Link company objectives to sales rep targets.

What’s the secret to keeping sales reps sharp, motivated, and effective? How can you ensure they’re performing at their peak? Start with these seven steps. Surging revenues will soon follow. To go deeper, leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access emerging best practices for Quota Setting starting on page 391.


1. Nurture leads well.


Done right, lead nurturing can double your win rate.  Lower your cost per lead by 33%. And bring a 47% higher average order value. But many companies struggle to meet their lead management programs’ insatiable demands. If yours is also, you’re probably not generating enough sales-ready leads.


Your To-Do List


  • Re-examine how you nurture leads and keep leads moving through the pipeline.
  • Evaluate your current process for sourcing, hiring, onboarding, and training LDRs.
  • Look for ways to iterate/improve/nurture tracks to improve their effectiveness.


 2. Allocate territories wisely.

Sales must allocate territories in a way that maximizes revenue potential. That means putting high-performing reps in the most fertile territories. Relying on the wrong criteria or defaulting to “peanut butter spreads” is demoralizing to sales reps.


Your To-Do List


  • Assess the potential of each account, and prioritize accordingly.
  • Revisit your territory planning process—how you determine territory potential, optimal size, and goals.
  • Consider how well you communicate territory decisions to the team.


3. Set sensible quotas.

Many sales leaders set arbitrary, pie-in-the-sky sales quotas. They don’t factor in the right variables. And they have no idea how far off their quotas are. Sales suffer due to low morale, and high turnover drains revenue.


Your To-Do List


  • Account for each rep’s account potential, territory potential, and production capacity.
  • Decide how best to rationalize the organization’s quota across all reps. And each rep’s quota against the organization’s.
  • Consider how well you communicate quota decisions to the team.


4. Create an incentive plan that works.

Designing an effective and sustainable incentive plan is a complicated process. Without proper input and analysis, your plan will explode the sales budget. Or fail to incentivize desired behaviors. Knee-jerk comp plan changes only make things worse.


Your To-Do List


  • Per role: Establish compensation benchmarks, determine pay, and identify the optimal comp plan design.
  • Determine the cost implications of your compensation decisions.
  • Evaluate how you approve changes, how you communicate them, and how you measure their effectiveness.


5. Get reps the content they need, when and where they need it.

Sales enablement means getting the right content in the right people’s hands at the right time. It’s supposed to help reps do their jobs better and make reps’ jobs easier. But that’s not possible if the sales force isn’t receptive to new programs.


Your To-Do List


  • Assess how well you develop and package content for the sales team’s use.
  • Identify any gaps in your technology and training programs.
  • Focus on improving adoption, coaching, and effectiveness.


6. Maximize selling time.

Sales reps should spend 70% of their time selling. Yet most of them spend too many hours on administrative duties. With proper automation, you’ll free and empower your reps to close more sales.


Your To-Do List


  • Evaluate your existing platforms and processes to pinpoint any marketing automation failures.
  • Consider how you might leverage various technologies to improve productivity. (CRM/SFA, mobile playbooks, gamification, contract administration, predictive analytics, etc.)
  • Construct a “sales technologies road map” to match core sales workflow issues with appropriate technologies.


7. Make talent development an ongoing affair.


Your sales force must keep pace with your market, buyers, and competitors. If training and coaching are random, rare, or sub-par, they won’t reinforce desired behaviors. They must be top priorities, even for “A” players—your future sales leaders.


Your To-Do List


  • Consider the kind of training program you’ll need to develop core competencies, skills, and knowledge.
  • Revisit your current coaching program—where it’s lacking, and how it can be improved.
  • Decide how you’ll measure the impact of your talent development program.


To request a workshop with SBI’s product strategy expert simply sign up for a MySBI account and check the box in your preferences to request a workshop.


Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you can make your number? Here is an interactive tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate yourself against SBI’s sales and marketing strategy to find out if:


  • Your revenue goal is realistic
  • You will earn your bonus
  • You will keep your job


Sales Revenue Growth



Mike Drapeau

Makes data and analysis come alive so clients can understand the “what” and “why” and design solutions that fit the environment.

Once the leader of SBI Delivery, Mike is now head of the firm’s internal talent development, so he has had the fortune to help some amazing sales and marketing leaders. He starts by earning their trust. Much of this comes from his deep base of experience. With more than 25 years in sales, sales management, pre-sales and sales operations, he’s never met a challenge he didn’t like. And with backgrounds in sales leadership, marketing, and sales operations, he shuns the idea of being a desk jockey and relishes the idea of living in the field.


Mike maintains, develops, and leverages SBI’s library of emerging best practices for sales and marketing, which leads to evidence-based solutions, custom-fit to each client. Maniacally focused on execution, Mike does not believe in giving clients fancy deliverables with no operational details. He knows that field adoption is key. After all, if behavior doesn’t change, the lift doesn’t come. Likewise, if those closest to the field adopt the solution, the client wins.

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