Numbers don’t lie. Not when it comes to sales. You can always see who’s your top performers — they’re usually up there, at the top of the leader board, month in month out.
And then you can usually spot those who aren’t performing well. Normally they’re at the bottom, or close to the bottom of the board, month in, month out.
Assessing sales team performance
Weak performers either get performance managed and make improvements. Or they need to update their CV because that role wasn’t right for them. When it comes to salespeople, many are great at selling themselves, but not all of them can do the job they were recruited for.
A LinkedIn profile or CV usually says it all. Top performers stay in roles for a number or years. Or they’re head hunted into an even better position, or eventually promoted to a management role. Whereas those who jump from job to job: one year here, one year there, they’re usually the ones who’ve consistently struggled to hit targets.
But what about those in the middle. Not top, not bottom of the league, but somewhere comfortably in the middle. Are they struggling? Could they do better? Or is this the best you can hope for?
Is just enough good enough anymore?
Middle-of-the-league performers keep the numbers steady. Managers can be confident that although James may never hit the top of the table, he will consistently bring in 10 deals a month, sometimes a bit more. Usually — in a good month — hitting target. In other months, it may be less, but deals will still come in and he should, just about, cover his costs.
As a manager, you have to ask, is that enough?
In a competitive environment, is slow and steady enough to keep your manager happy? Could these mid-league performers be hurting your chances of hitting target this year?
Failing but not falling
Here are a few common signs to watch out for when a salesperson is failing without falling to the bottom of the league:
- Lots of small to mid-sized deals. No or very few big deals on their score chart. Big deals take too long. Someone failing and hiding in plain sight will go for easier deals that take less time.
- Lots of clients they repeatedly visit are close to where they live. Most field sales agents only visit 50% of their allocated accounts. Again, taking the path of least resistance approach, sales reps who make less effort than top performers will visit clients that work close to where they live, to avoid travelling further than they feel necessary.
- Lots of small to mid-sized deals from a select group of favourite clients. People they see regularly. Instead of venturing further afield to pursue new opportunities. Repeat behaviour potentially weakens the revenue stream from that agent, placing an over reliance on the budgets, buying patterns and buyers in those clients.
- Too much time “prospecting”, “researching”, “doing admin” and other activities that don’t involve making calls, sending emails and meeting clients and prospects. If they aren’t spending 90% of more of their time selling, then they aren’t making the effort you need for them to hit target.
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