How Much are Prima Donna Salespeople Costing Your Organization?

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Posted: April 15, 2016

A few myths of the sales world should be busted, particularly those surrounding the DNA of top sales producers. I’ve heard more than one CEO or sales managers accept thinking such as, “Big producers have big egos — it just goes with the territory.  Top salespeople are lone rangers; they don’t play well with others.”

It’s time to eliminate these bad myths because they’re costing your company thousands of dollars.

Myth number one: Top producers are egotistical and prima donnas — it just goes with the territory. The inference is that top sales producers get to say and do anything, as long as they are bringing in revenue. That type of attitude doesn’t really lend itself to a healthy culture, or uphold core values of respect and trust. 

The Reality: Top sales producers are confident, not egotistical. How do I know? I work with great salespeople, top sales producers that know the day you start believing your own press is the day you quit learning and improving. It’s the first step towards mediocrity and complacency.   

Myth number two: Top producers are lone rangers. Yes, some top producers are lone rangers and produce a lot of business.  Go ahead and hire them, with the clear expectation that this profile won’t help your sales organization scale. Lone-ranger salespeople don’t like helping team members because that “people thing” slows them. Their mantra is that it’s every man or woman for themselves.      

The Reality: Top sales producers are independent and interdependent. They understand that one top sales producer can’t carry the entire company quota. Top sales producers also understand that sales is more complex today, requiring the brains of many, to beat the competition.   

Tim Sanders, author of “Dealstorming,” advises against hiring the lone genius.  “In this complicated selling environment, you should stop focusing on hiring top producers and instead, search out and acquire team players with the tendency to spin up webs to capture sales opportunities,” he writes. 

It’s time to discard old sales myths and start filling your team with confident salespeople that play well with others.  Scale revenues quickly and profitably by hiring the right salespeople, not just the best salespeople.   

Good Selling!