July 1st 2008

Topgrading for Sales. World-class methods to Interview, Hire, and Coach Top Sales Representatives. Bradford D. Smart & Greg Alexander

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Topgrading for Sales. World-class methods to Interview, Hire, and Coach Top Sales Representatives.  Bradford D. SmartGreg Alexander. 2008. ISBN 9781591842064.  Stats from this book:  In the USA the national failure rate in the sales profession is 40% which is also the annual turnover/ termination rate.  The life of a sales manager is 19 months.  The cost of a sales mis hire is easily $600 000, which translates into a mis hires annually in the US of about 8  million people annually ( or 8million  * $600k = ?) . Alexander teamed up with Smart to bring top grading to Sales.  While at GE, Alexander did wonders with this approach. He strive to only hire the top 5 % of the sales guys. This book contains everything you want to know on how to do this.  Lots of very very useful advice here.  My only  concern is for those of us in small regional markets like Canada etc, how big is that 5% pool?  Not very, so what is a smaller co to do?  I think there are great ideas here on how to hire better people which will make your management  tasks that much easier. If you have to take folks as they come, you will know out of the gate that some of them are going to take lots of your resources in order to be successful   The gem for me was the idea of having a virtual bench, ie knowing who in your market you woudl like ot have working for you that are not, nurturing reltionships so that when you need fresh faces in the filed you have a connectors/prospects  bench to go to. Lots of work, but it is a valid idea.  Every Sales manager should have this one on their shelf.

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