11 Feb Why Your Average Sales Performers Need Love
Let’s pretend that you are a business owner and have a sales force of which the high majority of your sales team consists of average performers. You’ve got a star performers, and a couple that are lagging. But for the most part everyone’s kind of doing about the same activity and lands around the same quota year over year. Sounds familiar I would imagine – most companies fall into this profile.
Let’s also assume that like many other companies right now, you are always looking to hire top sales performers in order to expand your business. You, like everyone else, wants to make that right decision on the next sales hire. Top producers are in extreme demand, and you want three of them as soon as you can hire them. But it takes time, recruiting resources, and the patience for trial and error.
In the meantime, as you seek out your next top producer, your company keeps plugging away because your average performers continue to produce results. At echogravity, we spend a lot of time talking about top sales performers, the DNA of sales champions, and scary sales professionals. But, in 2014, we want to give some well-deserved love to the average performers because there are a pile of reasons why they give high value to small to midsize businesses.
To first understand why they need a great deal of love, imagine removing half of your average sales performers from your sales team and placing them in different roles within your organization. What would happen in 6 months? How long would it take for you to replace them? How would your business be effected by such a change?
Every single company we talk to would be very interested in adding another 2 or 3 top producers to their sales team. Of course, right? Who wouldn’t? But now, let’s assume that we hire what appears to be an outstanding sales professional from another industry, or from within your industry. You’ve done this before, right? How many of these (“top”) self-proclaimed sales stars have you hired, only to have the results be a pile of lost cash, with no recurring revenue? The odds are stacked against the concept of replacing your average performers with top producers. Hiring sales people that consistently hit quota year over year is one of the most difficult challenges small to midsized businesses face.
Now think about how well your business has grown over the years. Maybe it’s stagnant or not growing to the level you expect, but its steady, stable, and is a legitimate operation in your marketplace. Your competitors fear you because your business is on the map and actively consuming a share of the market. Think about the lifestyle you’ve been accustomed to and the opportunities you and your family have been given because of the success of your organization. Why is this the case? It’s the average group of performers that has provided you this golden opportunity as an entrepreneur. (Of course, as the CEO, you are still probably the top sales rep.)
So on this 2014 Valentine’s Day Holiday, here are three reasons why you as a business owner needs to walk around the office and give some love to your average performers.
- They are steady producers and you always know what to expect from them. Maybe they aren’t pushing the envelope of new quotas, but they carry their baseline business consistently over time.
- Your average performers are usually low maintenance. They perform to the level of the income they need to provide for themselves and their family. Typically, they don’t have high demands on your staff, and they don’t cause a lot of trouble. To them, it’s important to fly under the radar when you don’t want to rock the boat. Cost of management is usually fairly low for these individuals as well.
- Their anchor business tends to be long term, built from strong relationships. Maybe the opportunities they present aren’t going to drastically move your top line, or scale into major anchor accounts, but they keep the line steady with those few relationships that are tight.
There are far more reasons to love the average sales performer, but for these three alone, take a gander across your sales strategy and account management plan to see what’s really going on. Identify the average performers in your company and throw them a bone- maybe a box of chocolates or a dozen roses. Maybe your generosity will give them the drive to tip the scales on their performance in 2014.
If you buy into our concept here, why don’t you also give them a little something from us: Our free eBook on nailing the first meeting. They will exponentially love you for padding their pockets with more commission dollars!
Kevin O’Brien is a Co-Founder and Partner at echogravity. Kevin’s credentials include being a top recruiter for a international Big 8 consulting firm, top business development rep for a global consulting and staffing firm, and consulting with over 100 companies across North America.