You did your research, negotiated just the right deal, put in a lot of hard work finding just the right one and then you made your decision.
The “perfect” automobile!
You just bought a 6 cylinder car and soon realized that only 4 cylinders were working properly. How would you gauge the performance of that vehicle?
Not great, right?
Would it still get you to your destination? Probably, maybe… eventually!
That degree of uncertainty is unsettling, isn’t it?
There sure is a much higher degree of risk when only 4 of the 6 cylinders are working.
What happens if something else goes wrong?
Just an analogy!
In a recent survey, Qvidian surveyed hundreds of executives and sales leaders around the world from various industries, markets, and company sizes to create a comprehensive ongoing study of the changing objectives and challenges facing sales leaders.
Not surprisingly, the 2 top areas noted for improvement were:
Increasing win rates (94%) and improving quota attainment (87%).
In my work with clients I am constantly surprised at how often good sales leaders focus only on how their sales organization is performing against quota.
Yes “Results Count” but what other metrics might be even more forward focused than just that one lagging indicator?
No doubt you are intent on leading your organization to success. There are several simple indicators you can review to help determine your “going forward” actions.
Here is a really simple one to look at and measure, on a month to month or quarter to quarter basis that impacts both short and long term success…the percent of your sales organization who are consistently contributing to the achievement of your goals (making their numbers).
How frequently are you reviewing it and more importantly what are you doing to impact it? Is it on your dashboard?
You & your leadership team spend a lot of time sourcing & recruiting the “perfect” talent into your organization. Any number of interviews, a hiring decision, negotiation of compensation and start date & a complete onboarding effort, because you want this new person to be successful.
In fact, you never hire anyone you think will not be successful!
If you are responsible for bringing revenue into your organization it’s easy to determine your #1 priority…Sales.
You compensate all of your salespeople, in one way or another, to sell.
So the real challenge becomes getting more of your sales professionals to contribute to the success of the sales organization. The logic here is that when you rely on only a few salespeople to ensure you make your goals there is a much higher degree of risk.
From my work and research I typically see that percentage in our client organizations to be anywhere between 35 – 55% who are contributing to success with regularity. I’m certain you would agree, that’s just not high enough!
These percentages often apply to organizations that are making goals but lack that month to month or quarter to quarter consistency…the roller coaster ride of inconsistent sales performance.
Now, about the risk…
What if top performers leave, fall ill, or have a family emergency?
Anything that potentially takes them away from their selling efforts can easily result in a dip in performance and put goal attainment at even greater risk. So what is the right percentage of participation?
Best estimates from my work are that 70% (minimum) of your sales organization achieving quota begins to define a “world class” sales operation.
The same opportunity exists around asking a similar question regarding the number of sales teams in your organization who are achieving goals with a high degree of consistency.
Typically I find that in a well-run sales organization, 80% or higher is the right number.
That’s not to say that your situation might be different. But at least view it with those minimum levels in mind. In Summary
You expect your sales people to perform and you pay them to do just that.
But reality says something different. What is that percentage for your organization?
Higher than 70%?
If so, don’t necessarily change what you’re currently doing. Just turn your attention on ways to drive it even farther.
If not, then take a look at what a model for optimizing your sales organization might look like.
It’s simpler than you might think!