In Pipeline, Prospecting, Sales Funnels

Dave Costa, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, LinkedInWorking with a talented group of people doesn’t guarantee success, because talent and performance are altogether separate. Sometimes sales leaders find themselves leading a team whose performance doesn’t equal its talent. When potential is left on the table, how do you teach your team the value of talent vs. performance?

On today’s Sales From The Street, Dave Costa shares how he encourages his team to improve every day, and why — in the battle of talent vs. performance — talent alone isn’t enough.

Dave works in software sales in the human capital management space, and he defines success for his team as improving every single day.

Talent isn’t enough

Talent can only care you a certain distance. It’s true in sales just like it’s true in sports.

Number-one draft picks falter more often than not because they don’t understand the need to create opportunities that help them continually improve.

Dave calls it mental management. He says that when you deal with extremely talented people, the skillset isn’t the problem. Although there is always room to improve, the challenge is motivating them to make an extra call or set an extra appointment.

He refers to it as mental warfare, and he said many reps fail because they get out-worked or out-hustled. Sales leaders, then, must master the art of discovering what drives your sales reps to push through; it’s the art of hitting that nerve that drives them.

At the end of the day, no one regrets doing one more set at the gym. People who push themselves are always glad they did.

Funnels aren’t sexy

Many reps get so caught up in trying to close what’s currently in their pipeline that they lose sight of the top of the funnel.

Dave calls prospecting a decision you make every single day to achieve a result. He stresses focusing on whether you’ve achieved the result you needed rather than sticking to metrics only. Did you get the result you needed to push yourself farther and hit your goals? 

Your prospecting controls everything:

  • How much is in my pipeline?
  • Can I close more deals?
  • How stressed will I be?
  • What will my results look like?

Performance matters

The mental warfare becomes a factor when sales professionals hear “no” before they hear “yes.” Without the right mental game, you’ll be overtaken by the highs and lows. You’ll collapse under the stress.

There will be days when others succeed while you struggle, but you must rise above your circumstances. No one else will do this for you, so you must make it happen.

For Dave’s team, the move to change its mindset has impacted its overall growth. The team’s averages have increased by 2 meetings per rep per week. For an entire team, that’s 16 adds per month, and those numbers can pay huge dividends.

When we push ourselves to set one more meeting or make one more dial, that deal could be the one that changes your year, or even your career.

In sales, we’re often in a position to make life-changing money or to do things that change our situations. If you take the mindset of constantly improving every single day, overall success will come.

Push yourself to be impressive in everything you do. If you’re not, what’s the point of doing it?

“Talent vs. Performance” episode resources

Dave would love to continue this conversation with our listeners on LinkedIn.

You can connect with us at The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook, where a community of people shares their struggles and their experiences with selling.

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program designed to help sellers of all levels. Whether you’ve been selling for 15 years or 3 days, we’ll give you all the coaching and guidance you need to perform well.

The course is only $167 a month for three months, and it will connect you with sellers in all regions and industries who can share their struggles as you share your own.

This episode was brought to you by our friends at Wiley, publishers of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. It’s a blueprint for sellers based upon years of research about the things buyers hate.

Grab your free excerpt of the book here, and view the SlideShare that explains many of the leadership principles you need to stop being subservient to your customers. If you prefer, download the SlideShare so you can refer back to it.

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