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Some Valuable Stats on Successful Salespeople

by Doug Davidoff | Dec 6, 2010 9:54:00 AM

A very interesting article in December's Harvard Business Review: Do You Really Know Your Best Salespeople (subscription required).

Here are some interesting observations:

    • The study observed 800 sale professionals in live sales meetings, measuring each salesperson in 7 skills.
    • Skills related to sales success: rising to the challenge, meeting prep, customer interaction, and company presentation.
    • Skills not related to sales success: storytelling, the sale pitch, and presentation and rapport.

    • Only 9.1% of sales meetings result in a sale, and just 1 out of 250 salespeople exceed their targets.
    • It takes $1,760 of profit per sale to just cover the cost of failed sales meetings, assuming that the meetings cost, on average, $160.
    • The study categorized 8 sales types, but only 3 of those 8 types (about 37%) were consistently effective.
    • The behaviors of the remaining 5 types (63%) actually drove down performance.

I'll share my thoughts on this study in a future post.