The Perfect SalesForce: The 6 Best Practices of the World's Best Sales Teams

Derek Gatehouse

Portfolio,  November 2007

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"This is not a book about selling. It does not give you some arbitrary selling formula guaranteed to increase your salespeople's sales. In fact, this book makes a compelling argument that you can't actually teach salespeople to sell much more than they currently do."

Despite billions spent every year on personality profiling, sales training, motivational experts, coaches, and incentives, there's never been a proven formula for building a sales force of top performers.

Derek Gatehouse argues that sales is about people, not process. The Perfect SalesForce is a return to people -- different types of people who excel very naturally in different types of sales jobs. It shows you how to find these people and manage them effectively.

To identify what makes a top-producing salesperson -- the kind who sells four times more than average -- and to understand why some sales teams have a high percentage of top producers, Gatehouse interviewed more than two thousand executives in many different industries. He also tested virtually every personality assessment tool, sales process, training methodology, and management system available, only to conclude that the vast majority of those systems don't raise performance in a lasting way.

Instead, the best sales teams share six simple but critical practices. They all:

  • Understand the talents required for their specific sale type
  • Compartmentalize the stages of the sale, with the right kind of salesperson handling each specific aspect
  • Hire for talent, not skill or even experience
  • Blend positive and negative motivators
  • Train for successful selling behavior rather than standard procedures and pitches
  • Measure results instead of micromanaging process

Understanding how selling talents work is essential to building a sales force of top performers. This will let you cast the exact right talents for your specific sales needs. And that is the essence of The Perfect SalesForce.

hardcover | ISBN: 9781591841784 | Publication Date: November 2007

"I hope you read The Perfect SalesForce. Sales is a field better known for its hype than its thought, so it has been a real pleasure for me to read such a well-reasoned and practical contribution to our profession."
--Neil Rackham, author of SPIN Selling, from the Foreword

"Derek Gatehouse will open countless minds with his brilliant The Perfect SalesForce. The book looks at salesmanship in a way no other book has. I think it will help to revolutionize selling -- a revolution that is overdue."
--Jay Conrad Levinson, author of Guerrilla Marketing

"Derek Gatehouse's book is a distinctive and significant contribution to the field. Gatehouse makes several clear and controversial claims -- then proceeds to back them up, always with a special blend of common sense and deep practical experience . . . The Perfect SalesForce is a special book -- a perfect wedding of wisdom to practical advice."
--Charles H. Green, coauthor of The Trusted Advisor and author of Trust-Based Selling