In a bid to increase sales performance, we place a heavy focus on the size and agility of our sales team. Rightly so as undeniably, most, if not all, our business revenue depends painfully on our sales reps hitting their targets and closing our deals.
What I find very interesting is the common misconception that sales team growth and sales performance are somehow a cause and effect equation. Yes, it’s obvious that recruiting a larger number of reps will create a bigger team that can potentially stretch further and pursue more accounts but when it comes to efficiency, more doesn’t always mean better.
So what if I told you that you could stop your search for the next hot sales person right now and still manage to increase sales performance this quarter? You’d probably expect me to follow that question by an attempt at selling you some astonishing new bit of technology that will miraculously propel your sales. Well, I’m not. I’m actually going to answer all your sluggish sales performance issues with a dead easy fix. Let’s squeeze more out of your existing sales team…
Increase Sales Performance by Maximising the Middle
No matter the size or maturity of your business, I dare guess that your team is split into three very obvious groups:
- The few stellar performers who effortlessly dig out leads and invariably close deals by not only following your sales process religiously but also innovating around it.
- The rare bad boys and gals who have their own secret formula to success and refuse to adhere to any sales processes you set or even share their knowledge with the rest of the team.
- The many unexceptional team players who sometimes generate leads, occasionally update records and every so often manage a close.
Well, this unremarkable cluster of individuals make up 60% of your total crew and working out how to get the best out of this group is what’s going to have the biggest impact for your business in the long run. It’s what we at CloudApps colloquially call ‘Maximising the middle’.
Listen to this surprising statement from Sales Executive Council:
“A 5% shift in performance of the core performers yields over 70% more revenue when compared to a 5% shift in high performers productivity.”
This means that with virtually no hiring costs and without the need to rely heavily on your top performers, you can create a huge spike in revenue. All you have to do is get that middle cluster to perform at the same rate as your tops guys. Easier said than done, you say?
3 Easy Steps to Increase Sales Performance by Maximising the Middle
- Discover your ‘Winning Way’:
Another favourite argot here at CloudApps. The ‘Winning Way’ is the repeatable journey every single deal has to travel to reach a successful outcome; and this tends to look a little different for every business. Identifying it, is the first step to repeating it. Time and time again.
How do you find your repeatable blue print to success? By looking into the behaviours of your most successful reps. What are they doing that others are not? What cadence do their deals tend to have? What tactics are they employing and when?
Be meticulous with your research and pinpoint even the tiniest innovation they build upon your tested process. You’d be amaze at how much impact subtle changes like, for example, what time of day they make their calls, can have on their results.
- Coach your users around this ‘Winning Way’:
Use your newfound route to success to coach your core team. And again, the devil is in the detail for this one too. Don’t just lay down a target for them to reach and let them get on their way, guide them through the entire sales process in stages, setting smaller goals for them to meet along the way.
It will be hard at first but as soon as they start seeing that these new behaviours are resulting in better outcomes they will quickly adopt them as their own habits. They’ll be left with a streamlined and proven approach to steady win rates and you’ll have a core team that’s more efficient and likely to close deals more often!
- Reward the Journey not just the Destination:
There’s no denying that motivated and happy employees make the most capable and successful team members. Uphold the workforce buzz by rewarding your team as they walk the sales journey.
Sales reps are usually monetarily compensated when they close a deal. It’s expected of them and it’s what they work towards on a daily basis. But have you ever thought how demoralising it must be for those reps who just can’t find their mojo?
It’s this ailment that majorly afflicts our core team. Watching their permanently thriving colleagues being patted on the back yet again is as inspiring as a goal post on wheels.
Keep motivation alive by rewarding your core team every time they undertake a high-value behaviour. Run periodic competitions that focus not only around won deals but around things like lead generation or data cleansing. Acknowledge the benefits your reps have on every aspect of the sales journey and they’ll be a lot more likely to undertake winning behaviours off their own backs.
These are only three ways to increase sales performance by getting more out of your existing sales team. If you’re hungry for a little more sales performance inspiration, we’ve also got this eBook with 6 sure-fire ways to increase the output of your sales team. Download below!