Five Steps to Become a Top Sales Performer

Salesperson Banging Head Against WallYou want to excel at selling. You not only want to make quota, you want to set sales records and reach your income goals. Your aspirations are achievable.

Available for you right now for free is more sales material than all of what was available twenty years ago. Amazing blog posts, pod casts, videos, white papers, books, seminars and webinars on how to excel at everything from lead generation and prospecting through closing, cross selling and upselling are just one click away and free!

Here’s the rub. As a young aspiring sales professional, I went through training and shadowed the top performers. I listened to the how-tos, the methodologies and best practices. Intellectually, I understood the information, but that is all it was, information. Converting information into skills and executing with expertise until those skills became instinct took more than consuming information.

Media is not bad. Media is good. Brilliant people who share their hard-earned sales wisdom infinitely bless us. However, we need to be proactive about our improvement. We need experience and thick skin to accept constructive criticism. We need to be coachable. We need to be self-critical and self-analytical. We need to aggressively seek coaching and mentorship.

No one knows you better than you do. You know your strengths and your weaknesses. You know what you excel at, what you struggle with, and what your challenges are. Don’t be afraid of your shortcomings. Embrace your shortcomings and get help.

Here are 5 steps to achieve sales stardom:

1. Make a list of the areas you need help with; prospecting, qualifying and disqualifying, opportunity assessment, fear of failure or rejection, presentation, writing and communication, asking the right questions, how to ask for orders, organization and time management, whatever is holding you back from excelling at sales – write it down and prioritize your list.

2. Below is a link to a list of some of the top sales blogs in the world. Search them for your topics. Begin with your number one challenge. Read the posts and pick the ones that resonate with you. Leave a comment and ask questions. These writers love your interaction and love to help, so don’t be shy.

3. Go to your sales manager, mentor or coach you have confidence in with the blog posts you found helpful. Be prepared; organize your questions. Be open to whatever you hear. Exposing yourself to criticism can be painful. Change is usually uncomfortable. But what would you rather do, stagnate or grow?

4. Take action and implement your new skills. Put what you learned into practice. You’re going to feel uncomfortable and clumsy. You may fumble and even fail. This is part of growth and it’s good. When you execute poorly or do not get your anticipated outcome, go back to your mentor and get help.

5. Repeat steps 1 through 4. Repetition is how we become proficient. Repetition is how behavior becomes natural and instinctual. Experience is how we convert information into wisdom. The more you do something, the better you become at it.  And remember quality is more valuable than quantity. Doing it right is more important than doing it often.

Success or Failure Green Road Sign with Arrows Pointing to Your Choice Dramatic Clouds and Sky.Becoming a top sales performer is up to you. We can give you the information and coach you; the rest is up to you. Success is your choice. Your success is in your hands.

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Top sales blogs and websites to follow.



  1. Thanks Don, your words define how I learned to train and coach salespeople. “This is one of the biggest reasons I blog. It forces me to continually seek out and evaluate new ideas in sales and marketing. The process of putting these ideas into a form that others can find relevant and incorporate into the balance of their work day makes me refine and internalize them.”

    Putting what we do and how we do it into a written form helps us analyze, which leads to understanding. Even if a salesperson is not a writer and has no intention of publishing, writing a simple outline describing how they work through a situation, what their thought process is, or recapping an interaction is a magnificent way to improve your knowledge, skills and performance. Thanks for your brilliant insight.

  2. So true Gary. There are so many good sources of information about solving the sales problem, but like I always like to say: having the right information does not always solve the problem. When I began working in sales, I was a driven student, voraciously reading (out of my insecurity) everything I could find about sales. I just thought eventually I would happen on the magic sauce and all my anxiety would be gone.

    It was David A Brock who told me: You can read all the books in the world, it will help some, but eventually you just have to go out there and get your teeth kicked in. That’s the only way you’re going to know your customers, what works and what doesn’t in your markets.

    The big challenge for myself and many of my sales colleagues is continually growing our capabilities while keeping our day jobs. The balance of our time is spent filling the pipeline, often without adequate help, and sometimes in spite of, our manager’s “help.”

    This is one of the biggest reasons I blog. It forces me to continually seek out and evaluate new ideas in sales and marketing. The process of putting these ideas into a form that others can find relevant and incorporate into the balance of their work day makes me refine and internalize them.

    You are right: it’s up to us. Oh some of us will have unusually supportive managers who coach us and grow us, but most of us will not. However we do it, ultimately it will have to be us who does it.

    Thanks for the tips – great outline. I remember how it felt starting out, overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. This is great stuff!

    Don F Perkins

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