The Perfect SalesForce: The 6 Best Practices of the World's Best Sales Teams
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Despite billions spent every year on personality profiling, sales training, motivational experts, coaches, and incentives, there’s never been a proven formula for building a salesforce of top performers. Finding such a “holy grail” of sales has been Derek Gatehouse’s obsession for decades.
To identify what makes a top-producing salesperson—the kind who sells four times more than everyone else—and why some sales teams have a high percentage of top producers, he interviewed more than two thousand executives in many different industries. His findings challenge the conventional wisdom about hiring, training, managing, and rewarding a sales team.
Gatehouse has tested virtually every personality assessment tool, sales process, training methodology, and management system available, only to conclude that the vast majority of those systems don’t raise performance in a lasting way. Instead, the world’s greatest sales teams share six simple but critical practices. For instance, they all:
- Hire for talent, not skill or even experience
- Blend positive and negative motivators
- Measure results instead of micromanaging process
The book features dozens of anecdotes and clear lessons for any company seeking dramatic improvement in its sales performance.
jobs, and yet most companies mix all of these duties into one great category called “sales.” This does not mean that a person can’t possess more than one talent and actually be, for example, a great closer and a great 26 T H E PERFECT S A L E S F O R C E prospector, but it is definitely more difficult to find individuals that will perform at top levels in multiple sales stages. How many of you know a top seller who doesn’t prospect as much as you’d like? How about a dynamo prospector who
to. Play the part of the prospect. Before long you will see your candidate’s true communication talents. These cannot be faked. I N T E R V I E W T I P S Divide Your Mind One of the biggest hindrances in hiring is how we feel about a candidate. It is a fact of human nature that we all gravitate to those who are like us. When meeting new people we very quickly form opinions about whom we do and do not like. How many times have you heard yourself say something like, “I don’t know. . . . I can’t
top via combinations of activities that often differ from performer to performer. If your quota is ten new clients per quarter and Mary achieves this by seeing forty new prospects and closing 25 percent, and John sees sixty-five new prospects and closes only 15 percent of them, the result is the same: ten new clients each. Picking the perfect results, or quotas, for each job is a critical step, and I absolutely caution you against doing it alone. Enlist the assistance of trusted colleagues. I
be, involved in the sale, right back to lead generation. Think of the bottlenecking we have referred to. If leads don’t come in at a rate that satisfactorily supplies twenty-five appointment setters, who must then supply appointments to eighteen salespeople, productivity will bottleneck. This is why we quota and incentivize the Desired Result of every sales stage. If a manager is needed only sometimes (as in the car dealership above), or perhaps a technical person from time to time, factor them
insulting business owner. I had defi nitely interested him in my company’s services but for the life of me I couldn’t ever get him to say yes. I was very professional. Over the months I would bring samples of how other businesses like his had benefited financially from our services. I got him a free trial period that would save him money. I bent over backwards but I always did so professionally and politely. I had not yet learned about mirroring. My manager would come to town from time to time