Sales Management (The Brian Tracy Success Library)
Author: Brian Tracy
Pub Date: July 2015
Print Edition: $9.95
Print ISBN: 9780814436295
Page Count: 128
e-Book ISBN: 9780814436301
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When IBM ran into financial trouble the early 1990s, the
company brought in a new president, Lou Gerstner. He
immediately called in his friends from McKinsey & Company,
one of the largest and most respected management consul-
tancies in the world. He asked them to use their investigative
skills to determine why IBM sales, market share, and profits
were falling. They immediately went to work.
In less than six months, the consultants were back. They
assembled the senior executives and told them, “We have
found your problem.”
They asked, “What is it?”
The McKinsey consultants replied, “Low sales.”
The executives agreed that this was the problem and
then asked, “What is the solution?”
The McKinsey consultants said simply, “High sales.”
Again, the senior IBM executives pointed out that these
two answers were obvious. But how would these high sales
The 75 Percent Rule
The answer became known as the “75 percent rule.” In their
research, they found that as the result of certain company
policies, salespeople and sales managers were spending too
much time in the office filling out forms and too little time
in the field face-to-face with customers.
They recommended that this situation be reversed immediately.
The 75 percent rule simply said that from now on, the
salespeople should spend 75 percent of their time in the field
with customers talking about IBM products and services. In
addition, the sales managers, who had been stuck in their offices
most of the day processing the paperwork that the salespeople
were generating, were to spend 75 percent of their
time in the field with salespeople calling on key customers.
Within a year, IBM’s sales reversed completely. Huge
losses turned into huge profits. The company turned around
and again became a giant of American industry.
The Pivotal Skill
At the end of this study, the McKinsey people explained their
most important finding: In a sales-driven organization, the
sales manager is the pivotal skill. Nothing will bring about
faster and more predictable increases in sales performance
and sales results than training sales managers to do their job
As a sales manager, you are the most important person in
the sales-driven organization. You have more influence on
the level of sales and, ultimately, the level of profitability of
the company than almost any other person. You are vital to
the success of the company.
The sales manager is one of the most valuable and often
one of the least appreciated executives in the company. It is
the sales manager who sets the standards and quotas for the
salespeople and sees that they achieve them. The development
of excellent sales managers is an essential requirement
for all successful business enterprises.
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