Social selling has been celebrated as the solution to poor quota attainment among sales representatives. As older sales methodologies have become increasingly ineffective, most sales professionals have looked to social selling to boost slumping quota attainment percentages.

In general, quota attainment averages around 58 percent across the board. Social sellers generally report better results, with an average of around 65 percent, or about 12 points above average. Not every social seller realizes such success, however, and even among social sellers, sales quota attainment levels have been dropping.

The Definitive Guide to Social Selling for Leaders

It’s become a going concern for sales leaders. How can you increase the percentage of quota attainment? While adopting social selling alone may not be the answer, it is part of the solution for your sales team’s performance.


Adopt Social Selling

There’s been a noticeable dip in the percentage of sales representatives attaining full quota in recent years, from 63 percent in 2011 to just 50 percent in 2016. Although social sellers fared better, they still noticed this downward trend.

Social selling on its own isn’t the complete solution to increasing quota attainment among sales professionals. While it can and does increase the percentage of quota attainment, it isn’t enough on its own to sustain this shift.


Sales Training Is Key

Social selling adoption must go hand in hand with sales training in order to achieve sustained increases in quota attainment among sales professionals. Initially, adopting social selling will boost your sales representatives’ performance, but over time, the increase will fade and your salespeople’s performance will return to pre-social selling levels.

By adopting sales training, you’re providing more than a new strategy for your sales teams. Training is key to teaching them how to use social selling tactics and techniques effectively over the long term. Ongoing training will ensure they stay up to date and they always know which sales plays to run.

Training encourages your sales representatives to fully adopt social selling and incorporate it into their day-to-day activities. Adopting social selling without training won’t sustain initial enthusiasm and results as salespeople settle back into old routines, rather than continuing to use social selling.


Focus on Your Core Performers

Core performers make up anywhere from 70 to 80 percent of your sales teams. Higher achievers, however, account for up to 80 percent of your sales revenue. Instead of allowing them to continue being responsible for such a large share of sales, focus on shifting some of your core performers into top performers.

Research shows even a small shift in skills can have a large impact on your sales teams’ performance. By creating a 5 percent shift in the skills of your core performers, you can realize 60 percent revenue growth.

This focus on core performers also translates into higher quota attainment percentages. This effect is somewhat obvious from the dramatic shift in revenue growth. To spur 60 percent revenue growth, more of your sales representatives must be attaining or exceeding their quotas.

Again, social selling and training are key parts of this solution. A shift to social selling puts more effective sales tools in the hands of your sales representatives. Training teaches them how to use those tools effectively.


Adjusting to the Modern Buyer

Social selling allows your sales teams to adjust to the modern buyer and the modern buying cycle. If you’re still selling like you did in 1990, it’s little wonder your sales representatives aren’t achieving full quota attainment. Adopt social selling and teach your sales reps how to effectively perform in today’s competitive sales environment by providing ongoing training.

If you want to realize the benefits of modern social selling and increase quota attainment percentages for your sales team, your solution must be multi-pronged.


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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.

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