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The Proven Formula for Turning Every Sales Rep into a Top Performer

 
 

Within sales teams, it’s common for approximately 65% of employees to hit their targets and for 35% to fall short. Unfortunately, it’s also quite common for sales leaders to overlook those who bring in fewer sales in favor of supporting the higher performers. This leads to unbalanced results and the exit of disgruntled employees.

Thankfully, this is changing. More and more, the focus is on a 100/100 formula: 100% of the sales team achieves 100% results. This is accomplished when sales leaders equally distribute coaching, mentoring, and resources to their teams to enable both immediate and long-term selling success. The focus is no longer on relying on the strongest sellers to land deals; it’s on developing all members of a team so they can each achieve their full selling potential.

New bonus structures

To encourage this 100/100 strategy, large corporations with multiple teams are opting to pay sales leaders an accelerator based on how many team members hit their target. For example, leaders might receive just 50% of their variable compensation when the sales team meets the overall goal, regardless of how individual sellers performed. The other 50% of variable compensation could be based on how many people on their team each hit their individual targets.

If you have 10 people each with a $100,000 target and all 10 people make $100,000, then the sales leader earns his or her entire 50% bonus. If only five people hit $100,000, then the team leader receives only 50% of that 50%. This setup provides full incentive for sales leaders to use nothing but a 100/100 focus with their sellers.

Investments in education

It’s vital that companies provide ongoing education for their sales leaders. Yet I have clients working for Fortune 500 companies who experience the opposite. They aren’t allowed time off to attend sales management courses – even if they’re paying for themselves. Instead, they have to use their vacation days.

On the other hand, I have a client in the financial sector who was asked to attend a two-week intensive leadership program at a top university. Topics included coaching skills, sales structure, and creating go-to-market strategy. With this kind of educational support, it’s easy to understand why this sales leader’s company has experienced continual record growth while those Fortune 500 clients’ companies I mentioned have not.

Top sellers as sources

The best sales leaders know that the solution to problems can be found within their team. And that it’s often the top sellers who know the clients best, plus how to create more business with them. These high-performing individuals can act as a source for best practices.

Spreading the knowledge

The key to individual success is to replicate what you know is working. The key to team success is for sales leaders to take what’s working for one person and apply it to everyone. This sharing of knowledge further fuels the 100/100 approach.

Regular rep coaching

When providing coaching and mentoring to sales professionals, successful team leaders understand that it works best as an ongoing versus one-time event. I tell my clients to work with each seller twice monthly in 30-minute sessions. During the first meeting of the month, examine the top end of the pipeline — looking at early-stage opportunities and lead generation.

In the second meeting, check out the bottom of the pipeline for deals that are being negotiated and closed. This approach will lead to your sellers feeling that they’re being supported. It will create a sense of urgency around their work as well as quick wins that were achieved with your coaching.

The focus is no longer on relying on the strongest sellers to land deals; it’s on developing all members of a team so they can each achieve their full selling potential. ”

Colleen Francis | Owner, Engage Selling Solutions
 
 
 

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