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Catching A Serial Seller


Too often the Pareto principle applies to a company’s sales team meaning 80% of its sales revenue comes from only 20% of its sales people. Finding, attracting and keeping the elusive but relentless 20% can completely change a company’s growth trajectory. Beneath the stereotypes, achievements and references, ‘Serial Sellers’ have a tunnel vision for results, an ability to influence and an instinct to close.

Results or Performance?

A result is usually a binary end goal that is either achieved or not achieved. As opposed to performance which can be a number of goals that form part of a valuable, strategic process. However, ’Serial Sellers’ tend to be laser focused on results.


Influence is not manipulation or verbal wizardry. More often than not it’s facilitating the ‘next steps’ by leveraging and enabling people.

This is key as sales people are often orchestrating deals by bringing people together. Not only the stakeholders on the prospect side of the deal but they often need support internally from pre-sales, development, legal etc.

I’ve spoken to pre-sales and customer success professionals who prefer to stay out of sales despite being very influential. They can influence how a deal takes shape and they can influence a customer's experience but if they’re not primarily driven by the satisfaction of achieving an undeniable result, then they have probably chosen not to be in a sales role.

When do you get motivated?

I’ve noticed that sales people who work on shorter sales cycles and higher volume, generally have higher energy levels earlier on in their interactions. Whereas sales people that typically work on longer deal cycles, to begin with, are often looking to qualify out as much as they are trying to generate interest. But when the opportunity does take shape their drive and resilience spikes which is fitting as the opportunity cost is much greater if they don’t close.

These are just some of the subtleties that I’ve noticed when recruiting enterprise sales people for growing software vendors. What are your thoughts? And don't hesitate to send me a message if you need support finding sales people that will be successful in your organisation.