- November 14, 2023
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
This makes two movie posts in a row! Last week I used Sound of Freedom to illustrate that companies don’t know what they don’t know about sales. This week I’m using GameStop: Rise of the Players because of how the movie allows me to contrast the best and worst salespeople.
Despite the GameStop movie being a documentary, we found it to be quite entertaining. It was David versus Goliath. It was Amateur versus Professional. It was about an improbable outcome accomplished by people who were unlikely to succeed and even more unlikely to win big.
Commonality with Sales
While I thought it had a lot in common with selling, the twelve central figures:
- Were not professional investors although they did invest in GameStop.
- Were not skilled traders although they did conduct some research.
- Did not trade as a full-time job or hobby.
- Were making decisions based on hunches, not history or science.
- Found in each other kindred souls with a shared passion for GameStop.
The five statements above suggest that skills, attributes, competencies and capabilities were NOT part of their success so what could this possibly have in common with selling?
I’ll refer to the twelve GameStop investors as The Group.
The group had eight qualities that they shared:
- Had extremely strong desire for their investment to pay off.
- Were extremely committed to not only stay with it but to do whatever it takes to be successful.
- Lived and breathed their GameStop investment.
- Tracked its progress and communicated extensively to each other and the outside world.
- Their investment – much like a key account – took on a life of its own and pushed everything else in their lives to the sidelines
- They were disciplined.
- They were consistent.
- They did not give up.
Those eight qualities are the equivalent of five key Sales Competencies known as Will to Sell. They include:
- Desire for Greater Success in Sales
- Commitment to Do What it Takes to Achieve that Success
- Outlook on Selling and Life
- Motivation – the “what” behind Desire. (One of my all-time most popular articles on how the data for motivation correlates so perfectly with sales performance)
- Responsibility for their actions and results
What it Means for Sales Success
There are ten Tactical Sales Competencies and most salespeople have gaps in those selling competencies. The degree to which those gaps interfere with selling varies by salesperson but, assuming that you know where your gaps are (an OMG Salesperson Evaluation will show you) you can choose to either develop your skills or ignore the gaps. The stronger your Will to Sell (the five Sales Competencies above), the more likely you are to start and complete the hard work. The weaker your Will to Sell, the less likely it is that you start and finish the hard work.
Next we will discuss Sales DNA, which I write about quite often. Sales DNA is the collection of six Sales Competencies that support the execution of Sales Process, Sales Methodology, Sales Strategy and Sales Tactics. Most salespeople have Sales DNA that appears as a weakness instead of as a strength and Sales DNA is exponentially more difficult to improve than the ten Tactical Selling Competencies. Again, the stronger the Will to Sell, the more likely it is that a salesperson will do the work to improve it. The work usually involves a combination of reading, watching video, participating in comprehensive sales training, receiving quality sales coaching, practicing (role-play) and having the courage to put their learnings into practice.
The Best and Worst Salespeople
I created the table below to show the percentage of salespeople (out of 2.4 million) whose scores in each of the ten Sales Competencies are indicative of a strength. I also show the percentages for the top 10% and bottom 10% of all salespeople. Most dramatically, I included the difference between the tops and the bottoms. Wow!! Is it any wonder that more than half of all salespeople fail to hit quota each year? The table below contains data for all 21 Sales Core Competencies from Objective Management Group. You can see this data along with how your industry and company compare here.
Everyone can learn to improve in the ten tactical Sales Competencies but they are held back by their Sales DNA which for all intents and purposes are blind spots. The degree to which you will overcome your blind spots and improve your skills is dependent on your Will to Sell, your Desire, Commitment, Outlook, Motivation and Responsibility. Those 12 GameStop investors beat Wall Street from sheer Will. They had strong Desire and Commitment causing them to live and breath it, track their progress, be disciplined and consistent and not give up.
Most companies are unaware of the gaps their salespeople have in these 21 Sales Core Competencies, for sales managers in 20 Sales Management Core Competencies and for Sales Leaders in an additional 8 Sales Leadership Core Competencies. A Sales Team evaluation reveals all, along with accurate projections of how much the team can improve, who can improve, impact on revenue, length of time, training requirements and so much more. Check out a sample!
Of equal importance, they have been hiring salespeople without knowing where their gaps are, and whether or not the sales candidate will succeed in the sales role for which they are being considered. If you hire salespeople, take our accurate and predictive sales-specific sales candidate assessment for a test drive.