Being a top sales manager means being above average, which translates to getting more done with less effort. That’s what distinguishes a top sales manager from a mediocre one. But how do YOU become a top sales manager? You apply the 80/20 rule.

But first things first – what exactly is the 80/20 rule? The 80/20 rule—or the Pareto Principle, named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto—states that 80% of effects is the result of 20% of the causes. For you this simply means that 80% of your sales will come from, roughly, only 20% of your sales people.

But when you apply the 80/20 rule in real life with the aim of becoming a top sales manager someday, you need to be prepared for the consequences.

For example, a good friend of mine who started a very successful business once told me a story about how the 80/20 rule could sometimes prove to be a double-edged weapon in real life. Famous as he was, this friend of mine collected thousands of followers on Twitter. But he only had time to follow a handful of people—20 or so, around that number anyway—which he deemed had actually something important to say.

Most took it that my friend was being a snob. Or was he?

Think about it. If you want to become a top sales manager someday, if you have dreams of being above average, you need to filter right here and now who and what you listen to. Not every piece of advice is worth gold. That’s what I meant when I said to apply the 80/20 rule in your life.

There will be lots of ideals, concepts and pieces of advice from different people trying to get in. But you don’t need all that noise in your life and in your career. As a general rule, you need to be constantly unsubscribing to stuff, and pick out only the ones worth listening to. Who you listen to, and what sort of advice would make a good impact on your career, is something you need to figure out on your own.

That’s what my friend is doing, and I’m pretty sure the kind of success he has achieved speaks for itself. There’s no need for him to listen to 10,000 fans chiming in every second. Call him a snob—okay, fine!—but remember that’s exactly the kind of attitude you need if you want to get anywhere in this business.

Just because a couple of your colleagues in the office think you’re a snob doesn’t mean you are. You are simple trying to live and breathe like a top sales manager. What are they doing?

To learn even more tips and techniques about sales management, visit my blog about sales motivation at

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