This is an excerpt from my second book, Managing the Sales Process, available on Amazon.com. You can find a series of these excerpts in a dedicated blog category to get a broad overview, post-by-post, of the book (they are listed in reverse order in the category, so start with the oldest).

The end of the Introduction:

What happens when these six steps [of the Managing the Sales Process sales process] are implemented and integrated into the methodology of a sales organization? The consistent application of the correct methodologies gives birth to a sales organization culture of accountability. Within this rare and beautiful (but eminently attainable) culture, it will become apparent that the Pareto Principle ─ one of the oldest and most revered rules of sales ─ no longer needs apply. That principle, also known as the 80/20 Rule, breeds mediocrity.

For those of you unfamiliar with the 80/20 Rule, here is a brief explanation from The Online Business Dictionary (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/Pareto-principle.html):

… where a large number of factors or agents contribute to a result, the majority (about 80%) of the result is due to the contributions of a minority (about 20 percent) of factors or agents.

In practice, the specific percentages are not as important as the general principle, namely that a minority of inputs are responsible for the majority of outputs. It may be that 80% of the revenue of a sales organization comes from 25% or 35% of the sales force. Regardless of the specific numbers, the Pareto Principle (also known as the principle of imbalance), seems to be accepted as a given in most sales organizations and by most salespeople and sales managers.

With respect to the management of your sales organization, the Pareto Principle is a bad rule to decide to accept. If you accept this rule, then you have decided to accept the idea that ─ give or take ─ one out of five salespeople on your sales team is going to carry along the other four. This is bad for the one, bad for the four, and bad for the organization.

We should be able to do better than that.

A BETTER MODEL: THE RIGHT PEOPLE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR DOING THE RIGHT THINGS
In a sales culture driven by accountability, revenue does not need to be limited by an averaged-out level of mediocre growth. If instead, the sales organization is filled with motivated, hungry sales superstars who will do the right things, in the right way, the organization can grow to heights never imagined possible under the shackled weight of an under-performing majority.

The beautiful thing is that this can all be done with just a few key steps: Six, to be specific. They are all here. In deference to Mr. Pareto, inventor of the 80/20 Rule, I will confirm that there are a LOT of things that you can do in your sales organization that are not in this book. But if you do these six, you will be 80% of the way (give or take) towards optimizing your team and boosting the aerodynamics of your Formula One race car. That beats putting racing tires on your old jalopy and expecting to finish, let alone win the race.

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Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)

So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.

If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:

The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.

Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.

The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.

If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.

Here’s to your success!

-David