3 Tricks & Tips to answer the question – Does my Sales Rep Suck or Not?

ImageAs a Sales Leader, I’m often asked, “What separates the A Players from the rest of your team?” and “How do you know when to make cuts to your sales team?”

Traditionally, my answer was – if a Rep finishes below 70% a few quarters in a row, I put them on a plan for a quarter, and if they finish < 70% again, then they were cut.  This was a costly solution to the problem of a bad hire.  At ConnectAndSell, everything changes.

The Math:  If your turnover rate is 25%, and it takes you 9 months to term an under-performing employee, then you are costing yourself a lot in bookings.  Example: $1M quota, 9 months @ 50% of quota costs you $375,000 in lost bookings.

The New Math: By leveraging an Agent Assisted Dialer like ConnectAndSell, you can quickly discover leading indicators to poor performance and take action much faster.  Example: $1M quota, Rep finishes at 50% of quota, and termed within 90 days.  Increase in Bookings by catching the under-performance earlier: $375,000 – $125,000 = $250,000 increase in bookings.  (If you have a team of 10, the value of catching this earlier is $500,000/year.  A team of 20, $1M/year.  And so on…).

What are the leading indicators to look for? (How can I term a bad hire in < 90 days?)

  1. Recognize Reps who have a high ratio of “Send information” requests from their calls.  There is a direct correlation to a Reps ability to “sell a meeting” and their ability to move deals forward.  Reps who are always accepting the prospects objection, “send me something” are also typically the Rep who sends proposals to an influencer, and loses a high % of deals.
  2. Monitor Pipeline.  Lousy Sales Reps have gotten good at “faking pipeline”.  A few ways to catch this include –
    1. Track the “company fit” – Is the percentage of companies your Rep engaged with the “right company” who can purchase your product?  Often Reps who don’t understand the ideal prospect profile waste a lot of time with companies who cannot buy.
    2. Track the level of decision maker that the Rep is engaged with – for SMB companies, “are they on the website”?
    3. How is their forecast?  After 30 days using a tool like ConnectAndSell, a Sales Rep is 4-6 months ahead of where Reps are without a Sales Acceleration solution.  If you continue to see a goose egg for Best Case and Commit after 4-6 weeks on the job, huge red flag!
  3. Listen to their calls!  As a Sales Leader, there is no excuse for not listening to your Reps make calls.  This includes prospecting calls, live sales calls & demos, and closing calls.  By monitoring the above metrics, and adding a level of quality control on top, you will know beyond a reasonable doubt if it’s time to make a cut.

The payback?  For every under-performing Sales Rep that you can identify in the first 90 days vs. 9 months, you make $250,000 in incremental bookings (assuming a $1M quota).

The payback for the employee?  When they are at 50% of quota, they are making 50% (or less) commissions and they are likely not happy either.  By leveraging the above protocols, you can cut your losses earlier returning the most to your company, and to the Rep in question.