The number 1 reason your bottom 25% of sales reps will never succeed

Everyday new business development teams take to the phones or the streets to make deals for their companies, and for themselves.  The facts are that most sales representatives are not successful in most companies.  Take your company for instance.  How many reps achieve quota each month or quarter?  How many times is the top sales person the same individual from previous months or quarters?  Why though?

The number 1 reason the top stay at the top and the bottom are likely down for the count is self-confidence and humility.  Neither of which, I feel, is mutually exclusive.  In my work aiding managers in managing difficult people, executive team building, and improving sales performance both elements are critical to the superstars of sales.


This is the easy one of the two.  If a person has the right P.I.® (Predictive Index®) profile for the job, and their manager is giving them what they need, self-confidence is a natural outcome.  The logic is simple:  You give me what I need the most + I get to do what I need to do each day = Self-confidence.  If a sales manager leverages assessments this can be achieved in most sales reps.


This is the tricky one.  I haven’t found any assessment for this trait, and it can take forever to learn.  However, it can start with self-awareness.  If someone is mature enough to accept who they are, and to realize that whatever they are is ok, they are on their way.  Humility is also found in those who help others with no expectation of personal gain, those who do not feel belittled by the success of others.  Those who are resolute that a career is important but falls way behind the most important priorities in their lives.  They seem to be unshakable, rarely intimidated, and often the most likable and approachable people in the world.

Now back to your bottom 25% reps.  They likely lack self-confidence because they are trying to be like someone else.  They likely feel that the way one person realized success is the exact way that they must behave to do so.  This is a recipe for little to no self-confidence.  How can you be self-confident when you are working at NOT being yourself?  They likely lack humility in that they must bolster small wins to earn praise and recognition.  They become angry, emotional, and often times vacant in their roles.  That is a helpless combination.  When you profile your top sales representatives, consider both self-confidence and humility in their elixir of success.  Odds are that if you give them what they need to be successful, and they have balanced and fulfilling lives outside of work as well, they’ll meet their balanced scorecard metrics.

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