10th June 2020
Whether you run a sales team or you’re a member of one, there’s something you can probably predict with a fair degree of accuracy.
Which is who will be the best and worst performers in the sales team this month, next month, next quarter or even the following quarter.
Why is this?
Why are sales team leaderboards so predictable?
And why, when you ask a top performer to share their secret sauce, are they not able to explain it?
Or at least not in a way which enables you to “bottle what they’ve got” so you can give it to everyone!
If everybody in the sales team has access to the same market, sells the same products or services and is given the same training, why do individual results consistently and predictably vary so much?
Before we get into this, take a moment to consider this question.
What would it be worth to you and your business if EVERYONE on your sales team performed at the same level as your top one or two performer(s)?
What would that do to your top line and how would that flow through to your bottom line?
Seriously! Write the number down.
Because achieving such an outcome is entirely possible.
But to achieve such a result, you’ve got to understand what really separates the top sales performers from the rest….. (in any industry or market).
Without getting involved in some of the answers we might put forward such as “years of experience” , “confidence” , “product knowledge” ,“because she’s the boss” or “they’re just a selling machine!”
Let’s instead look at 3 of the major but most frequently overlooked reasons:
Admittedly there are more than 3 reasons but let’s look at 3 that have a massive impact.
1. Top performers have formed the HABIT of doing what bottom performers don’t like to do.
This argument is put forward by Albert Gray in his article entitled The Common Denominators Of Success.
Albert goes on to reference a basic dislike which explains why poor performers are reluctant to follow a definite prospecting programme, use pre-prepared and proven sales scripts and/or organise their time and effort in ways that produce meaningful results.
What is this dislike?
They don’t like the idea of calling (on) people who may not want to see them or talk with them about something they don’t want to talk about…
Or, more simplistically, they fear rejection.
The interesting thing here is that at no point does Albert Gray suggest that the top performers like calling on people.
He points out that they probably don’t like it anymore than the bottom performers – the key difference however is that they’ve turned doing what they don’t like doing into a HABIT.
And in doing so, they’ve automated a behaviour which produces the desired results!
2. Top performers have a strong enough PURPOSE to help them form and maintain the HABIT of doing what they don’t like to do.
As Gray points out, top performers are influenced by the desire for pleasing results whereas bottom performers are influenced by the desire for pleasing methods!
There’s a big difference!
The net result being that bottom performers satisfy themselves with / settle for the results which can be obtained by doing the things they like or prefer to do….
Like calling the clients or customers who they’re familiar with and who they don’t fear rejection from ….
and/or getting overly involved in certain (non-income producing) minutiae which they use as an excuse for not ‘having enough time’ to make more out-bound calls.
3. A top performer has the self-image of a top performer.
This is without doubt the most impactful of the 3 reasons given here.
So what do I mean by self-image?
We each hold two images of ourselves.
There’s the one we project to the outside world (through the way we dress, the house we live in, the clothes we wear etc, etc.) and then there’s the image we hold about ourselves deep down on the inside.
How we really think about ourself.
And it’s our self-image which is responsible for our results.
It doesn’t just influence them, it actually dictates them!
One fundamental truth is that we can never sustainably out perform our own self-image.
No amount of hard work, effort or intellectual capability or knowledge will enable us to outperform the self-image.
People invariably don’t earn what they earn or behave as they behave or get the results they get because that’s what they want.
They earn what they earn, behave as they behave and get the results they get because they’re conditioned to.
And one of the reasons a top performer can’t articulate or deconstruct why they perform so well (so you can bottle it) is that they’re unconsciously equipped to perform as they do.
They just KNOW they’re good at selling. It’s a deeply held belief which sits in their subconscious but they can’t explain it.
Give the top performer a different product and a different market or customer and they’ll still perform!
Because their performance is a function of their self-image.
People hit ceilings, stay stuck or experience frustrating ups and downs because they come up against their own belief system.
And the self-image act like a thermostat.
It literally governs the temperature of results.
(In all areas of our life…. money, health, weight, relationships etc)
What’s most frustrating – if we don’t know what’s really causing the results or don’t understand how to turn up our internal thermostat – is that we frequently end up knowing more and trying harder only to experience the same or similar results!
The problem isn’t that we don’t know what to do.
Everyone knows how to do better than they’re doing. the problem is they’re not doing what they know!
Because they’re conditioned not to.
The answer isn’t to be found in more sales training or product knowledge (or where weight loss is concerned, in the latest diet or exercise programme).
The solution is to change the self-image, conditioning and associated beliefs to align with the desired results!
EVERYONE is capable of being a top performer.
The potential sits within all of us to achieve infinitely more than we’re ever expressing.
To unlock the potential and achieve a ‘quantum leap’ (see the figure you wrote down above) as opposed to an incremental one, we must address the root cause of results; not the symptoms.
Sales training, product knowledge, carrots and sticks may produce some results and deliver some ROI but they all treat symptoms.
As such, change is likely to be slow, incremental and/or temporary.
If you really want results to shift, you’ve got to address the root cause of behaviour and results.
Which is what’s going on in the mind.
And this means changing the conditioning / programme / paradigm.
Shifting the internal thermostat so the new behaviours and new results become automatic!
In teaching entrepreneurs and individuals how to do this I’ve personally observed several committed individuals turn their annual incomes into their monthly incomes within a matter of months and I’ve more commonly observed others double their incomes and half their hours!
I don’t know what the number you wrote down above is but what I do know is this.
Achieving this number is not only possible, you can make it every bit as predictable as your current results.
It’s just a belief that stands in the way.