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The Outcome-Centric Selling Blog

Transforming the future by reflecting on the past

Posted by Bob Apollo on Mon 14-Aug-2017

The philosopher and essayist George Santayana is perhaps best remembered for the aphorism “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Remembering the past is, of course, important - but memories alone are not going to help us achieve a better future state.

More important is what we do with those memories and those lessons learned. As individuals, we’ve all got the ability to learn and adapt - and this is of course what our best sales people do, often on their own initiative, from both their successes and their failures.

They learn to do more of what works, and they learn to avoid doing the things that did not work. Their commitment to continuous self-improvement tends to progressively widen the performance gap between our top sales people and the rest.

But we can’t afford to leave this learning to a handful of enlightened, self-motivated individuals - we need to create an environment in which best practices and winning habits are shared across our whole sales organisation…

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Closing the gap between your best sales people and the rest

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 22-Nov-2016

Most sales organisations of any significant size suffer from a significant gap between their best and worst performers. If we exclude recent hires from the analysis, sales people typically fall into one of three clusters:

A minority of the sales organisation - rarely more than 20% - are habitual over-performers. A larger number - often 30% or more - are habitual under-performers, with many displaying little evidence that they have the aptitude to improve.

After excluding these outliers, the majority of sales people sit somewhere in the middle: there is some indication that they have the potential to do better, but they have so far failed to consistently and reliably over-perform against their targets.

The middle ground represents a huge opportunity for performance improvement - so what can sales leaders do to narrow this gap between the best and the rest?

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Sales Organisations: from Good to Great

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 8-Nov-2016

Jim Collins “Good to Great” has been the inspiration for many CEOs who are determined to elevate their companies from run-of-the-mill to lasting greatness. There are many lessons to be learned from the book, but one of the most significant is the idea that before organisations can stand a chance of realising their potential, they must get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and get the right people in the right seats.

This concept holds true for every department, but the principles have particular relevance for companies seeking to build an excellent sales organisation that is capable of significant, scalable growth whilst delivering reliable revenue performance every quarter along the way.

Making bad hires or failing to address personnel issues has a particular impact on the sales function. In organisations with complex or lengthy sales cycles the knock-on impact of bad recruiting or the acceptance of poor performance can resonate for multiple quarters - and cause sales leaders to lose their jobs...

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