Greg Alexander of EMC Corporation was promoted to Area Vice President of Sales in late 2000 just as the tech boom was beginning to crash. He had no sales management experience. He inherited an area ranked 13th out of 15.
Greg read the book Topgrading, by Dr. Brad Smart, after seeing a review in an in-flight magazine article soon after his promotion. He spent $15,000 of his own money to enlist the help of Smart and Associates because the multibillion dollar corporate giant, EMC, whose stock price and sales were plummeting, offered no reimbursement (Rainmakers are very resourceful and will find a way to get it done).
Within 3 quarters Greg’s area leapt from 13 to number 1. Over a two year period his total revenues grew 140% while company wide revenues shrank 40% during the same period from $9 billion to just $5.4 billion. The stock dropped from $104 to $3.87. EMC laid off 1000 employees during that time, but Greg was able to hire and save a lot of jobs by cleaning out the C players and relentlessly pursuing the Rainmakers.