Top performing reps are endlessly finding ways to improve their performance. The rest? They’re ‘performance sinners’. Often unknowingly. Their 7 deadly performance sins [and some proof that it’s worth repenting]:
1/ NOT TALKING WITH STRANGERS
It’s hard to meet strangers, get to know them, and win them as new customers. It’s harder work than talking with customers who already know you. If you don’t try to talk with strangers, none ever will. If none ever do, you’ll eventually struggle to win new business. It’s hard work. But the alternative [of not winning any new customers] sucks.
2/ EFFECTIVE EXECUTION IS RARE
Effective execution requires disciplined efforts. Invested with persistence, timely follow-ups, and buyer-focus. Each factor matters. It’s typically the case that Reps will execute effectively on some combination of these factors. But rarely all of them all at once. The proof it’s fixable: see sin 7 below.
3/ FIRST CONVERSATIONS ARE EARNED RARELY
Few strangers will agree to have a 1st conversation when approached by a seller. The buyer experience is that poor. Which means it takes a ton of effort to win 1st conversations. The industry norm: only 2-6% of buyers will agree to a 1st conversation. The proof it’s fixable: 12-25% of our clients’ contact attempts yield 1st conversations.
4/ NEXT CONVERSATIONS ARE RARE
Let’s say you’re able to beat the odds. You win 1st conversations at a fantastic clip. Odds are you then find yourself struggling to have next conversations with buyers. The industry norm: only 20% of buyers have further conversations with sellers. The proof it’s fixable: 50-75% of our clients’ 1st conversations yield ‘next’ conversations.
5/ ALTITUDE AFFECTS MARGINS
Not every Rep will be equally comfortable having business conversations with senior executives. The risk, here, is that Reps get referred down to talk with more junior execs with less decision authority. A fixable sin: one of our clients tested a new tactic, learned it with practice, and ‘stayed high’. They grew their average margins 24.8%. In 4 months.
6/ POOR PRACTICES ARE HARD TO FIX [BECAUSE THEY’RE HARD TO SPOT]
When the causal effects of practices on results are fuzzy, mistakes are hard to spot and take a long time to fix. By contrast, when the causal effects are clear, more gets learned, more quickly. When it takes a few hours to see what’s working, you can afford to be wrong. The ‘cost’ is tiny.
7/ ‘TESTY’ IS MORE COMMON THAN ‘TESTING’
Sales organizations are more commonly ‘testy’ than ‘testing’. If sales were software, you’d never buy it. Way too many bugs from way too little testing. The proof this sin is fixable: one sales team tested an adjustment in their Bus Dev practices. They discovered that it worked, so worked at it harder. They earned 4.3x more next conversations from 2.5x more effort invested with 40% more discipline. All in just three weeks.
Want better results? Get a read on which of these are your deadly performance sins. Then repent.