The Lucky Salesperson, Part II: Measuring the Impact of Chance vs. Talent

Posted by Jason Brown on Wed, Oct 16, 2013

Luck is one of five factors that define a salesperson’s success, a concept I introduced in a post discussing why you should assess luck’s influence when interpreting sales results. In this post, I’ll explain how to quantify luck’s influence.

How lucky is my top salesperson? The idea of quantifying luck’s impact on performance is a well-researched area, with contributions from Tom Tango and others. One way to apply these ideas is to gather data on performance across many salespeople, measure the variance and then subtract out the variance you would expect if the results were totally driven by luck.


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The Lucky Salesperson: How Luck Influences Sales Performance—and Why You Should Care

Posted by Jason Brown on Mon, Sep 30, 2013

Describing the many ways that luck affects our daily life and how it often biases or misleads us, Michael Mauboussin of Credit Suisse cites examples ranging from sports to investment selection to personnel decisions. What strikes me about Mauboussin’s words, in both his keynote speech at the recent Morningstar Conference and in earlier writings, is how infrequently he and others in this peculiar field cite sales examples.


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