Would it shock you to know that your rock star sales reps, roughly 20% of your team, are achieving 80% of your revenue?
Xactly analysis derived from over 500 companies shows this is the reality that many sales organizations face today. Companies thrive off of the sales performance of a vital few, whether that 20% is made up of customers buying 80% of your products or of your top performers driving 80% of your business. This conclusion, generally known as the Pareto Principle or the “80-20 rule,” is based on the observation that most things in life are not distributed evenly.
Take a look at your compensation management strategy through the lens of the Pareto Principle, and then ask yourself if you’re effectively strategizing to retain your top earners. Are you doing your absolute best to recognize and keep them, or are you distributing your commissions unevenly (and unfairly) across the team?
After all, your best reps are the members of your team most likely to leave for better opportunities, according to “Keeping Hold of The Top Employees Is Getting Harder,” a report released in 2012 by Aflac Workforces.
Give Your Top Performers the Recognition they Deserve
In order to retain top talent, they must be acknowledged. Malcolm Munro, President of Total Career Mastery, LLC, agrees. “High performers need constant encouragement and challenging assignments,” he said in a New Talent Times article last fall. “Recognition is key.”
In the same article, Brian Kight, Director of Performance at Focus 3, an organization committed to helping business employees better perform, points out that “High performers tend to be lone wolves, working for themselves and their own success.” As such, he says, they want something to execute on a bigger scale, so leaders should engage them with projects that they can fully own themselves.
Allow Rock Stars to Check Their Own Status
One way sales leaders can give rock stars the autonomy that allows them to thrive is by allowing them to map out their own reports and graphs of on-target earnings. The graphic below is a screenshot of an Xactly module that provides compensation analytics and insight into sales data. A tool like this is a highly efficient way to show top performers their payout curves and drive desired sales behavior at the same time.
Set Aside Funds for Above Quota Payments
Once you’ve recognized and engaged your best reps, make sure you have the funds for their above target payouts. When your reps hit 200% of quota, you’ll want to be ready and more than happy to pay them and help them continue to succeed.
So, what’s a rock star worth to you? Tell us on Twitter: @Xactly.