The Marginal Producer

Salespeople, broadly speaking, fall into three categories. There are those elusive few, typically the 20 percent of the firm’s salespeople, who are highly productive, who sell most of what is sold. These individuals have precisely what it takes to sell in their particular situation. They can sense the desires of a prospect, are driven by a need to persuade, and can bounce back from the rejection that is an inevitable part of their work. These top performers sell effectively and need only be managed in a way related to their key motivations and not managed in a way that would demotivate them. These are the superstars, about whom managers will say, “I just point them in the right direction.”

The truth of the matter, ...

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