10% Better – The Power of Incremental Growth

Greg Pisacane
Greg Pisacane
In Sales Performance Management, Sales Planning
Gregory Pisacane is a Marketing Content Editor at Xactly Corporation. He attended the University of San Diego and received a Bachelor of Art degree in English.

When it comes to success, we tend to have an all or nothing mentality. This is no surprise, coming from the culture that invented “super sizing”, but it’s true if you think about it. More is better, bigger is better, all in or not at all. Do or do not, there is no try. Across the board we tend to see success, growth, and improvement as a toggle, a switch that decides good or bad.

But this kind of thinking is not only unrealistic, it can be detrimental to your life or your business. If every mac is a big one, you’re going to run into some heart problems, but if you try and go cold turkey, you’ll likely find yourself back in the drive-through within a week. If you want to break a habit, make an improvement, or enact sweeping changes, then you need to think realistically and strategically. You need to think 10%.

Now, 10% isn’t 50%, or 90%, or 100% all in winner takes all, but 10% adds up. Let’s talk numbers – we can’t make every driver a good driver. No blanket law or ruling, no all in measure, could ever transform our roads overnight. But if you could make cars, or roads, or drivers 10% safer, you could save over 3000 lives. That’s based on one change in one year, but if one person focused on each change, that number jumps up incrementally, and exponentially. Because cars that are 10% stronger driven by people who are 10% better on roads that are 10% safer has a dramatic impact on the problem.

If you tried to walk 8 miles a day, cut out all caffeine, and be happy all the time, you might make it, and that would be amazing. But you might not make it, and you’ll take away not success, but regression. But if you walked 10% more, if you drank 10% less coffee, if you were 10% happier, those are manageable goals, they compound as you achieve them, and you get the ball rolling in the right direction.

This is great for your personal life, but what about your business? Well, 10% better can help your team – by thawing the Frozen Middle. The Frozen Middle is the bulk of your sales team that sits between top performers and bottom performers, and it is notoriously hard to shift their quota attainment. You’re never going to have the resources to turn every middle rep into a star performer, because if you did you’d have done so already. But what you can do is motivate their performance with targeted incentives, and lift that frozen middle by a very reasonable amount – lets say, 10% or so. With an average quota of 1.2 million dollars per rep in the SaaS industry, this 10% could translate into an additional 120,000 in attainment per rep in the Frozen Middle. For a company with a 1000 rep sales force, this 10% lift equates to something like 80 million dollars.

These are rough numbers used to illustrate a point, but they’re supported by data, which is what makes them important. With the power of Insights, you can see how your business compares to peers in your industry, identify key points of growth opportunity, and make impactful, incremental changes that turn into substantial growth. All it takes is 10%.


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10% Better – The Power of Incremental Growth