Your product, your service, and your solutions are important to competing and winning. A great offering and a great value proposition are critical to your success. Without a great offering, your team can’t easily compete and win. But a great product, a great service, or a great solution isn’t enough for your sales organization to wildly succeed.

Your sales process is important. It’s critical to your organization’s ability to create and win opportunities. Without a sales process, you won’t win all of the deals you might, and it will take you longer to win the ones you do finally push across the line. But your sales process it isn’t the primary factor that drives your company’s success. Not even close.

Your tools and technology are important to your success too. Without the tools and the technology, your team can’t do as much quality work as they might were they better equipped. But the best tools and technology are no promise of success. In fact, as much as your team needs to be well equipped, I’d bet against tools and technology making a major difference.

There is only one thing that fuels explosive sale growth: people. There is only one thing that delivers the sustained greatness and enduring greatness of an organization, and that too is people.

Your company is powered by people. And so are its results.

The First Decision

Mediocre employees cannot deliver a great product, service, or solution. Poorly hired salespeople cannot execute a well-designed and effective sales process. Arming the wrong people with the best tools, technology, and training that money can buy won’t produce great results either.

There simply are no shortcuts to producing great results. There is one way.

The first decision is the decision of who to hire. The effective execution of any strategy depends first and foremost on hiring the right people. It’s people that power your strategy; it’s people that execute it. The best strategy will fail without people who have the ability to execute it.

Without hiring the right people, the people with the ability to execute your strategy, you don’t have engine capable of delivering the horsepower you need. Worse still, you end up changing your strategy to fit the capabilities of your people instead of hiring the people you really need.

Get the first decision right and hire the right people.

Protect This House

A leader’s job includes protecting the culture. This means protecting it from negativity, and it means protecting it from mediocrity. A high-performance culture is built on hiring employees that deliver that performance. As soon as hiring decisions are made out of desperation, the culture begins to disintegrate. As soon as hiring gets lazy, the culture is put at risk.

If you are a leader, it’s your job to protect the organization from mediocrity. If you are an individual contributor, it’s your job to continually develop yourself to deliver the best performance possible (it’s your job to be what Seth Godin, in one of the most important books that you will ever read, calls a Linchpin,). It’s everyone’s job to protect the culture from mediocrity by demanding more of themselves and their peers than would be expected anywhere else.

Protect the culture from mediocrity. Your results are powered by people, but not just any people.


What are the only real assets for producing great results?

Why are all other decisions secondary to hiring well?

If you are a sales manager or leader, how important is it to your strategy and your results that you have the right people?

If you are individual contributor, what makes you the most effective part of the engine?

What happens when mediocre people are thrown into a high-performing team?

Sales 2012
Post by Anthony Iannarino on May 20, 2012
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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