Five Percent Of Sales Professionals Achieve Optimum Performance Levels
exhaustive surveys suggest that only 5% of professional salespeople
reach and remain at the highest level, which we call Level 3.
A further 15% attain Level 2 status, but the majority, i.e. a
massive 80% remain at Level 1 in terms of potential achievement.
One salespeople sell products and depend
on having the right technical solution for the customer’s
Two salespeople sell solutions, which
changes their image from sales rep to business consultant and
positions them as a potential strategic resource.
salesmen and women manage to advance from Level
1 to Level 2
fairly easily but unfortunately; many find breaking through that final
glass ceiling extremely difficult i.e. moving from competitive sales
professionals to collaborative sales consultants.
Three salespeople are able to first
identify and then capitalise upon the political component within the
buying process. They develop and sustain strong commercial
relationships at all levels within their accounts and these
relationships endure because they are based on mutual respect and
trust. Their clients feel secure, so secure, that they would be
fearful of changing supplier.
Level Three salespeople rarely, if ever, lose an
order that they really want because they are always in control of the
sales cycle. They have
identified that in marketplaces where product uniqueness and technical
expertise are no longer enough, it is they themselves, that make the
difference i.e. their superior skills.
additional areas, which set Level Three players apart from the
Collaborative sales professionals have high levels of strategic
awareness and they can communicate comfortably with board level
players, i.e. the economic buyers using common language and
terminology. Level 1 and 2
performers, unable to demonstrate credibility when discussing
financial, commercial and political issues, are usually left behind
and require assistance from a manager or director.
Competitive Courage: In
order to achieve consistent levels of success in today’s
environment, it is necessary to be able to pro-actively target
competitors and their client base. Any individual, who lacks the guts
for a fight and is not comfortable with competitive selling, will
severely restrict their potential.
Being Focused On Political Activity:
You can of course question the legitimacy of politics, but you cannot
deny their existence. The sales professional that fails to recognise
the importance that politics play in virtually every complex sale,
will almost certainly consign themselves to a career at Level 1. No
one ever said that we must take part in the political game, but
recognising that a game is being played, whether we like or not is
essential i.e. what you understand you can manage.
I fully appreciate that most organisations will not necessarily need
to populate their sales teams with Level 3 performers even if they
could find and afford them. There will always be tasks, functions and
indeed markets where Level 2 or even Level 1 salesmen and women can
comfortably exceed expectations. What is important is that we ensure
we have the right Level where we need it most i.e. round pegs in round
holes. If an organisation is attempting to compete in a market sector
where Level 3 skills are required and yet their team is predominately
at Level 2 in terms of expertise, experience and development, they are
unlikely to consistently win the business they need, in order to
fulfil their financial ambitions.
I can say for certain, is that successful selling has become an
exclusive club of highly skilled professionals where, for example,
product knowledge, time management skills, objection handling and
closing skills are the cost of membership, not leadership.
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