Can More Salespeople Become Top Performers?

Identifying top sales performers is pretty straight forward – sales results show who pulls in the most business. Yet numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Digging into the “why” behind the numbers can shed light on specific, quantifiable actions that differentiate the best from the rest – and enable sales leaders and sales managers to develop a plan to replicate success across the sales force.

“Before an organization can begin to develop excellence in their salespeople, they need to understand the activities, attributes and behaviors of their top performers,” said Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer for the Miller Heiman Research Institute.

In the 2013 Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study, 94 percent of World-Class Sales Organizations said they make it a priority to understand “why our top performers are successful.” By contrast, only 34 percent of all other companies listed this as an area of focus.

“World-Class Sales Organizations understand the competencies, knowledge and best practices of their top salespeople and have defined the processes, skills and activities that translate into top sales performance,” Galvin said. It is one of the defining attributes leading to the 25 percent performance gap between “good” and “great” sales organizations around the world.

Quantifying Excellence

Capturing excellence in action can be difficult to predict and even harder to replicate. World-Class Sales Organizations that rely on benchmarking to identify the critical skills of their top sales performers see the greatest impact on performance.

“Before you can leverage best practices, you have to identify specific, repeatable behaviors that will result in sustainable performance improvement,” Galvin said.

Top performers often share certain behavioral traits – yet there is no one universal standard for success in sales, even within the same industry. A stellar performer at one of your competitor’s companies may flop at yours.

Unique Factors

“Benchmarking creates a set of foundational metrics around defined activities that allows sales leaders to identify strengths, target weaknesses and prioritize resources based on their impact to performance,” Galvin said. “By having defined activities and behaviors to measure, managers can monitor metrics such as productivity per salesperson and quota achievement.”

Credits: Miller Heiman

Recommended Workshop: Sales Call Management