Many sales leaders think an increase in revenue targets translates to an increase in headcount. This may be true sometimes, but it’s not always the case. You may be able to improve the output of your team by examining and investing in other areas. Instead of hiring new reps, make your number by increasing productivity of existing reps.
Learn how to achieve this with the Sales Rep Productivity Guide. Discover the best way to make your 2014 number. In addition, SBI’s 7th annual Research Tour is currently underway. Don’t miss the opportunity for an on-site session with your leadership team. Become world class and make your number in 2014.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times you need to add heads to your team. As the company sales leader, sometimes your growth target is astronomical. Sometimes shifts in the market dictate that your team needs to grow. The same is true for shifts in your own organization.
Determining the best next steps for your organization starts with assessment. Whether you need to add heads or not can be determined with a few analyses. The two that are most important in this case are:
- Assess Your Talent – Not everyone on your team is an ‘A’ Player. As you examine your team, you may expect some to exceed quota. However, there will be others you know will only attain 30-40%. Understanding your team is the first step to improving it. If you identify the struggles, you can fix them. The Guide will help you identify these trouble spots
- Assess Your Sales Process – Similar to assessing your talent, you must also assess your process. Not all sales processes are created equally. Don’t get caught up doing the same thing because you’ve always done it. Truly examine your sales process. Are there improvements you should make? This will all create more productivity in 2014. Furthermore, perhaps you have more ‘A’ Players than you thought. They just didn’t have the right tools.
Following these assessments, it’s possible that you don’t have to add heads to reach your 2014 number. However, that likely means you need to improve the productivity of your current team. There are a variety of ways you can do this. A few are explained for you here:
- Leverage Your Reps – Marketing won’t always be able to fill the funnel as well as you’d like. World-class marketing teams usually provide just 30% of all leads. Beyond this, your reps can pick up some of the slack. Social selling is the best way to do this. With today’s informed buyer, this is the most effective technique available. Proper execution results in more opportunities and more conversions
- Examine Time Management – Time management is crucial to the productivity of sales reps. Engaging in time management analysis can give lots of insight. It’ll quickly become clear where and when reps can improve their output
- Improve Ramp to Productivity – What does your on boarding program entail? Do you bombard your new reps with endless presentations, binders, and training? This is not the route I’d recommend. You need a real program in order to get the most out of new reps. This process should have activities and measurements that track advancement. This will truly allow you to ramp these reps. As you track their progress, you know how productive they’ll be once in the field.
Think about it this way. If you hire new reps to meet your 2014 number, you need them to contribute. If you have a long ramp up and a long sales cycle, they may not be capable of contributing until next October or November. This achieves close to nothing in terms of making your number. So, improving ramp to productivity does 2 things. First, it helps your current reps get up to speed and become more productive. Second, it helps any new hires in the future contribute in less time.
Get a copy of our Tool to Help – The Sales Rep Productivity Guide. Do you need additional heads or not? This cutting-edge Guide will help determine the strategy that best fits your situation. The lift you expect from these productivity measures will determine if you need to add heads or not. Simply fill the fields and the Guide returns the recommended strategy for your team.
If you have to add heads for 2014, do so with a purpose. Don’t grasp at straws and try to reach a number just by putting more feet on the streets. This won’t get it done. Add more heads in a way that will actually affect the outcome of your 2014 revenue. Ramp them, train them, measure them, and utilize them. The same goes for your current team. Use the Sales Rep Productivity Guide to determine the best way to achieve your goals.