Working in sales is not always an easy game. Anyone in the role will tell you they love what they do, but often want to pull their hair out. What keeps them going? Its results (the feeling of closing a deal is unique!) and the successful sales stories that inspire and motivate!
To get through those tough days and help you build your repertoire of how to be a good salesperson, we’ve put together a list of some of these successful sales stories to bring you some inspiration and renew your sales motivation.
4 successful sales stories [+ what’s important to be a good salesperson]
1. from failure to billion
You may have heard of FUBU before, but you are less likely to know the origins of the multibillion-dollar company CEO, Raymond John.
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Bottom of Form
In the 1990s, he was struggling in his early 20s to fulfill a dream. He used his style, sales acumen and some hard work to create his streetwear brand.
He started with an investment capital of approximately $5,000, however, he wouldn’t be where he is today without the help of his mother, who taught him how to sew and took out a second mortgage on his home to help him get his business out of the floor.
In telling his story to reach $350 million a year in sales worldwide, Raymond notes that without the help of friends in his neighborhood, he wouldn’t have had salespeople when the company started.
His big break came when he sold it to rapper LL Cool J, who had grown up in the same neighborhood of Raymond, with the idea of wearing one of his hats in a photo. This step changes your life forever.
Sales motivational lesson: It’s okay to trust the people around you for help. Be it your mentors, friends or family.
If you can’t count on the people closest to you, who can you convince them to buy your product?
Close connections can help you build a network and provide moral support if you are struggling to build your own successful sales stories.
2. The incentive to get fired
This is one of the successful sales stories you should keep close to your heart.
The Exactly Corporation is a SaaS company that provides software and enterprise cloud-based services. They offer tools to enable:
- sales performance management;
- sales effectiveness;
- the remuneration of sales;
- Employee engagement.
The company has raised $116 million since its inception.
Before founding Exactly Corporation in 2005 with Salish Pavli, Christopher Cabrera worked in a different organization as SVP of Operations. He felt there was a strong possibility that he would be first in line to fill the position when his CEO was ousted. But, as fate would have it, the situation turned out very differently.
The board appointed a leader who was firmly established in his ways and was not interested in the rapid clipping of technological change.
When Cabrera approached the CEO with new ideas for the company, he didn’t react kindly. A few weeks after the conversation, he was fired.
When his resentful feelings left, they gave way to the inspiring words of a former classmate, and he found his confidence to put all his effort into what he knew was a great idea. And that’s how exactly was born!
Sales Motivation Lesson: Of all our sales motivation stories, this one can teach us a lot about being in this market.
Looking back, Cabrera confirms that getting fired was one of the best things that ever happened to him. He learned that disappointment can be extremely motivating and that if you’re too focused on the status quo, you miss the opportunity to innovate.
Often, to learn how to be a good salesperson, you need to step out of your comfort zone. This is where you make some of your greatest personal and professional advancements.
3. If you fall 77 times, get up 78
Love or hate your politics, it doesn’t really matter to the point of this story.
Ross Perot’s biography includes successful sales stories and is incredibly inspiring.
According to Sam Wyle, Perot quickly became one of IBM’s top employees. In fact, in one of the years he worked for the company, he met his annual sales target in just two weeks.
However, when he tried to present his ideas to supervisors, he was largely ignored. This led him to leave IBM in 1962 to found Electronic Data Systems (EDS).
EDS was a technology services company – in the 60s and you still refuse to use a CRM in the 21st century? – With a broad portfolio of information technology and business process outsourcing services for clients in the following sectors:
- financial services;
To make the business work, he tried to sell the products to large corporations to use in their data processing services. ”Perot was turned down seventy-seven times before receiving his first contract.”
In 2008 the company, which started with $1,000 and was turned down 77 times, was sold for $13.9 billion!
Sales Motivational Lesson: If you want to learn how to be a good salesperson, never give up!
You may have been turned down by 10 prospects in one day, but that eleventh phone call could be what helps you make the biggest profit for the quarter.
In sales, the ability to develop tough skin and recover from loss or disappointment is critical.
4. Lack of money
A few years ago, Kimora Luna, 29, was far from having it all. She was surviving on food stamps and government assistance while trying to support her young family. While her financial situation looked dire, Kimora never stopped working for her dream of owning a successful business.
She tried some businesses that, although successful, were not enough to support her family and give her financial freedom. However, these ventures led her to study digital marketing. Before long, she was an expert in things like:
- Facebook ads;
- social media branding;
Soon, Luna began giving online training that offered marketing advice to entrepreneurs.
Immediately, she began training entrepreneurs who wanted her help with marketing coaching. Online marketing webinars have become your only focus and your only source of income.
According to Yahoo!, “When she started selling an online marketing webinar in mid-2014, she achieved $10,000 in sales in the first week. At the end of the year, she earned over $160,000”. Today, Luna has a staff and $750,000 in annual sales.
The successful sales stories we present here show us that motivation is a key factor in sales success.
At the bottom, sales commission structures and compensation plans drive team motivation. However, it never hurts to have a collection of sales motivation stories to inspire yourself and keep your sales team motivated.