The 80/20 Rule
We have all heard, and accepted it:
• 80% of our sales comes from 20% of our salespeople
• 80% of our sales comes from 20% of our accounts
• 80% of our business should come from 20% of our accounts
Over the past 16 years, I have trained on average about 1,000 people per year. My experience or exposure to salespeople comes from research, teaching and coaching the people in these sales and management training sessions. I would have to say that it is the exception when somebody stands out enough vs. their peers. There are very few Lebron James’ out there. Those that are a sight to behold.
So, I wonder why companies aren’t investing more in:
• training their sales people and managers?
• coaching them?
• better hiring practices?
or something/anything that will improve this ratio and the performance of their sales people or sales team?
I don’t think I am in Bizarro world (the anti-world in Superman comic books where the earth was square, people read backwards, people ate dinner for breakfast and complimented each other by saying unkind things). I believe the world I am experiencing is representative of the norm. I work with all kinds of companies, some at the top of their industry and some new, fledgling (nice word) or struggling.
So I ask again, why don’t companies invest more in:
– training their people?
– coaching them?
– better hiring practices?
I think running a sales force is like running an athletic team. And the best teams practice the plays they have to run to win most often. I DON’T SEE THIS HAPPENING and I wonder why? Maybe they think:
• it is too expensive
• too time consuming
• too tedious
• the people they manage don’t want to spend the time
• people are too spread out
• or spread thin
• or don’t eat enough (only kidding)
• that it is good to have so few people produce (like Bizarro world)
• building a team with some superstars and the rest supporting them is OK
Still, are these good enough reasons? I don’t think so. I have always understood the value of good selling, but never more so than when I started my own business. The POWER of good selling can overcome product and marketing deficiencies. I have sold some of the biggest companies in the world, competed with some of the most powerful companies under these conditions and excelled!
It is nice to have the best product and territory, but I have always believed that if you have:
• a good product
• a good territory
• a good economy
• and you are an excellent salesperson
then the only thing limiting you is you!
What do you think?