Chapter 52. Seven Myths and Misconceptions about Top-Performing Salespeople

Sam Reese

Miller Heiman

If there's one profession that's plagued with myths and half-truths, it's sales. And no group is more subject to misunderstanding than your organization's top performers. Below are seven myths and misconceptions about your top sales performers.

  • Myth One: World-class salespeople just happen to be with the right company at the right time.

  • Reality: Sales involves thought and action. Like their colleagues in other departments, good salespeople are innovative, coming up with great ideas and strategies for turning those ideas into reality. But at the end of the day, top performers understand sales is about execution and results—and they understand that their ability to do that job well affects everyone in the entire organization, not just the sales team.

  • Myth Two: The best salespeople are naturals; they just wing it.

  • Reality: World-class sales performers "train," the same way that world-class athletes do. Our research indicates that, when compared with average performers, the best salespeople are:

    • 30 percent more likely to prepare for their sales calls.

    • 30 percent more likely to rely on a well-defined approach to determining which clients to target.

    • 24 percent more likely to have a standard approach for reviewing existing opportunities.

World-class performers in any field are big on discipline and routine. They're consistent. They're constantly developing new and better systems for getting things ...

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