Talent has changed. One of the most frequently asked questions today is how to find top inside sales talent. What should you be looking for? Hunters? Snipers? Hybrids? And how should you be developing this talent? What type of expectations should you have?
How about stack ranking your talent? This is an exercise managers should do on a regular basis to keep you focused and sharp on your talent.
1. Start by developing a stack-ranking criteria. Try this one:
Activity call volume, # of meetings, # of new deals in pipeline, General Productivity and Efficiency, Product Knowledge, Partner Relationships, Systems and Tools Knowledge, Sales Skills, Attitude and Motivation, Coachability, Track Record, Tenure
2. Now organize your talent based on this criteria and categorize them based on A-B-C performers.
3. Then put together a development plan to help these performers improve.
Stack ranking will help you decide who to keep and when to cut your losses. Let’s put this into practice and look at two SDRs, A & B, and see who will make the cut:
SDR A makes 1,728 calls per month, sets up 71 WebEx meetings per month, and has $390k bookings with average deals $6 > $15k deals. He has a great attitude and is open to coaching.
SDR B makes 823 calls per month, sets up 20 WebEx meetings per month, and has $460k bookings with average deals $4>$15k deals (110k blue bird). She shows up at 9:30 am during Tues/Thursday call blitz days after blitz is over. Her behavior doesn’t improve after several coaching sessions.
Which SDR will make the cut?
Based on the stack-ranking criteria, SDR A exhibits more strengths, is coachable, and has a good attitude. Although his numbers aren’t as strong as SDR B, you don’t have to tip-toe around the sense of entitlement and negative virus SDR B is spreading around.
Most managers tend to spend more of their time developing the A performers, but spend less of their time with the B and C performers. This needs to change. It’s unfortunate how many C performers leave organizations because they were never given a chance to develop.
Managers need to step up on the coaching front and invest more time motivating, developing, and encouraging their reps instead of embarassing and demotivating them. It’s a positive trend. Managers can no longer make decisions based simply on metrics, deals in the pipeline, and talent they haven’t developed, based on information from 5 years ago.
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Chad Burmeister says
Josiane – good article.
Quick comment on the where to spend time paragraph – with your A Players or B’s and C’s. One of my mentors gave this example:
A player driving $500k/quarter
B player driving $400k
C player driving $250k
If you spend time helping your “A move to A+”, and you get a 20% increase in sales, that is $100k. If you spend time with the B player and get 20% return, that is $80k (both good investments of your time).
The tendency that I find with managers is that they actually spend too much time with their C players–because they see the large discrepancy in bookings, and usually it doesn’t get better. And the ROI just isn’t there. 20% increase for the C player = $50k, still just $300k vs. A player 400k – 500k (half of the ROI by investing in the A player).
I’m not advocating to ignore the C player, I would put in Skip Miller’s “M2O/t’s” try to work with them, and then if there isn’t improvement, look for an A player.