April 19, 2016


Sales team improvement should be at the forefront of every sales manager’s agenda. Every mistake and every hire not suited to your culture or even the sales profession itself, can cost a small fortune.

There are many methods you can use for sales team improvement, from tweaking your recruiting standards, training and fixing inefficient sales processes.

How much of an increase in sales you can expect is subject to many factors, but if you strategize properly you could possibly double your sales without doubling your sales force.

Sales Team Improvement Math

In a typical sales organization, the top 20 percent bring in 80 percent of the business (the Pareto Principle in effect).

So in a team with 20 salespeople that generates $10 million in sales, four of them bring in $8 million for an average of $2 million each.

The middle 60 percent (12 salespeople) bring in most of the remaining $2 million for an average of $166,667 each.

What the bottom 20 percent (4 salespeople) brings in is barely enough to keep the lights on.

The tendency is to try to somehow fix those bottom 4 salespeople, considering how much time and effort has already been invested in them. Big mistake. Aptitude testing will show that these folks lack natural talent, and offloading or assigning them to support positions is a better choice.

Now, the 80/20 principle applies to the other two groups. You can expect about a 20 percent improvement in performance for most salespeople (80 percent) through sales training. However, 20 percent of those you train will go far beyond that – usually at least doubling their production.

Applying this in a very simplified fashion to our remaining salespeople (top producers and middle producers), you can expect average sales team improvements like this:

TOP PRODUCERS:
1 salesperson to hit $4 million (double)
3 salespeople to hit $2,400,000 (20 percent improvement)
Total for this group is $11,200,000

MIDDLE PRODUCERS:
3 salespeople to hit $333,334 (double)
9 salespeople to hit $200,000 (20 percent improvement)
Total for this group is about $2,800,000

GRAND TOTAL = $14,000,000

Not bad. You can see that the 80/20 rule applies to this new figure – the top 20 percent still bring in exactly 80 percent of the money.

So how do we hit the missing $6 million from our $20 million goal?

ANSWER: With the money saved by offloading the bottom four salespeople, we hunt for top salespeople to replace them.

A Recruiter’s Secret Weapon – the CPQ

The Craft Personality Questionnaire is your best tool for separating the wheat from the chaff. By investing in testing, you can identify those who have the natural aptitude for sales, down to specific categories. Aggressive outside sales hunters tend to bring in much more revenue than the inside sales guys – and the CPQ will help you find them.

In our hypothetical sales team, all we have to do is add three more Top 20 Percenters which we identify through the CPQ and it will reach the $20 million target (assuming they hit $2 million each). Now you have a team composed of only solid producers, and can build on it through more hires, more advanced training, and individualized coaching.

Would you like to see how Asher can help you double your sales through sale team improvement? Fill out the form below and we can get you started.