So you need quick growth. You knew this day was coming, but you kept pushing it off in hopes that it would solve itself. Is your quickest route to revenue really bringing on another rep? Not necessarily. Examine your current reps and inefficiencies first.

I need quick growth. My current reps are good, but coverage is unsaturated. 

 

Shouldn’t I just add another headcount? Isn’t that the quickest route to revenue? Add another rep, drop them into a territory? My on boarding process takes a couple months for a rep to get productive and start closing business. If I get started interviewing immediately and find a fit, I am on the fastest track to meeting my goals, right?

 

Well, I guess the answer is, maybe.

 

At SBI we specialize in helping customers get the most out of the teams they have in place and also find the right talent to drive up productivity per head. Download our Talent Enablement Tool to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team.

 

Are My Current Reps as Productive as They Should Be?

 

Each of my reps has plenty of accounts, territory, products and opportunity. Our market is not saturated and the overall opportunity for the company is good. I could carve off half of a region or a set of products and add another headcount and double my production. Yes, that is one answer to a potential growth strategy, but before looking at incremental headcount growth I need to understand if my rep yield is inline with expectations. When I built my business plan, I knew some things:

 

  1. I had some idea of how many territory managers I needed.

     

  2. I knew my inside sales to outside sales ratio.

     

  3. I budgeted for overlays and product specialists and technical resources.

     

  4. Based on all customer facing and quota carrying roles I modeled my required resources to meet the revenue expectations.

     

Now I am at a point where I want to keep fueling the growth and the opportunity is still there, but it seems like I should be farther along on the revenue curve. After looking back at my models I find that my revenue yields per head are not inline with my original expectations. Why is this?

 

Am I Behind Because of Ineffective Enablement?

 

There are potentially a number of reasons why productivity per head lags. Some of it is tied up in training and enablement, some of it in the operational processes put around my resources. My opportunity in the market is good. Customers are buying what I sell. The training that I give to a rep through their lifecycle is obviously critical:

 

  1. Elevator pitches

     

  2. Value propositions

     

  3. Buyer personas, buyer journeys

     

  4. Competitive content

     

  5. Use cases, industry examples, etc.

     

There are many things I need to do to enable my field. This is an ongoing process. Understanding if I am falling down in the education of my field is critical to understand. Is my productivity per head low because my enablement is not effective.?

 

Or Am I Behind Because of Inefficient Processes?

 

So my enablement seems solid. Leads are coming in and prospects are interested in what we do. The field has qualified opportunities to work on but my productivity still lags. So my next step is inspecting how we work both internally and externally from a process perspective. What are my inefficient processes, and what can I do to make them more efficient?

 

  1. What is the lead capture and handoff process between roles?

     

  2. How do I secure specific product resources?

     

  3. What is my approval process for running proof of concepts?

     

  4. What is my discounting approval process?

     

  5. How does my sales forecasting system help me understand my selling process and how the buyer buys?

     

  6. How do we handle contracts?

     

There are many fundamental business processes, both internal and external that drive productivity. There are also many technology platforms that can assist with streamlining these processes. Having clarity about the efficiency of these processes and the value of the systems behind the processes is important. I need to be efficient in order for my reps to be productive.

 

Don’t Just Start Hiring

 

Once I bring on a new rep, I am introducing them into my current environment; My ineffective enablement and my inefficient sales processes.

 

All things being equal, I can pretty much expect a similar yield from a new hire as I can from the rest of my field. So before I do that, I need to get my house in order.

 

Take a look at the expected yield. Make sure I am on par with what my original expectations were. Start to unpeel the root cause of the gap. Once I understand the environment required for success and have created that, then I can start bringing on new talent.

 

At SBI we specialize in helping customers get the most out of the teams they have in place and also find the right talent to drive up productivity per head. Download our Talent Enablement Tool to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team.

 

 

Additional Resources

 

In 2017, SBI opened the doors to a brand-new, multi-million-dollar facility called The Studio, in Dallas, TX. It  does not get any more centralized than that location.  Plus, everything is bigger in Texas, including the numbers!

 

Visit us in The Studio and let us help you in person. 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marc Odenweller

Winning by staying ahead in an ever-changing customer and competitive landscape

Marc brings 25+ years of hands-on experience in building and leading high-growth, venture-backed and large, publicly traded companies. His background in running sales and multi-national channel organizations provides a unique perspective for companies looking to leverage alternative global routes to market. Marc has worked at the initial stages of start-up companies, helping to build a scalable infrastructure for growth, as well as managing large company business units where companies were constantly optimizing growth models.

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