John McMahon on how to build a winning sales culture

John McMahon changed the entire world of software sales. He has been the CRO of 5 public enterprise software companies. With his best-selling book The Qualified Sales Leader, John has become a true icon for many CEOs and revenue leaders.

John McMahon

Board member and author

John McMahon

Board member and author
Want to move upmarket? We recently released The CEO's Strategic Playbook to Complex Sales, featuring Pim Roelofsen and seven other world-renowned experts. In this article, you'll be able to read his top 3 takeaways from the playbook.

The CEO's Strategic Playbook to Complex Sales helps B2B companies with 100-2000 employees to create value-focused sales teams. This 130-page playbook features insights from 8 global sales legends, including John McMahon (The Qualified Sales Leader) and Brent Adamson (The Challenger Customer). It contains essential learnings for scaling revenue efficiently, mastering value-focused selling, and winning bigger deals.

1 / Character Makes You a World-class Rep, not Experience

John spends the first 40 minutes of every interview evaluating the characteristics of a person before diving into the experience. 

These are the six traits he values the most: Intelligence, Competitiveness, Integrity, Coachability, Adaptability and Curiosity. 

2 / Let those who gravitate towards larger deals do the initial work

There are always a few reps that naturally gravitate towards larger deals. Give them your high-value accounts while letting them keep a small territory with a fair chance of making money on smaller accounts. 

Then, once they've learnt to sell your product, get them to share their knowledge and experience with the whole team.

3 / Coaches are not champions

One of the most common mistakes John sees when it comes to MEDDIC is salespeople mixing up coaches with champions.

"A coach wants you to win and loves your product. The coach even provides you with inside information. However, the coach lacks the power within the organisation to influence buying decisions. 

They can't control the criteria and the decision processes, and, more importantly, they can't arrange a meeting with the economic buyer. If you don't have a reliable champion, things will change every time you enter the account."

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