If your organization is like most, your company’s instinct may be to focus sales training on two distinct groups — top performers and poor performers. But research suggests this approach might be misguided.
As we’ve discussed in this blog before, companies can improve sales performance by 19% with effective coaching for their middle 60%. This group, which consists of B and C performers known as the “great middle,” is the group that deserves most of your attention and efforts, because its members have the critical ability to perform, but lack direction and inspiration.
Creating top reps from middle performers means providing them with clear goals. They need to know exactly what to accomplish to become successful. They also need to be motivated. But before sales managers can coach and motivate these performers effectively, it’s important that those managers are given access to pertinent information.
Sales managers spend a lot of time recruiting, coaching and retaining top and middle performers. They also spend a lot of time focusing on the details of performance. The investment of time and energy in these areas is crucial. With the right incentive compensation software, managers can automatically store sales data, generate performance reports, and learn exactly what top sales reps are doing right, as well as how to boost the performance of “great middle” reps and those less successful.
A well-designed performance strategy can:
Identify low, middle and top performers using real-time data
Create a sales coaching and training blueprint for all performers
Improve on-boarding speed and efficiency with targeted sales coaching and training
Once you have a performance strategy in place that gives managers the tools to allow them to inspire their middle performers and boost overall sales, focus on management compensation. As long as your managers are getting their teams to perform — and perform well — create an incentive plan that will help them drive greater alignment and become more powerful sales leaders.
—Erik Charles is Xactly’s Principal Incentives Strategist.
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