Sales force excellence is equal parts talent (people) and equal parts performance conditions. Do you have the right performance conditions in place? Performance conditions are defined as the environment in which I place my sales talent.  A few examples of performance conditions are:


  • Segmented territories with Ideal Customers/Prospects clearly identified
  • Quotas and Compensation plans tied to individual territory potential
  • Sales Management Curriculum and Certification Program


VPs of Sales are suffering from an age old belief that sales training will move the revenue number in the shortest amount of time. Our firm benchmarked over 1,100 companies and 83% had committed dollars towards sales training. The impact of time and money spent on sales training can be positive; we are huge fans of properly designed, customized sales training. We have seen a greater revenue lift when organizations focus on improving their performance conditions.  


To assess your sales strategy at a deeper level, turn to page 260 of our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017.  Flip to the exercise ‘Is Your Sales Strategy a Problem?’ and answer the questions in the proposed exercise.


Optimal performance conditions will allow the sales strategy to come alive. Below are 3 examples of how this problem is misdiagnosed every day. Perhaps one will resonate with you? Each example I will cover the problem, misdiagnosis and what the potential performance conditions problem could be.


Problem 1 — Average Selling Price has eroded over the last 2 years and you are not generating as much net profit on each deal.


Misdiagnosis: Reps are moving to price too fast and need to “sell higher”


Performance Condition Problem: You are approaching the customer segment with the wrong channel; the customer no longer values face-to-face selling and you can sell via inside sales. Less expensive,  more efficient and greater coverage opportunity for this customer segment.


Problem 2 — Win Rates have dropped; same competitors are beating you  more in head to head deals than they were 2 years ago.


Misdiagnosis: Reps need to be trained on competitive selling and handling objections.


Performance Condition Problem: Your Ideal Customer has changed due to gaps in your product or service portfolio. Re assess the attributes of an Ideal customer (size, industry, geography, etc) and the types of problems they are having


Problem 3 — Quota attainment has dropped 5% per year over the last 3 years due to increased sales cycle length and deals getting stuck.


Misdiagnosis: Train the reps on building a stronger business case to accelerate sales cycle velocity


Performance Condition Problem: You have increased quota each year without paying attention to territory potential. How can a rep with 2MM in potential and a rep with 5 MM in potential each have the same quota? Or perhaps the quotas have increased but the sales team is not provided leads? They are wasting time prospecting and qualifying, not selling.


Action Item


Turn to page 260 of our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017.  Flip to the exercise ‘Is Your Sales Strategy a Problem?’ and answer the questions in the proposed exercise.  By completing this exercise in less than 5 minutes, you will have an idea if you have a performance condition problem. Your sales training dollars can only be maximized when aligned with optimal performance conditions.


How to Make Your Number in 2017



Matt Sharrers

Studies and works with the top 1% of B2B sales and marketing leaders who generate above average revenue growth for their companies.

Matt is arguably one of the industry’s most connected, and physically fit, sales leaders. He “lives in the field.” As a result, he is the foremost expert in the art of separating fact from fiction as it relates to revenue growth best practices. Because of Matt’s unique access to the best sales talent, private equity investors tend to turn to him first when they need to hire remarkable leaders to unlock trapped growth inside of their portfolio companies. Matt’s recent engagements include work commissioned by private equity leaders Permira, TPG, Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman.


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