The Secret to Greater Revenue: Turning Mid-Performers into Top Sellers
While your top-performing employees may be your greatest asset, focusing on them exclusively will cause your success to stagnate. To go beyond, consider giving your mid-performers the same attention.
It’s an easy trap for any business leader to fall into: focusing too much on the best performing employees. Far too often sales leaders invest the most time and money into their stars, those who are nailing the big deals and bringing in the most customers or clients. But as this group typically represents just 20% of your sales team, this approach hinders your ability to drive the greatest revenue results. Jim Preston, Vice President of EMEA Sales at Showpad, describes a better approach.
If your mission is to drive more revenue, the greatest place for opportunity is with your mid-performers. As this group typically represents more than half of your sales team, small improvements can yield outsized results.
But successfully improving the results of your mid-performers doesn’t happen overnight. It requires shifting the culture of your sales team, getting buy-in from your sales leadership and providing them with the right tools to get the job done.
Motivate the Right Behaviours
More often than not, activating and improving your mid-performers starts with the culture of your sales team. How is your business currently incentivising your sellers? Are they solely focused on hitting quota? While hitting their numbers is certainly important, it shouldn’t be the only metric you’re holding your teams to.
To successfully improve the performance of your mid-performers, set targets and rewards around other key activities, such as learning and training. Encouraging your employees to take training courses and seek out coaching opportunities will help them improve their overall skills and get them invested in their own performance. And by incentivising this behaviour appropriately, you’re making continuous learning an integrated part of your culture.
To successfully improve the performance of your mid-performers, set targets and rewards around other key activities, such as learning and training.
Engage Your Sales Managers
If you want to truly drive a cultural shift within your sales organisation, you can’t rely on your sellers alone. Rather, you need to engage your sales managers. Often overlooked and under-appreciated, they are the ones who set the tone for their teams. If they don’t believe in what you’re trying to do, their team certainly won’t – and you can guarantee this initiative will fall flat. Get buy-in from your managers on the importance of this shift and empower them to drive this new approach within their teams.
For sales managers, training normally takes a back seat – on average only 12% of sales managers’ time is spent providing coaching and training to their team. You need to help them understand that if they invest time in coaching their teams, it will net larger results in the end. Once they see its importance, so will their team. If needed, you can also offer your sales managers specific incentives and targets around coaching to help make it a bigger focus.
Grant Equal Access for All
Most important of all, enable your employees to easily learn and train. That means providing the right digital tools.
Digitalise everything and ensure that your sellers have access to training resources to learn when and where it best suits them. They don’t need to be tied to a classroom, but rather digital training allows for different kinds of courses and content to suit different types of learners’ needs. Moreover, with the use of gamification, this can be much more engaging – even fun. Through one shared training platform, sellers can conduct their own practice and learn from their peers. Sharing practice pitches to garner feedback or sharing examples of a great meeting that finally closed that deal.
For your sales managers as well, the use of a digital platform enables them to track the progress and performance of their team. With an online manager hub, for example, they can identify any employees’ potential weak spots and take action to address them. With their team sharing and learning from one other it also takes off some of the pressure to supply all the needed coaching. Their team can see what top sellers are doing and learn from best practices, helping mid-performers to see better results.
In the current climate, you will already be making big changes as your employees have gone remote, so use this time to further transform and shift towards a culture of continuous coaching and learning. Making the most of digital tools is critical to do this and also to ensure nothing slips through the cracks with everyone working remotely. This pandemic has thrown us all into a time of uncertainty. More than ever, your sales team needs to be delivering on its targets and bringing in vital revenue. The time to start focusing on your mid-performers is now.