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Formula for sales achievement

Effort is twice as important than talent

<-> D then (T x E) =S (S X E)= SA

<-> If
D = Desire
T = Talent
E = Effort
S = Skill
SA = Sales achievement

Formula overview

If we have a desire then we augment our natural talent (for the subject) with effort, which results in a skill, enhance the skill with more effort, which results in achievement.

This formula has been aligned to sales, however it can be applied to any subject matter in life we choose.

Formula break down

<-> D is for Desire: It all starts with some self-reflection and for us to answer a fundamental question: Do we have the desire to make a success of a sales career. The definition of desire is a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. If the answer is yes proceed, if not we should choose another career in line with our signature strengths.

T for Talent: (someone who has) a natural ability to be good at something, especially without being taught:

What constitutes talent as far as a sales job is concerned? The mental strengths of focus, resilience, motivation, confidence and empathy plus product knowledge, competitor knowledge, market knowledge, business acumen brought to a best practice sales process. A contention: a common misperception of talent for sales is an individual that is an extrovert; an outgoing personality and has a ‘gift for the gab’.

However there has been some extensive research that would that challenges this and argues that extroversion in sales is overrated as it represents some of the unwanted and sometimes unwarranted public perceptions of a typical salesman.

Talent, as we will see only represents the start point (and can be redefined as how quickly our skill improves with effort).

E is for Effort: Whatever your T-Talent start point: product knowledge, sales process, competitor knowledge, market knowledge and business acumen can be improved by allocating time to and the execution of a self-development plan.

S=Skill:  Is therefore an output of Talent x Effort

E=Effort: in the second half of the formula is the application and constant enhancement of the skill.  Practically in sales how does this work? Allocating effective time to, and learning from every involvement in the sales process (Prospecting, Needs Analysis, Demonstrating Capability, Gaining Commitment). Learning from every customer engagement and deliberative practice in questioning techniques, value based propositions, overcoming common objections and negotiation. The mental side of sales work can also be enhanced with effort improving, focus, resilience, motivation, confidence and empathy.

SA=Sales Achievement: This is the final output of the formula and can be objectively analysed over time by improvements in a common range of sales performance KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). (Performance v target pipeline development, new customer acquisition, selling across the product range, ave. order value, sales cycle time)



Whatever our T-Talent, start point we can improve with the application of well directed effort which gives us a skill, this latent capability then turns into sales achievement with the application of more effort.  Which is why effort is always twice as important than talent.



Duckworth, Angela. Grit the Power of Passion and Perseverance: Vermillion 2016
Pink, Daniel H. “Why Extroverts Fail, Introverts Flounder, and You Probably Succeed”. Washington Post January 2013