Most sales leaders don’t spend too much time worrying about the top 20 percent. The salespeople who make up the high performers on their team tend to do well no matter what. They also tend to get a lot of attention, because they create a lot of opportunities, and those require conversations.

The bottom 20 percent of salespeople also get attention, usually in the way of a performance improvement plan. Sales leaders tend to work with the bottom 20 percent to move them up, or to move them out.

That leaves the 60 percent in the middle. They’re not doing well enough to get the attention of a high performer, nor poor enough to get the attention of a poor performer. So they live in a sort of limbo.

One of the reasons I wrote The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need is to provide sales leaders and sales managers with a new lens through which to view their sales force. The truth of the matter is, the high performers can perform even better. The low performers, if they are willing, can also improve their performance. And the middle 60 percent provide an opportunity for great gains for sales leaders who are willing to put forth the effort to coach them up.

Selling successfully today requires a powerful and empowered mindset, and an upgraded skill set.

The first half of The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need is a lens through which to view a salesperson’s mindset. It looks at self-discipline, optimism (attitude), competitiveness, resourcefulness, and initiative, among other things. When a salesperson is missing any of these elements they do not produce the results of which they are capable. For example, a salesperson who lacks resourcefulness will also lack the creative ideas they need to gain appointments and open new opportunities or to think outside of the box when solving a prospective client’s problem.

The second half of the book covers the skills a salesperson needs to succeed today. It’s more than closing, prospecting, and presenting. Today’s salesperson needs to have business acumen, the ability to lead and manage change, and leadership skills. Without business acumen, for example, there is no way a salesperson is going to have the insights that compel prospective clients to abandon the status quo and make the changes they need to make.

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need provides the salesperson with a plan to develop the nine attributes that make up a powerful mindset and the eight skills all salespeople require now.

It also provides sales leaders and managers with a lens through which to view their sales force, including the 60 percent in the middle. By diagnosing and discovering each salesperson’s deficiencies, whether they be mindset or skill set, the sales leader or sales manager can develop a custom plan to coach and develop each individual salesperson on their team.

What you will discover is that some great salespeople can become even better when they understand which attributes and skills they need to develop. Good salespeople can become great when they shore up their deficiencies in the attributes or skills they need to improve. And poor performers can improve their performance to an acceptable level.

You can download sample chapters of The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need at

Post by Anthony Iannarino on September 13, 2016
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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