High Performing Sales Organizations vs Standard Sales Team Performance
According to a recent CSO research report, only 46% of sales reps are meeting quota, and sales teams are losing ground on 94% of the key sales activities most associated with high sales performance. How can companies be doing well if more than half of their reps are missing their targets and sales performance is so varied?
Apparently, sales leaders found ways, like relying more on existing customers, leaning heavily on star sellers, and putting more feet on the street to bulk up their revenues.
From our perspective, relying more on existing customers makes sense. Growing business at a current account is faster, more profitable, and easier than winning new business. We also believe that it makes sense – at least in the short-term – to lean on top performers if they are treated and rewarded appropriately.
But hiring more salespeople is where we believe that the problems begin. If you have a 46% success rate, then more than half of your new hires will not meet expectations. When you calculate the cost of attracting, hiring, onboarding, developing, and letting go of half your sales force each year, the numbers just do not add up. And from a sales culture perspective, it is not sustainable to rely too much on your top performers over the long haul.
What High Performing Sales Organizations Do Differently
In comparing more standard sales teams with those that are consistently on top, the research found three main factors that account for the success of high performing teams. Here’s our take on all three:
To improve your customer centricity, focus on increasing your understanding of your customer’s business, anticipating and flexing to your customers’ needs, and creating a community of customer advocates to spread the word.
Similar to the being more customer centric, solution selling training today must teach sales reps how to be customer focused from the top to the bottom of the sales funnel. The most effective sales reps adapt their selling journey to the customer’s buying path. Rather than try to force the customer to follow their process, high performers are intimately connected to the steps the buyer must take on the way to a deal.
They know who will be making the final decision, how the decision will be made, and what information is needed when. Then they expertly escort their customer through their internal buying process to be successful. That means being skillful at navigating often misaligned internal systems and challenging politics not only at your company, but also at your buyer’s company without placing a burden on the customer.
Does your sales team add value at every client interaction and focus on helping their customers to succeed?
The Bottom Line
When you are looking to raise your sales team to the level of high performing sales organizations, ensure that your sales culture truly puts the customer first in a way that aligns with your sales strategy. Any misalignment with how your clients measure success will lengthen your sales cycle, decrease your win rate, and put too much pressure on your top sales performers.
To learn more about better aligning your sales culture with your sales strategy, download How to Determine the Right Amount of Pressure for Your Sales Culture
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