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Myth or Fact? Test Your Sales Career IQ!

This fun little quiz tests how much you know about selling as a career, based upon a list of sales facts I got from my good friend Howard Stevens, the CEO of the Chally Group.

Here's how it works.

I give you a quote that's often heard inside corporate sales organizations. You pick whether it's a myth or a fact. Keep track of how many you get right, and get your IQ rating at the end of the post.

Here's your first question:

"Top salespeople make good managers."

(Click on the statement that's correct in your view.)

READERS: An easy-to-follow system for selling B2B is provided in my new book How to Say It: Business to Business Selling available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound.
To receive updates of future posts, Follow Me on Twitter.
Got a sales question? Email me through my website: GeoffreyJames.com

"Top salespeople make good managers."
IT'S A MYTH!

According to Howard Stevens, CEO of the Chally Group, when you convert a sales superstar into a manager, three things happen:

  1. You lose a great salesperson
  2. You gain a mediocre (or worse) manager
  3. Customers suffer the results.
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Here's your next question:

"Good training can make any sales person into a superstar"

(Click on the statement that's correct in your view.)
"Good training can make any sales person into a superstar"
IT'S A MYTH!

Numerous studies have shown that the success rate of business positions is based on innate talent, not training or education. All the training in the world won't make a sales genius out of someone who doesn't have the natural talent.

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Next question:

"Most top salespeople are either hunters or farmers but not both."

(Click on the statement that's correct in your view.)
"Most top salespeople are either hunters or farmers but not both."
IT'S A FACT!

In sales, the best "hunters" who are great at new business development seldom make good "farmers" who can retain and service existing customers well. Similarly, people who are good at tele-marketing usually don't do as well when they're deployed in the field.

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Next question:

"Every top salesperson seeks some kind of career promotion."

(Click on the statement that's correct in your view.)
"Every top salesperson seeks some kind of career promotion."
IT'S A MYTH!

Good salespeople seek two things: independence and financial reward. These primary drivers veer far from the political wrangling and bureaucratic inter-dependence often present in a management position. As a result, relatively few top salespeople actually want to work in management.

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Next question:

"A motivated sales professional can sell anything to anyone."

(Click on the statement that's correct in your view.)
"A motivated sales professional can sell anything to anyone."
IT'S A MYTH!

In fact, selling has always been specialized around certain products and industries, with the greatest success going to those who specialize. In sales, being a "Jack of all Trades" still translates to being "Master of None." The truth is that only "masters" produce top-line results.

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Next question:

"Building a better mousetrap drives customers to your door."

(Click on the statement that's correct in your view.)
"Building a better mousetrap drives customers to your door."
IT'S A MYTH!

While it never hurts to have a great product, product innovation alone seldom results in success. In fact, nearly 85% of all new products patented in the United States Patent Office never succeed in the real world, even if they ever get built.

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Next question:

"The internet will eventually eliminate the need for salespeople."

(Click on the statement that's correct in your view.)
"The internet will eventually eliminate the need for salespeople."
IT'S A MYTH!

The net effect of e-Commerce has been to increase the demand for sales professionals. While it's true that the Internet has subsumed direct sales of consumer products to individuals, this has rippled upwards and created more demand for sales professionals to manage the enormous supply chain of B2B companies that lie in the background.

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Final question:

"Strong academic performance is irrelevant to sales success."

(Click on the statement that's correct in your view.)
"Strong academic performance is irrelevant to sales success."
IT'S A FACT!

Once again, studies have shown that sales talent tends, if anything, to be inversely related to school grades. It is easier to teach basic engineering concepts to a sales professional than it is to teach an academic "genius" to sell.

Click to rate your Sales Career IQ!



YOUR SCORE:
  • 7-8 Correct. You're a sales career genius! You've observed what works and doesn't work in the real world and formed your opinions accordingly.
  • 5-6 Correct. Uh-oh. You've probably been reading too many business magazines or listening to too many marketing executives. Wake up!
  • 2-5 Correct. How are things in engineering? I'm assuming your work there, because you clearly don't know much about sales.
  • 0-1 Correct. Oy! You're completely clueless when it comes to Sales! So I have to ask: exactly why are you reading Sales Machine??
IMPORTANT: Enjoy this post? Then you'll probably enjoy my new book How to Say It: Business to Business Selling available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound.
To receive updates of future posts, Follow ME on Twitter.
Got a sales question? Email me through my website: GeoffreyJames.com
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