Sales Management, Training and Problem Salespeople – The Myth of the Million Dollar Producer

Sales Management, Training and Problem Salespeople - The Myth of the Million Dollar Producer

Have you ever employed a salesperson but failed to meet your expectations? You thought you hired a “Million-Dollar Producer,” but what you used was an underperformer that couldn’t reach their sales targets. It’s a painful fact for many business owners and sales managers. Be aware that the worst performers can come in various shapes and sizes and generally look good in the interview stage. Here are some “Million-Dollar producers” to keep an eye on…

“The Golden Child

In this scenario, the salesperson was actually a million-dollar-producing producer during their previous sales position. They can prove that at the close of their year, they had earned at minimum 1 million dollars. However, when you look deeper, you’ll realize that the salesperson did not achieve a million dollars of an entirely new venture, but rather was placed in an area known as a “golden” zone.” They managed to earn one million dollars from existing business through “warm call” to existing customers. They didn’t make a million dollars for new companies.

The Mathematician

Have you ever employed a salesperson that delivered just a “fraction” or a portion of revenue within a specific area? This is what The Mathematician does – a tiny fraction of what they could. I’ve had clients complain that their million-dollar business was actually within a ten-million-dollar zone. This could be because they were scared or did not want to approach new customers. However, they’re likely to appear flawless in an interview, but be wary of sales professionals who do not have the capability to meet their targets consistently.

Lucky Charms

Remember the breakfast cereal Lucky Charms? The grain featured a leprechaun at the outside of the container, showering the cereal with sweet-tasting marshmallows – the most notable of them being the four-leaf clover. Perhaps you’ve met an applicant for sales who showed up with a stunning famous client that brought an income stream from his previous company. You are excited and believe that the person is likely to get an essential client for you as well. Actually, the Luck Charms was just that… lucky. A vast deal fell in their laps, and they got to be the ones to credit it. This is one of the worst things that could occur to non-performer as they gain an illusion of accomplishment that they are not able to replicate at your business. Don’t be enticed by Lucky Charms – hold out for an authentic Sales Champion.

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The assistant

Salesperson at their previous job finds leads that the sales manager is required to close. The salesperson assumes a second job, similar to an assistant salesperson, and the manager of sales or business manager oversees the sales process and then closes the transactions. They then turn the account to the salesperson to handle. If the salesperson shows up at your door to take part in the interview, both of you are excited when they explain the impressive client list they have of their former employer. But, they won’t be able to produce similar results without making the call and closing the sale for them. Do not use the Assistant.


The Godfather is this is not Marlon Brando in the movie “The Godfather.” Brando has a job as a salesperson for an enormous company that has an impressive brand reputation. Leads are accessible for the salesperson, and they are able to walk into an account that has an enviable level of trust… and not just because they’re a top salesperson, but due to their size business and the brand it has on the market.
However, when they appear at your door in search of an opportunity, it’s easy to be misled by the false impression of accomplishment. Be aware that you might not have the brand recognition or the marketing funds that your previous employer did. This means that your salesperson will need to be more focused with more imagination and may face many rejections – something they may not be able to manage. Their previous job didn’t make them feel prepared for that; therefore, be careful in your approach.

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Here are a handful of “Million-Dollar Producers” that you could meet during the hiring process for the next salesperson. Only through careful questioning and in-depth analysis can you increase the likelihood that the”Million Dollar Producer” that is working across from you is able to produce the results you’re looking for in sales.

I suggest you use these questions to determine the capacity of your employees to carry out:

“List your seven most valuable clients. Tell me which ones you acquired as well as which you bought in the form of a new business.” (If the majority of them are inherited or acquired, you might have a Golden Child instead of a hunter.)
“How did you acquire the leads for the clients?” (If most leads came from referrals from clients who have already purchased or came from company-generated tips, You might have a “warm phone just” salesperson.)
“Who else was part of the sales process alongside you, and how much were they involved?” (If the sales manager was along with the majority of calls and was in a critical part, then you could have an Assistant Sales Representative instead of a Sales Manager.)
There are a handful of questions that you could ask. The most important thing to remember is not to be enticed into a salesperson’s charisma or the list of clients they have from their previous employers. If they were this good, what made their former employer let them go in the first place?

The bottom line

is that top salespeople can prove their achievements. The more you can do in the process of hiring and the more qualified salespeople you’ll be able to acquire, and the more accessible your job is as a sales manager.

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