Myths About Top Performing Salespeople

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Feb 27, 2007 @ 22:02 PM

Most companies have "them".  Most managers brag about "them". Most of "them" toot their own horns.  Most are their company's role models. Most companies would love to have more like "them". They masquerade as the top salespeople in their companies, a claim supported by data, spreadsheets, commission statements, awards and accolades.  But who are they really?

Most of them are sales frauds.  Most of them have everyone fooled. Most of them, if you took their cushy, big accounts away and asked them to go out and find some new business would fail.  Most of them aren't very strong salespeople.  Most of them don't possess a mountain of selling skills.  Most of them just aren't what everyone thinks they are.  Most of them have inherited their customers, have the biggest territories, have the best accounts or have been out there for decades.

When we evaluate sales organizations, we are always able to identify these sales frauds.  But what does it mean for the company, for the sales frauds, for the sales organization, once they are exposed?

History tells us that most of these sales frauds are actually great account managers who should continue managing those great accounts.  But once they've been properly identified, management must make three important changes.

(1) They must immediately stop promoting them as their best people. They are not role models that new salespeople should emulate.  As a matter of fact, they represent the polar opposite of what new salespeople should be doing.

(2) They should redefine the role and compensation.  They should be called what they are - account managers, major account managers, national account managers, etc.  And they should be compensated as an account manager, not a hunter, who if you must know, is your most important weapon in growing sales.

(3) They should identify those in their sales organization who can be used as role models, people around which they can build a sales organization. These are the people who, on a daily basis, are doing all of the right things to grow your business.  They may not have revenue that compares to your sales frauds, but their behaviors, activities, work ethic, process and skills would be desirable to emulate.  When we evaluate sales organizations we're also able to accurately identify your superstars of the future.

Sales frauds become complacent.  Complacency is contagious.  Contagious complacency defeats growth and profit.  As George Benson put it back in 1976, it's time to put a stop to this masquerade and focus on the people who can give us the most growth..

© Copyright 2007 Objective Management Group, Inc.

Topics: recruiting

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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