How valuable is a “DNA match” with top producers? Very, as it turns out, especially if coupled with the right training. In evaluating sales performance for clients, we’ve mainly use two ways. Now, we have a third!

ONE: Previously in this column, we’ve endorsed examining historical sales data through the prism of ten-year moving totals and averages. This approach is valuable because it eliminates seasonality and shows valid trends, both positive and negative. Just get in touch with us, and we’ll send along our template.

TWO: Another model one of our partner firms developed reports the effects on sales results of good hiring coupled with training. It provides insights about the impact on year-over-year sales of

  • Hiring one additional average, or “C, salesperson
  • Moving one person from the “C” group to the above average, or “B” group, or of moving a “B” to the “A,” or top producer group
  • Moving all salespeople up by a percentage of their quotas.

We’ll be happy to assess your potential sales growth using this approach. Send us a spreadsheet with the names of your salespeople or other identifier (number, letter); their quotas, and their last year’s actual sales figures. We’ll feed the data into our model and report our insights to you.

Three: An even more refined option for increasing sales emphasizes the point of hire in a new and, in the right hands, predictable way. A proprietary software program uses data to compare the sales DNA of potential hires with that of your top producers. If there’s at least an 80 percent match, the probability of hiring an “A” performer, similar to the ones you already have, is much better. It’s a simple, silver-bullet type of idea that can actually work—and without swab or blood tests. In fact, it might be one of those rare claims in life that sounds too good to be true but is if properly implemented.

Here’s the thinking. Sales growth can be impacted significantly by ensuring that new hires are as similar as possible to a company’s top producers in the way they behave in a sales environment. This new model shows the impact of this on total revenue. The model also can show the return on investment from training using various assumptions about the lift that training provides.

We partner with a firm that developed the process to help companies hire the right salespeople. Please let us know if you’d like to learn more. Plus, our consultative selling course, FOCIS, can improve the performance of salespeople regardless of their current level. We also know how to close the gap between poorer performers and top producers by as much as 25 percent or more.

Here are some additional details about how the point-of-hire assessment works. The software tool compares current and future employees to current top performers in a specific position based on their abilities to:

  • Learn and solve problems specific to the job
  • Deal with aspects of the job that may be stressful and lead to early burnout
  • Adapt to and be compatible with the manager and the leadership style
  • Work and interact with their co-workers, peers, and superiors
  • Motivate themselves to do the work required of the position.

Finally, the software answers, or attempts to answer, the question: How good of an overall fit are they for the job?

A strong match with top performers has shown these benefits:

Greater Sales Productivity: Fewer people accomplish the same amount of work.

More Synergy, Less Friction with their team and management as all involved have a better understanding of how to work together based on data, not assumptions, guesses, or biases, especially unrecognized ones.

Less Turnover: Employees enjoy higher levels of success as more of their effort goes into their work rather than force-fitting themselves into jobs they’re really not suited to perform well. Since their “wiring” fits the position, the management, and the team, everyone benefits—especially your customers.

One Last Thought: Productive hiring and training are the two actions you can take that will create the most lift for revenue, the most leverage for your investment. The third is increasing referrals.

In our experience most businesses get about 80 percent of their leads from referrals. Surprisingly, most sales people have not been trained in how to increase the quantity and quality of referrals they receive. Because of this most don’t understand whether they need to ask for referrals to get them (they don’t) or, if they are going to ask, who to ask, when to ask, and how to ask. Please get in touch for more information at 847-446-0008 Ext. 1 or pkrone@productivestrategies.com.

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