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Article CX Infrastructure

Using a CRM System to ID Your Sales 'Rock Stars'

There’s an old song from Don Henley that goes something like: “it’s time to get down, to the heart of the matter”. Nothing could be more true for sales managers. In the sea of statistics about CRM, there’s one really interesting overall sales statistic that stands out: the top 20% of sales reps generate 60% of the revenue.

What’s the role of CRM systems?

You might be thinking this is going to be typical article about how CRM’s make your sales reps more efficient and help to turn more of your reps into those top 20% high performers. If you did think that, you’d be wrong. I’ve got a different point to suggest here. Your CRM’s key job is to help figure out which of your reps are your top 20%.

What makes a good sales rep?

Sure there’s a lot of talent in selling — communication skills, the ability to convince and change minds, educational skills and competitive positioning. But there a lot more to what makes a great sales rep. A lot of it has to do with process — the systematic application of sales best practices and consistency of effort over the medium to long term. Those are the things that build strong pipelines that create the basis for sales talent to deliver closes. 

Most companies can’t tell their 20% from the 50%

If you ask business execs or sales managers to split their sales teams into ratings buckets they can usually identify their top rep and then the rest are split into good and not so good. That’s a real problem because the only real way to grow sales via sales team performance changes is to keep growing that 20% top performer set.

Underperforming vs incomplete effort

That’s the key distinction between talented reps who can become top performers and those just don’t have it. The only way to tell them apart is to have them running according to a tight system.

Once you get that in place, the only remaining variables are lead quality and rep capability. Using some methods like smart lead assignment and balancing, you can create an equal opportunity environment for your sales reps — especially inside sales reps.

The point is to isolate capability from process — and identify the real winners in your team.

Getting back to the original question

What’s the role of CRM systems?

Obviously their main function is to manage the pre-sales and (in some companies) post sales processes. But as is often the case with technology, one of the biggest benefits of implementing a disciplined CRM tracking process is to identify the real talents in your sales team and to continuously replace the rest until more winners are added to the mix.

Jul 10, 2015  

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It's impossible for companies to focus on the 'easy' market segments (ie. non millenials) and get comfortable with a less than competitive product or service offering. 

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