What's it all about?...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, May 29, 2014

As we wind down the 5th month of the sales year, and we're steaming ahead toward the end of the second quarter, it's a good time to take a deep breath this weekend and just answer this simple question...

Sales Questions"What's it all about?"

  • What drives you to win as a salesperson?
  • What motivates you to be more successful?
  • What pushes you beyond your objectives?
  • What kick starts your day, month & quarter?

We know from every survey that we've ever done, and also from studies that we've researched for the past 20 years, that the answer for what drives the most successful salespeople, the very top achievers, is not money.  Money is actually #6 or #7 down the list of success factors simply because this level of professional sales athlete already knows that they'll make more money than the average salesperson.  Don't get me wrong, the money is important, and each year there will always be a spirited negotiation over rates, quotas and percentages, but for the top players, the "A" levels, money is always down the list.

Money is secondary to recognition 

  • Recognition first by my peers
  • Recognition second by my bosses
  • recognition third by everyone else

Recognition in sales can be demonstrated in a wide variety of methods:

  • Salesperson of the month, quarter and year awards
  • Internal and external press and industry PR
  • Certificates and plaques
  • President's Club

The key to success in this process is that the recognition needs to be public to some degree. One-on-one recognition by one's boss is obviously important, but it is much more highly valued by the salesperson if it comes in the setting of a public forum such at the.end-of-the-month sales meeting or, better yet, at the end-of-the-year awards ceremony.  Having said that, this public recognition can also occur in smaller settings merely by the purposeful mention of the top performers' achievements in casual group conversations internally and even in front of customers during a quarterly account review, for example.  

Everyone wins in these situations. The cost is minimal if anything, and the emotional reward to the salesperson and ultimately to the company performance is always off the charts.

So, now take this thought process about rewards, and turn it back to yourself this weekend when you can take a breath and are reflecting on the month just ended. Personally answer the three bullets at the top of this blog.  Maybe you have better questions, but whatever they might be, write down the answers since you are just about at the midpoint of the year which means that there's plenty of time to effect your results, your achievements and the recognition that you deserve.  

During this 30 minutes of reflection, think of yourself as the athlete that you are-or that you aspire to be-and make sure that you are honest with your definitions of what it is that will drive your personal performance for the next seven months.  

  • Write it down!  
  • Post it on your cubicle wall!
  • Use it as your screen saver!
  • Whatever you do, make it visible on a daily basis

Speaking of recognition...

Tufts and sales


Just want to acknowledge the outstanding work that the Tufts sports teams with many of my students accomplished over the Memorial Day weekend.  


  • NCAA champions in women's softball winning their second straight NCAA championship 
  • NCAA champions in men's lacrosse finishing the 2014 season with 423 goals, setting a NCAA Division III single-season record. 
  • In a tremendous finish to her Tufts women’s track and field career, senior Jana Hieber won her first NCAA title in the outdoor 400-meter hurdles 

When you're thinking of making an entry-level sales or marketing addition to your team or hiring an intern for this fall, take a hard look at college athletes who have to balance academics with tough practice and travel schedules.  Obviously I'm biased towards Tufts, so email me at anytime, and I will connect you with the best of the best whether they're my students or those from other professors.  

Congratulations on finishing the month!

Keep Selling...and being recognized!  

Jack Derby 

Head Coach  

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Tags: sales coaching, Sales Optimization, sales, sales management effectiveness, sales optomization, best sales practices;