Posted by: drewdice | December 9, 2010

Do you know who your best sales people are?

What makes a top sales performer?

According to a recent HBR post, Do You Really Know Who Your Best Salespeople Are?
, there are specific traits, tactics and techniques that leaders can study and analyze to discern top performers from the rest.

While there are points of merit in this post, the authors, in my opinion, miss the point. There are some core components missing, including a key premise that top producing sales people just have a different mental model than the rest of the pack.

Too often, sales managers and organizations focus on processes, tactics, techniques and training, without having a good grasp on what outcomes they are trying to help sales producers achieve – and I’m not just talking about beating quota.

When really unpacked, top producers drive to create different outcomes. Take, for example, a pharmaceutical sales representative. For consistent top sales people, they really know how to create office advocates – much different than being to document and outline a “whole offiice call or visit”, something that many sales managers miss. Instead of coaching to the skills and mindset of what it takes to create these advocates, managers focus on getting reps to detail their visits better, or getting physicians to “commit” more. In my opinion, this latter example is typical of organizations and leaders missing the point and emphasizing the wrong things.

Seek first to understand what top performers “create” that enables their consistent top performance, and marry that to the sales leaders’ ability to hire and coach to those outcomes. Start there, and watch performance take an upward trajectory.

What are your keys outcomes that drive high performance?


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