How Pareto's Principle Impacts Your Sales Success


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Pareto's Principle {the 80/20 rule) is vividly illustrated in the sales statistics of most industries, companies and professional service organiizations. Eighty percent of all products or services are sold by just 20 percent of the sales professionals in the United States and Canada. How does this rule effect the overall management of the selling process in your company or firm? Basically, Pareto’s principle impacts your selling process in three key areas:

  • Hiring The Right Sales People,
  • Training Sales Team Members, and
  • Coaching The Team To Higher Performance Levels

    Almost all of the candidates that apply for sales positions today fall into the 80 percent group of sales or service industry professionals who produce only 20 percent of the sales. Therefore, when hiring, you must screen carefully to discover a candidate’s selling skill potential, not just his or her past sales success levels. It is almost impossible to find and recruit sales professionals in the 20 percent bracket because employers do everything in their power to keep their top producers happy, so the turnover in Pareto’s 20 percent bracket is extremely rare. Even if you find a “top gun” who is looking for a position, many organizations can’t afford to bring one of these high priced professionals on board.

    If finding one or two top producers is difficult, think how hard it is to recruit a team of these superstars. Therefore, you need to change your mindset to find candidates that have the potential to move into the top producer or rainmaker category and then train, coach and manage them until they produce at the level of the superstars in your industry or pro-fession.

    Just “liking” a given candidate for a sales position can lead to long-term sales or business development failure. Read these articles;

    Hire A Six To Consistently Produce Sales Success at:

    or Hiring, A Key To Sales Management Success at:

    To learn how to build a sales team where you no longer carry 80 percent of the team members. Where is it written that your company or profes-sional service firm must live with Pareto’s Principle anyway.

    Good luck in producing a team of top producers. You can find some tools to help in the process of training and coaching your new hires at .

    VIRDEN THORNTON is the founder and President of The $elling Edge®, Inc. a firm specializing in sales, customer relations, and management training and development. Clients have included Sears Optical, Eastman Kodak, IBM, Deloitte & Touché, Bank One, Jefferson Pilot, and Wal-Mart to name a few. Virden is the author of Prospecting: The Key To Sales Success and the best selling Building & Closing the Sale, Fifty-Minute series books and Close That Sale, a video/audio tape series published by Crisp Publications, Inc. Menlo Park, California. He has also authored a Self-Directed Learning series of sales, coaching & team development, telemarketing, and personal productivity training guides.

    Virden assists clients through a unique personal coaching (telephone)program. He has taught at the Center For Professional Development, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas and the School Of Entrepreneurship, Marriott School Of Management, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. You can contact Virden at: . or learn more about him at:

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