's all about creating a comprehensive client profile that helps the sales team to connect and empathise with the customers.

DISC model personality types

The DISC model personality types, a tool to improve your sales results

According to a KPMG report, 51% of consumers trust companies that make it easy to get in touch with the people behind the business. Ultimately, in B2B business models, other companies are the consumers of the services provided and, therefore, they want to know who is behind the business, to talk to them and be able to build trust and a lasting relationship. That's basically the sales team's mission: to promote the company and serve customers.

For this task, DISC model personality types offer a practical tool for the sales team to use in identifying customer personality traits, and thus be more assertive in sales and communicate better. However, besides understanding techniques such as these, in order to be able to negotiate, interact with customers and sell, it's vital for professionals to possess some of the necessary soft skills such as communications skills, persuasion, active listening and emotional intelligence.

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