It happens to even the best of sales managers: end of quarter is fast approaching, and your quota isn’t shrinking, but the chances of your team making it are. Now is usually the time when managers start to pace the sales floor, pushing reps to dial faster and sitting in on calls in hopes of expediting the close.
There are lots of tactics and strategies that can be used to turn things around, but no one said that knowing which strings to pull to make the biggest possible difference in the least amount of time would be easy. So, whether you’re worried about one rep or your entire team falling short, here are three important reasons why your reps may be missing quota that you’ve probably never thought of before.
You’re Not Utilizing Their Strengths
While your top performers obviously have great strength in key areas, you may be surprised to find that your underperformers actually excel at undervalued or underutilized aspects of your sales funnel. This concept is extremely important, as sales is a weak link “sport.” This means that for your team to be successful, you need everyone on your team to perform well, as opposed to relying on just a few star players.
To pinpoint certain strengths and weaknesses in your team, try first segmenting your deals by industry. Then, further segment these deals by sales rep. In doing so, you may discover that, while top performers may rock at closing deals from your company’s key verticals, maybe an “underperformer” is actually skilled at developing relationships with customers from less popular verticals. In this case, you can start routing all deals from this vertical to this rep, and ask her to explore how your business might expand or enhance its presence and value offering in this industry.
This same approach can be followed for deals from particular lead sources, with particular contact titles and more. The ability to identify and leverage the strengths of each rep on your team is the mark of a great sales manager and enables reps to hit quota from both an individual and team perspective.
They’re Closing the Wrong Deals
One of the most frustrating situations for managers and reps alike is when win rate looks good, but pipeline value is down. So despite all your great work closing, your quota is still out of reach from a revenue perspective. In addition to some serious exploration of how your team can increase its average contract value, this situation also calls for a deep dive into the types of customers your reps are closing.
To understand what sets one lead apart from another and identify the types of leads generating the most value for your business, segment your deals by lead qualities like source, industry, title, size, etc., and then measure their lead yield. Lead yield is equal to Sales Revenue / Number of Wins Generated. You can learn more about it in this blog post, as well as see a breakdown of lead yield by industry below:
As you can see, these results tell us that Media is the industry with the highest lead yield, followed closely by eCommerce and Travel/Hospitality. First of all, this warrants a discussion with the marketing team, whose budget would clearly be better invested in channels that produce leads from these verticals than others.
Secondly, this discovery also offers guidance for which leads reps should be prioritizing in their outreach. Finally, and most importantly, while eCommerce leads have the second highest yield out of all industries, they represent a very small percentage of wins. Figuring out how to generate more eCommerce leads and training reps to more effectively close them can mean big news for your quota.
Activities Are Outweighing Outcomes
When used correctly, there is no doubt that activity metrics can be among the most useful and impactful sales data available. Where the problem starts is when managers and reps get caught up in hitting call quotas and lose sight of what should be their ultimate goal: closing business. You can make 500 calls and book one meeting, or you can make 100 calls and book ten. Outcomes speak louder than activities.
If you have reps who stay late and dial like lightning but are still falling behind the rest of the pack, you may be experiencing a case of “productivity placebo effect.” This means that it may feel like your team is being productive, but in reality you are mistaking busyness for effectiveness. That’s why the most meaningful activity metrics look at the outcomes rather than the number of activities that reps complete, as shown in the report below.
Only when you understand the outcomes of activities can you begin to comprehend the impact that they make and the steps that you can take to improve them. Shifting focus from counting activities to maximizing effectiveness shows when it comes to quota attainment.
Dig into Your Data
If you’ll notice, each of these three reasons can be uncovered by paying close attention to your sales data. Being a data-driven sales leader is one of the fastest and most reliable ways to pinpoint bottlenecks and inefficiencies getting in the way of reps hitting their quota. To learn more about how to take this scientific approach to sales management, download the free eBook, From Art to Science: 5 Steps to Predictable Sales Growth.