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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=Sales Management'>Sales Management</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=talent'>talent</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=sales hiring'>sales hiring</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Recruitment & selection'>Recruitment & selection</a>
Talent & Recruitment
Jun 27, 2016 | Tibor Shanto lock

It has always been said that in order to succeed you should follow and mimic those who excel. But given the popular 80/20 myth in sales, and the fact that less than 60% of B2B reps make quota, you may be challenged to find someone to imitate. Fear not, there is still hope, just flip the coin and work on avoiding what the also-rans and duds do. As a mentor once told me, “you can make money with the worst stockbroker in the world, just take the opposite position to their recommendations.”

So, as an homage to him, let’s look at things you hear from the also-rans, then do the opposite and you will be performing like the 20% who are not in the office because they are out kicking butt.

I hear a lot of also-rans, especially those who tell me they have “15 years of sales experience”. They tell me repeatedly why something will never work and why specific buyers will never actually make the purchase. Now they should know, that is mostly because they have never really tried, perfect record: never try = never will work. Better yet, when they say “I tried once back in ’82, didn’t work, and never will.” As I tell people that I work with, I can give them hundreds of reasons why something won’t work, but the job of a great salesperson is to look for the ones that do. Talking about why it will never work when that time could be spent on executing, is something great sellers never do.

"That’s How We’ve Always Done It"
Almost as irritating as the first point, is when reps tell me they don’t want to try something new because it is different than how they’ve always done it. You want to sell a prospect to change either their vendors or how they do things, yet you are content just to continue doing things the same way that you always have. I can see this from reps who are improving performance every year, exceeding quota in the process, but when I hear it from reps who are missing quota consistently, it is hard not to laugh.

The one constant here is change. The best sales people I know  go out of their way to update and upgrade their sales approach and evolve with or ahead of the market. As a result, the only way they get used to is winning.

"Dream Prospect"
All players are not dreamers. They have a clear understanding of what the right prospect/client is, once defined they focus on the pursuit. Dream clients are a nice concept, especially when it comes to writing about sales and selling, the term has a “Romantic” ring to it, but in the real world, they serve merely as a distraction.

The concept of a dream client also lays the groundwork for future rationalization of missed quotas. I have had too many salespeople talk to me about “might have beens”, and how they “would have blown their target away had they got that dream client”. It is better to have a clear understanding of who the right prospects are, then prepare a clear plan and execute it. I have seen too many sales people's years turn to nightmare because they were constantly dreaming.

Written by: Tibor Shanto

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About the Author:
Tibor ShantoTibor Shanto is Prospecting & Sales Execution Specialist specializing in B2B companies that deliver professional development for professional sales people. He aims to help sales professionals better execute their sales process, with a focus on new client and revenue acquisition. He has worked with hundreds of companies and thousands of reps, helping them understand that success in sales is all about Execution – Everything Else Is Just talk.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.

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