Tom Peters – Sales Excellence

My team was watching Tom Peters at the Fortune/Gazelles Growth Summit yesterday.  Tom always has a lot to say, some of it new, some not, but always good.  Even though he is a scientist type, I believe he is a sales & marketing guy at heart.  Try some of these one liners on for size:

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece, but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, shouting ‘GERONIMO!’ “-Bill McKenna, professional motorcycle racer

Tom applied it to business but think of the implications if you can drive this message home to your sales force! My comments follow each one of his one liners.

“Across the Board Cuts are Dumb”


“Minimize Cuts in Training Costs”

That’s right -it’s more important than ever to focus on your salespeople and customer service people!

“Beware of such things as sales travel cuts and ad cuts”

Go Tom!

“Excellence now, more than ever”

If you become excellent in this economy, you’ll blow the doors off of your competition when companies and people start spending money again.

“Women are better salespersons than men”

Objective Management Group has data on almost 400,000 salespeople that we have assessed.  About 80% of them are male. Our data shows that a greater percentage of the females are good salespeople compared with the percentage of males that are good salespeople.

“How can a high-level leader like _____ be so out of touch with the truth about himself? It’s more common than you would imagine. In fact, the higher up the ladder a leader climbs, the less accurate his self-assessment is likely to be. The problem is an acute lack of feedback [especially on people issues].” -Daniel Goleman (et al.), The New Leader

I see this all the time.  Presidents lamenting over their sales force when, so often, the Presidents are the problem!

“Being aware of yourself and how you affect everyone around you is what distinguishes a superior leader.” -Edie Seashore (Strategy + Business #45)

“Do something scary every day”

Reminds me of the comment I’ve so often written – the biggest difference between sales winners and everyone else is that winners choose to do what they don’t want to do.

So today, have a greater sense of how you either positively or negatively impact your sales force, get each of them to do something they don’t want to do, have them return to the office all beat up and increase your emphasis on sales training to assure continued, consistent sales excellence.