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Think back to when you were in school. The GPA you had was really important. It was something you looked at, something people talked about, and the school would even talk to your parents about it. Your friends talked about it, and it became the focus for many students.
Let's fast forward to today as a sales manager, when you're talking to salespeople. Are you asking about their GPA?


I'd suggest it's a minor factor and the research clearly shows that.


I had a company a few years ago where one of the key criteria’s was GPA. I think it was 3.5 that people had to have if they were even considered for this company. It wasn't a highly technical sale and it wasn't something that required a PhD, but it was a criteria and culture that they had from their HR department. Yet when you looked at how they performed in their industry versus the competitors, they were actually under-performing market share.


One of the things they realized is that they weren't measuring the key factors of successful salespeople.


The four key factors are:

  1. Desire - How badly somebody wants something.
  2. Commitment – Are they willing to do whatever it takes, even if it's uncomfortable, to succeed?
  3. Outlook - The way someone feels about themselves, the company they're working for, and the marketplace they're selling into.
  4. Responsibility – Owning up to themselves and their actions, and not making excuses.

These are the things to look at. These four far outweigh what GPA is going to do….

I'm not saying ‘go hire a bunch of idiots. That's not what I'm driving at here. What I am suggesting is for you to think of what makes a great salesperson.


There's a great book called ‘The Millionaire Mind’ by Thomas Stanley where he looked at people who had a high net worth of $5 million and above. He researched how these people got their money.


This was self-created wealth. These were not people who went and inherited it from their parents, or relatives. When they looked at the different factors, one of the factors they looked at was GPA. What did the top income earners receive as a GPA in high school? The average was 2.93. High C students had a higher average net worth than the A+ students.


That was surprising at first but then they looked at it. Grade point average doesn't measure desire, commitment, outlook, and responsibility. Think in your process, what criteria are you looking at when it comes to hiring strong salespeople? What criteria are you looking at in your current people to make sure they continue to grow?

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Check out some of my recent blog posts:

No Involvement Equals No Commitment

Are You WIMPing In Your Sales Process?

When Not to Answer a Prospect's Question

Cold Calling Is Not A Selling Activity

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