Every sales team has both high and low performers. And sales managers spend lots of time struggling to raise the success rates of their stragglers.
Investing resources in making your top performers even better, however, can also help improve your overall numbers.
While it may sound counter-intuitive to give more resources to those who are already performing well, there are three main reasons why you should:
1. By investing in their productivity, you're amplifying the impact of what they're already doing right. You're leaving them more time on the table to focus on selling and less time spent on doing the things they're not great at (e.g. expense reimbursements).
A survey from CSO Insights revealed that salespeople who spent 35 percent or less of their time selling achieved quota only 55 percent of the time, while salespeople who spent more than 45 percent of their time selling achieved quota up to 62 percent of the time. The survey also revealed that 19 percent of salespeople’s time is spent on meetings or administrative tasks. This proves that the more time spent on selling, the more likely the salesperson is to meet or exceed their quota.
Instead of investing more resources into someone who isn’t performing well and risk the chance that their performance may not improve, try investing in those that are performing exceptionally well, and sit back and watch their numbers continue to soar.
2. It's cheaper than you think. If you hire expensive people and then spend weeks training them on administrative tasks, you're wasting their per hour rate. It’s more cost effective to bring in admin support at a much lower rate, while allowing higher paid salespeople to focus on activities that increase your company’s bottom line.
Providing admin support means that salespeople are not spending their time learning skills that aren't a key part of their job performance. You hired them to sell, so permit them to sell and allow someone more appropriate to take care of the rest.
3. Good old-fashioned employee morale. Giving administrative support to your top performers will not only make them more effective, but also make them feel more supported. Employees that feel supported by their organization will work harder to bring more success to that organization.
A survey by Watson Wyatt and WorldatWork revealed that employee-engagement levels dropped 9 percent from 2009 to 2010. But for top performers, the number dropped a startling 25 percent. This is an indication that more resources must be invested in high performers in order to maintain their level of job satisfaction.
Retaining top talent should be high on your organization’s priority list as the cost of turnover due to poor morale among high performers is much too great to bear. According to the Saratoga Institute, turnover-related costs including recruitment and replacement expenses represent more than 12% of pre-tax income for the average company. Therefore, you can’t afford not to reward your top performers.