How to Move a Rep from C-Player to B-Player
A simple approach…
Moving average performing reps [C-players] to become above average performing reps [B-players] has incredible benefits. We don’t need to go into that. We all get it. So, let’s take a look at 3 simple ways we can achieve this sales management feat.
1. Focus on the best opportunities
During a recent interview, Jason Jordan, author of the best-selling book Cracking the Sales Management Code, was asked: “What’s your advice for sales reps and companies to hit their numbers?” His short answer, “…make sure the sales force is going after the best opportunities.”
I could not agree more. And why would anybody disagree? It’s been proven in study after study. Systematic qualification works. When reps focus on the good opportunities, and stay away from the latest “shiny things” that look good on the surface, but don’t measure up after brief examination, their productivity goes up almost every time.
When reps get distracted and water down their effectiveness by chasing low probability opportunities, they waste valuable selling time.
ADVICE: Help your reps learn to systematically qualify opportunities. Develop and agree on the basic opportunity characteristics that represent healthy deals. Do this this dynamically, because the complexion of opportunities change weekly, or even more often.
2. Clean the pipeline
Most sales teams hold “Total Pipeline Value” as a sacred metric for reps. Shed this tendency. It’s a metric to promote mediocrity. Ruthlessly clean the pipeline of all active opportunities that don’t meet your systematic qualification criteria. The biggest thing keeping reps from greater productivity is wasting time with opportunities that either won’t close or won’t bring value if they do. It may seem counterintuitive, but it works.
If after cleaning, the pipeline value is way too low, then we can spend more time finding healthy opportunities.
ADVICE: Get your reps to clean their pipelines so that every minute spent selling is deepening relationships with healthy opportunities or actively disqualifying those that don’t measure up.
3. Be super-responsive
Responsiveness is one of the biggest things buyers are looking for from sellers. Statistic after statistic shows that opportunity wins go to the selling team that’s more responsive and in touch with buyers’ needs. You can’t focus on everything—there’s just not enough time in each day. So choose carefully, and be super-responsive to opportunities that show the most promise.
ADVICE: Help your reps develop a standard for responsiveness: how long it takes to return an email, how long to return a phone call. Turn your responsiveness into a competitive advantage by becoming faster to respond than your competition.
These 3 steps can move sales reps from average to above average in fairly short order. Notice we’re not talking about more skill development, more product training, greater industry knowledge, or anything like that. Those areas provide another layer of opportunity for raising productivity. We’re talking about steps you can take right now, in a matter of weeks, to get reps to a higher productivity level. They’ll love it, and so will you.
Hope you have your best year ever.