Over more than three decades, our firm has worked to improve the performance of more than 1.5 million sales professionals all over the world. Consistently, we find sellers fall into three categories: Eagle performers, Journeypeople and Laggards. What are the attributes of the representatives in each of these groups, and how can they become a Sales Eagle?

Attributes of Sales Eagles

Let’s start with a short list of characteristics for each category:

  • Eagle performers: the top 16 percent of sales performers, who far exceed sales goals. This elite group of salespeople typically contribute more than half, and as much as 80 percent, of any organization’s sales bookings.
  • Journeypeople: the middle two-thirds of sellers – depending on the size of the organization, this group generally contributes between 20 and 50 percent.
  • Laggards: the bottom 10 percent of sellers, who are unable or unwilling to perform – this group generally contributes low single-digit percentages, if anything at all.

Sales bookings contribution levels vary between companies depending on many factors, but one thing remains consistent: the group of top performers, who we call “Eagles”, share a common set of knowledge, skills and attitude.

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