What Separates your Top 1% of Sales Reps from your Bottom 5%?

sales onboarding

Separating A Player Sales repsImagine if only one in every hundred Big Mac’s had that special sauce that gives the burger its deliciously sweet and savory flavors. You’d probably be less likely to buy one, opting for another option. It’s the fact that every single burger, everywhere in the world, has the same secret sauce that drives sales of Big Macs from New York to New Caledonia.

Now imagine if all your “C” Players, wherever they’re located, had the same secret sauce that keeps your A Players would closing deals? It would instantly transform them from sub-standard performers into predictable selling machines. The key is identifying what ingredients separate your top 1% of sales reps from the bottom 5%.

So how do we break down the secret sauce?

We know that that being a good sales rep is about being outcome driven. It’s about closing more deals, bigger deals, better deals.

But being a great salesperson involves more than just closing deals. The ability to close a deal actually starts a few steps back in the process. So if you really want to know what makes a good salesperson, have a look at what your best reps know and do to actually get their deals over the line.

It’s this knowledge and execution that drives closing rates. And this comes from their selling skills and how they execute the sales process. Essentially, the secret sauce is made up of competencies that your A Players use to deliver revenue. If you can replicate in the rest of your reps then you’ll be able to bridge the gap between the top 1% and the bottom 5%?

Five competencies make all the difference


 by The Objective Management Group looked into the competency disparities between salespeople. They identified five competencies that account for over a third of the biggest disparities between the top 1% and the bottom 5% of reps.

These are all skills that can be identified, solved for and managed through coaching and development initiatives. By actively addressing them, the majority of businesses can improve the capabilities and revenue generation opportunities of their entire sales organization.

What makes your “A” Players tick?

While it’s helpful to understand what competencies drive most businesses, what will really provide the biggest bang for the buck in your business is identifying the specific competencies that are making a difference to your reps.

To do this you will first need to identify which competencies make your A Players tick. These are the skills that come together to create the secret sauce that sells your product. Isolating these competencies gives you the recipe that will improve how all of your reps sell.

This could include a range of different competencies, for example, some hold themselves more accountable to their quota; they see it as their responsibility. Others take a systematic approach to the sales process, while others have bought into the company’s message and leadership – they’re inspired to perform.

Once you’ve honed in on the behaviors that really drive sales performance you can then look at how your A Players leverage these skills to achieve. How do they negotiate difficult pricing conversations with conversations? How do they incorporate the company’s messaging into their elevator pitch? How do they manage themselves and their quota so they can track how they’re performing and make adjustments when necessary?

By defining how A Players behave and operate, you will then be well-positioned to impart this knowledge to your other reps. This can be done in a variety of ways; from success stories to structured coaching.

As the knowledge is imparted and reinforced to your reps, it needs to become an integral part of your ongoing learning and coaching initiatives. That’s because it’s the secret sauce of how your business sells. It’s how you meet and smash your revenue targets.

Over time, your recipe will improve and evolve, and your initiatives to impart this knowledge will also evolve. In this day and age, there’s nothing stays the same for long. But as things change you’ll be starting from a very different base, one where the gap between your top 1% and the bottom 5% is much smaller. By narrowing this gap you’ll have a stronger more agile sales team and more predictable revenue. So no matter what your industry or competitors throw your way, you’ll be better equipped to manage the ups and downs.
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