Learn and Earn: "The Sales Acceleration Formula" Book Review

Learn and Earn Book Highlights:

The Sales Acceleration Formula

Review By Jack Kasel

How do you produce scalable, predictable sales revenue growth? It starts by knowing what traits make highly successful salespeople so successful and duplicating them. In the book The Sales Acceleration Formula, Mark Roberge, former SVP of Hubspot, identified 5 key characteristics as being the differentiation.
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Scalable, Predictable Revenue Growth—Mark Roberge from Hubspot (one of our key partners) jotted those words down in 2007. He was tasked with building a sales team from scratch. Seven years later, Hubspot crossed the $100M run rate revenue mark. Pretty amazing given Mark was only the fourth employee AND he did it without any experience in building a sales team. He’s an engineer by training. To me, that was impressive. That is why I bought his book, The Sales Acceleration Formula. Here are some of the nuggets I gleaned from reading it. I hope you find them helpful.

I’m only going to focus on the five traits Mark identified as important in his Sales Hiring Formula.

  1. Coachability
    • The ability to absorb and apply coaching. Yes, they may have been successful at prior companies. Are they willing to stay on the constant improvement journey or do they think they have it all figured out? Many superstars are superstars because they are constantly looking to improve. Ask them what books they read recently and how did it help them? Why did they lose a piece of business, they were on track to win?
  2. Curiosity
    • Are they professionally curious? Do they settle for the first response they get from prospects or do they constantly dig deeper? Is it a symptom or a problem? Symptoms get tolerated, problems get fixed. How many I.D.K. (I Don’t Know) responses do they get when asking questions? In conversations, do they tell or do they ask?
  3. Prior Success
    • This is the only part where I don’t agree with Mark. The better question is “Why did they have the success they had previously”. Lots of referrals? Have they been in the territory forever? Did they work in a target-rich environment? Match your needs to how/where they worked previously? Do they have 20 years of experience or one-year experience, 20 times? Be careful with this one.
  4. Intelligence
    • The Objective Management Group evaluation/assessment tool we use calls this the Figure-it-Out-Factor. How quickly can they assimilate information and use it to win business? To me a more important factor is the Emotional Intelligence which I may write about next time. High IQ people outperform average IQ people only 20% of the time. Conversely, average IQ people outperform high IQ people 70% of the time (Travis Bradbury-Emotional Intelligence)
  5. Work Ethic
    • This is VERY difficult, but so important. Questions to ask “Tell me about a hard work week” OR “What does a typical work week look like”. As our founder Tony Cole says “From time to time, hard work has been known to work”. To me, there is nothing worse than a talented, but lazy sales person.

There are people out there that can help you achieve your goals, but they are tough to find. If you would like help with your process, contact us, we would love to help.