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7 min read

3 Attributes of Top Sales Performers

Mar 20, 2020 10:05:20 AM

As a former #1 and Top 10 rep, I’m often asked to share what I believe are the top attributes of high-performing sales people. In addition to my own experience at the top of the rankings, I had the opportunity to work on the #1 sales team in the country and now oversee dozens of top sales performers across the country.

Whereas there are many skills and attributes that top sales performers have, I believe these are the top 3.

  1. Relentless pursuit of winning, fueled by hating to lose and the inner desire to be number 1, and competing in everything.

  2. Full of passion, enthusiasm, and conviction.

  3. Industry and product/service expert.


Attribute #1:

Relentless pursuit of winning, fueled by hating to lose and the inner desire to be number 1, and competing in everything.

As a young sales rep cutting my teeth in payroll & HR sales at 24 years old, I knew I had a mountain to climb in order to succeed. As the youngest of 4 children, I was not a stranger to competing for anything and everything I wanted in life. I was focused on the relentless pursuit of getting everything I wanted and I was always willing to earn it and fight for it - trust me, nothing was handed to me. For those of you who know my story, some days were plain fighting for survival. But I love that about me. I started my sales days at 4:45 am and was the first to the office, no later than 6:30 am, each day. I started the coffee and prospecting before others came in. I consistently exceeded all my sales activity requirements and outsold everyone. I made it a point to not settle once I was in first place - I made it a point to absolutely crush my number and give it everything I had. I waited anxiously each Friday morning to see the sales rankings posted. In that tense moment I wondered if someone would knock me off the #1 ranking. There was so much pleasure in not losing. It fed me.

I now get to watch many top sales performers across the country give everything they have to succeed. They’re always on, they’re always talking to someone, they never settle, and they always win. They hate losing so badly they figure out a way to win as often as possible. Even though it is not about survival (thankfully), they compete as if it is. I watch these top performers exude the same high work ethic as me. Not succeeding is not an option for them. The thought never enters their mind. They play in an entirely different league. Most sales reps wonder if they will achieve their quota for the month or quarter. Top performers don’t even care about their quota, they set high goals and work towards their personal best.


Attribute #2:

Full of passion, enthusiasm, and conviction.

I used to hear my prospects say, “if you can be that excited about payroll, it must be great.” I hear over and over and over again that my passion and enthusiasm is contagious. I’ve inspired prospects to buy from me. Add in conviction, and you have the trifecta. Passion, enthusiasm, and conviction. This trio will create motivation, excitement, and urgency with your buyer. I made it a point to master the understanding of the “day in the life” of my prospect… outlining their pains and problems. Understanding how much those pains and problems cost them and how much better their lives would be if they had my product or service. By mastering their “day in the life”, I was able to speak their language and only use terms and phrases that resonated with them. I made it a point to align with them and sell ONLY what they needed to help them experience the biggest turnaround and ROI. My prospects knew I had their best interest in mind.

Today, as we coach and train reps across the country, I am a stickler for the quality of their presentations and interactions with their buyers. Prospects don’t like mediocre sales people, so don’t act like one. Get excited about what you sell. Understand how you solve problems for your buyer and exude extreme passion, enthusiasm, and conviction. It’s a game changer in the sales presentation.


Attribute #3:

Industry and product / service expert.

They called me a technical ninja. I knew our products and services inside and out. There were rarely questions I could not answer. In fact, in most cases, I knew more about the system’s capability and how it compared to the competition than my implementation and service partners. I found myself helping create custom scenarios in a demo site and then helping my clients build out the functionality once on board. Being a technical ninja built incredible trust and credibility with my prospects. Unfortunately, many buyers think sales people lie… that they over promise just to get the sale. NOT ME. I could prove out any answer I gave and show it in the system. My close rate was also over 75% against a company wide average of less than 20%. I enjoy working smarter, not harder. I also had one of the highest average revenues per sale and highest average implementation fee. I like crushing my quota and not over-working to do it.

As we now help sales reps ramp in their role, I make it a requirement to become “demo certified” within their first 30-90 days, depending on the complexity of the product / service and industry tenure. Be a technical ninja. Technical ninjas crush quotas. Don’t rely on your sales engineer.

In summary, there are a lot of great attributes and qualities of top sales performers, but if I had to boil it down to 3, it’s the relentless pursuit of winning; passion, enthusiasm, and conviction when selling, and knowing the product and service inside and out. They say people buy from people they know, like, and trust… be hungry, smart, and passionate - your prospects will like that, and trust you.



We've compiled an excellent, practical guide to help you do just that! Check out Crush Your Quotas: The 2020 Guide to Becoming a Sales Rockstar.


MEET MARY GROTHE, The CEO of House Of Revenue

Mary Grothe is a former #1 MidMarket B2B Sales Rep who after selling millions and breaking multiple records, formed House of Revenue™, a Denver-based firm of fractional Revenue Leaders who currently lead the marketing, sales, customer success, and RevOps departments for 10 companies nationwide. In the past year, they've helped multiple 2nd stage growth companies between $5M - $20M, on average, double their MRR within 10 months, resulting in an average ROI of 1,454% and an average annual revenue growth eclipsing $3.2 million. 

Mary Grothe, CEO of House of Revenue™

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Mary Grothe

Written by Mary Grothe