Author Lisa McLeod on Why the Best Companies Outperform in Sales


In the interview below, Lisa McLeod, author of Selling with Noble Purpose, sits down with Brendan Byrnes to discuss the factors that separate ordinary organizations and employees from fantastic ones. As Lisa mentions, purpose-driven employees can dramatically increase a company's performance. It's no wonder then that Motley Fool superinvestor David Gardner has leveraged this idea of good businesses making good investments for years and led investors to market-crushing returns. I invite you to learn more about how David discovers his winners today; just click here now to read more.

Lisa McLeod: I spent about 10,000 hours in the field studying salespeople, and the data is absolutely clear.

Other people have documented this. Jim Cullen has documented, companies with a sense of purpose outperform the market by 15:1. My former colleague from Procter & Gamble, Jim Stengel, documented this. Companies that want to make a difference outperform their competitors and outperform the market by over 400%.

The challenge is, inside most organizations, what do we talk about? If I'm the sales manager and you're my sales rep, what do you think I ask you about?

Brendan Byrnes: Money.

Lisa: "When are you going to close it, and how much is going to be?"

Brendan: Right. "Where's my profit? Where's my bottom line?"

Lisa: Yeah. "I need the numbers. I need the numbers." This is a very, very real pressure that people face inside companies, particularly publicly held companies.

But here's the flip of that. If I tell you, "When you go on this deal, I want you to close it. We need that money. Think about your bonus," what's going on inside your head when you're with the customer?

Brendan: Right. It's just that. It's monetary.

Lisa: It's "Me, me, me, me, me." The way that you do it, there are several techniques that I use with my clients, but one of the biggest ones is going after the sales leadership and changing the dynamic.

Yes, we have quotas. Yes, we have revenue targets, but when we talk about our customers, we don't just talk about them as prospects. We talk about individual customers, and how are we going to make a difference to them?

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Brendan Byrnes has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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