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How to be a Top Sales Performer

We in sales are motivated by making money. Interestingly, Success Moves has learnt that the highest earning sales professionals are often not the best sales people. So we made, on forming Success Moves Consultancy, a study  back in 2008, of the top earners to see why they are earning the most. It has been the guiding basis to the clients we take on and how we structure remuneration packages.

Now, your motivation might be other than maximising your personal income. That is great and having recruited for several years, I know that for most people it is not their top goal. Other goals are learning, security, managing a team, interesting products, meeting people, travelling internationally etc. All great targets but If maximising your personal income is number one then you need to follow the golden rules below. Follow them and you will be in the six figure bracket and stay there.


Golden Rule Number 1: Work in a growth sector.

Instead of clicking apply to every sales jobs on job boards, do some useful research on where the money is and then selectively target. However recessed an economy, there will always be growth sectors for whatever reason. We take this approach in Success Moves so that we can target potential clients where frankly we can make a good income and offer the best opportunities to candidates who have high income as their number one goal.

Currently the sectors in growth are anything ‘green’. Anything related to renewable energy, solar panels, wind turbines, wall insulation, biomass etc are all in growth. Not only are they in growth but they usually receive some sort of support from central and local government. We currently have clients where customers gets their entire order paid for by a government grant. USPs are very strong. Reduce your energy costs, save money, reduce your carbon footprint, reduce your dependence on Oil from unstable areas of the world. Lots of growing competition but the market is so big it will be decades before satisfied. It is full now of some very high earning sales people. Other sectors currently experiencing growth are marketing, software, IT, medical technology and construction.

Golden Rule Number 2: Work in a sector that has uncapped and high income to its sales people.

Some sectors even when in growth do not offer good opportunities for sales people to earn high income. This could be because the marketing is all done through media which is effective and does not need that person to person contact. It could be because it only offers low margins so no big commissions available. Some companies still have capped commissions so that sales people cannot earn more than the senior or even middle management. So you need to check out the financial structure of the products and services, and the corporate culture to make sure it has high earning potential.


Golden Rule Number 3: Look for a remuneration formula that is designed for high income.

Firstly you must pick a company and product line that enables high income. This usually means evidence of someone already in the company that is earning a lot of money. Sometimes the opportunity for high income might have been created by a change in products or market conditions but you need to be convinced that if you deliver the closed deals you earn six figures. This also means being a closer not an opener. Companies pay the biggest commission to those that close the deals. Cold calling, warning up leads, making appointments is a good first move in sales but it is not where the money is. Part of the formula to earn high is that you are being fed ‘opens’ or introductions, visits by a telesales team or other marketing. The remuneration package also needs to be highly geared to commissions. It is a simple fact that the highest earners in sales are on commission only. A ‘basic’ is nice but very expensive in overall package. For risk to be moved from you to the company they will in turn demand a higher share of the profits. Also of course the higher the basic the quicker you will be let go. Typically commission only deals will pay out 20-50% of the gross profit. With a basic formula and this will drop to 10-20%. Obvious really if you think about it. Now if you have a large mortgage you might well need a basic but be aware of the true cost.


Golden rule Number 4: Find the winning formula for success and work it.

It varies within industries and companies but there is always a winning formula for success. That is why we now avoid start-ups because that winning formula has not been established and proven yet. A good company will have monitored what works and what doesn’t and have a system for you to follow. Unfortunately for high income many sales people are creative and insist on doing it their way. The money is made by following the proven system.


Golden Rule Number 5: Keep very focused on maximising your income.

This means working not only very hard but focused on making sales. Focus in anything is the secret of success and the word itself means, one thing. So avoid digressions, procrastinations, job hopping for greener grass and focus on making it happen.


Golden Rule Number 6: Spend at least 15 minutes each day on personal development.

Sales people tend to be practical more than academic and so often shy away from books, audios and courses. This is a mistake all you need to do is spend 15 minutes a day and it will keep your motivation up, teach you leading edge techniques and above all help you stay focused.


Golden Rule Number 7: Leverage your time.

Working harder means working 9 hours instead of 8 hours a day. Or being more intense for those eight hours. Both you should do but that is not where the leap to six figures comes from. We are taking about asking yourself questions like. “How can I double my productivity?” “How can I reach more people in less time?” How can I up-sell and cross sell more?” How can I generate referrals so strong they virtually come in as orders?” Look to ten times your productivity not just increase it by 10%.

Author Alex McMillan Please email me with any comments or questions on above or connect with me on Linkedin.