While having lunch at The Remodeling Show, I overheard two sales-people comparing notes. Both worked for full-service companies. Both had been selling for about five years. One averaged a million dollars a year in sales; the other about $750,000. The one selling a million assumed he was the better salesperson; the salesperson doing the lesser amount simply ate up his every word.

Based on what I heard, there wasn't enough evidence to determine which of the two I would prefer to have working for me. The volume a salesperson generates for a company is only one indication of success. Here are 10 more to think about:

  • Does he generate his own leads, or is he given them?
  • Does he prepare estimates, or does the company pay someone else to do that?
  • Does he manage the projects, or does the company have a project manager?
  • What's his closing ratio?
  • What percentage of his sales comes from referrals?
  • What percentage comes in on time and on budget?
  • Does he leave behind happy clients?
  • Is he a consistent performer? (i.e., does he meet his monthly sales quota?)
  • If you graded him, would he get an A?
  • Is he passionate about what he does and the people he does it for?
  • I want the million-dollar producer. Who doesn't? But I don't want him at any cost. The bottom line is I want the salesperson who makes me the most money with the least hassle.

    In baseball, the home run total is often the first statistic many of us look at. The statistic that I think is far more conclusive of a player's total performance, however, is slugging percentage. That's the number of total bases divided by the number of official plate appearances.

    So how can we compare that to a salesperson? Perhaps it would be the total amount of profit generated divided by the number of leads run, with the least amount of aggravation to the manager. —Phil Rea has conducted more than 13,200 in-home sales calls and trained more than 1,750 salespeople. He shares his sales strategies each month with salespeople across the country through his MasterMind Program. For more information, call 866.441.7445.