yield per rep

I was recently on a conference call with Sauro Lamberti, Managing Director of Nuovamacut in Italy. We were talking about the digital transformation that Nuovamacut is proposing for their EMEA salesforce when Sauro said something incredibly insightful about transforming their sales team:

“In the 1960’s, a runner ran under 10 seconds at the Olympics. If the world was happy with that, we would still be running 10 seconds. But year-by-year, there needs to be incremental improvements. Milliseconds separate winning and losing. The small things are the big things…

My sales team is exactly like the those Olympic runners. Year-by-year, we need to increase the yield and performance of each sales rep. If they don’t improve, the will lose the race!”

I had never heard sales performance improvement analogized like this. It was so clear. Greatness is separated by incremental improvements, not necessarily wild diversions.

So then the next question appeared in my mind. If incremental improvements in sales performance was so logical to Sauro, why was it so foreign to thousands of other sales leaders?

Here is my Freudian Analysis:

1) Sauro recognizes the importance of continuous learning

Like other digital leaders we’ve worked with, I know Sauro is a continuous learner. His knowledge of modern sales best practices is impressive. This knowledge comes from books, podcasts, social networks, webinars, live conferences, anything to learn more about the digital wave hitting the shores of sales. Sauro knows, just like a runner, that learning a new stance, block position or shoe model, will be the difference between winning and losing.

In a 2015 Deloitte Study, Global Human Capital Trends 2015, 85% of the respondents cited learning as being either important or very important. Yet, according to the study, more companies than ever report they are unprepared to address this challenge.

continious learningBy its nature, social selling encourages continual learning through insight sharing. If reps and managers follow a simple 30-minute routine every day, they’re exposed to content that constantly affirms, challenges or adds to their professional viewpoints.

2) Sauro is hands-on with his coaching, and can clearly see there are gaps in the sales process

I know Sauro is a coach because he knew exactly what the sales team needed to improve. This doesn’t come from managing behind a desk, watching Salesforce.com and spreadsheets. This comes with 1-on-1’s with sales reps, being on calls and hearing the customer. Sauro knows, just like a runner, the coach doesn’t coach from the press box, but on the track.

According to the International Coach Federation, “the average company can expect a return of 7 times the initial investment in coaching.” And research from Corporate Executive Board shows that “sales reps who receive just three hours of coaching a month exceed their goals by 7%, boosting revenue by 25% and increasing the average close rate by 70%.”

sales stats

3) Sauro is data-driven and sees how incremental improvements at scale drive massive resultsco

I know Sauro is a data-driven leader because he knew his numbers. As Peter Drucker famously says, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

Sauro also probably knows that top teams are 3.5x more likely to use sales analytics. He’s probably seen how leads are driven socially, and how social networks create incredible referral opportunities. Sauro knows, just like a runner, every day, week, month, year, dropping a millisecond is the difference between winning and losing. And data can help you stay that millisecond ahead.

top sales teamsThe question I want you to ask yourself is this: Are you going to find any competitive advantage you can to drop milliseconds off your runners time?

Are you going to give them incremental sales performance opportunities to better run? Or are you going to let them loose the race?


Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

Leave a Reply

Login First!

Related Blogs

Mar 3, 2020 8:00 am
Leadership Training Has Gone From: Nice To Have, To Absolutely Critical

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to a podcast. It was talking to sales leaders, discussing how leadership development has moved into a critical state. In most companies, too many sales leaders are new to their role – and fresh to management. The company has spent a lot of time, money, and energy … Continue reading “Leadership Training Has Gone From: Nice To Have, To Absolutely Critical”

Feb 25, 2020 8:00 am
Post-Sales Kickoff Prospecting Slump? Now What?

We’re approaching the end of sales kickoff season. Companies have brought their sales teams together, and have started planning new go-to-market strategies. They’ve added new product features, benefits, and new territory plans to their sales bags. With the best companies (unfortunately, most companies don’t do this enough), there is a new skills-based learning deployed at … Continue reading “Post-Sales Kickoff Prospecting Slump? Now What?”

Feb 18, 2020 8:00 am
CEO Summit: What 46 Different CEOs Wanted Their Sellers To Do

I was in Nelson, British Columbia recently for an extreme skiing trip in the Selkirk Mountains. I had the opportunity to live on top of Baldface Mountain for a week with 46 other CEOs, and it was incredible to listen to the pitfalls, challenges, best practices, and opportunities in each of their businesses.

Feb 11, 2020 12:25 pm
Starting The Year at Zero: You’re Behind. Now What?

I’ve been fielding a lot of questions and calls over the last few weeks – and there’s no question that every Chief Revenue Officer is panicked. Outside of their annual referring revenue (the billings they need to protect from the core), there’s always a gap, and they all have to start at zero every year … Continue reading “Starting The Year at Zero: You’re Behind. Now What?”