“The best sales organizations are able to equip their managers with leading indicators that allow them to zero in on future risk and opportunity while there’s still time to respond.” – Justin Shriber in today’s Tip 745
How to grow revenue productivity per rep per year?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Justin Shriber. Justin is the CMO at People.ai where he helps companies harness business activity to unlock growth. Justin previously headed global marketing for LinkedIn’s Sales and Marketing Solutions. Prior to that, he leads product, sales, and marketing organizations at both startups and larges companies like Siebel and Oracle. Here he is:
Justin Shriber: As part of the legends of sales and marketing podcast that I host. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with Chief Revenue Officers of some of the fastest-growing and most influential companies on the planet. Folks like Jim Steele, who’s the president over at Salesforce. Erica Schultz, President over at confluent, and John Thompson, who’s currently the Chairman of the Board at Microsoft, but he’s also the former general manager of IBM Americas.
What’s fascinating about these leaders is that they all seem to have independently come to the same conclusion regarding what it takes to deliver exceptional growth year in and year out. Rather than focus on hiring more reps and that’s kind of the conventional wisdom that most companies follow. These companies do it a little bit differently. They focus maniacally on growing revenue productivity per rep every year.
One thing you’ll notice about the companies that they lead is that to achieve that level of productivity. They lean really heavily on frontline sales managers to identify and address areas where reps are falling short. In the best sales organizations, these managers view themselves as coaches and their primary focus is simply to help their team to put more points on the board.
So the question is what makes the managers at these high-growth organizations so much more effective than the typical sales manager? Well, when you talk to these high growth companies, the same two words surface again and again. Leading indicators, the best sales organizations are able to equip their managers with leading indicators that allow them to zero in on future risk and opportunity while there’s still time to respond.
So let me give you a great example of a company that I was recently talking to. You’ve got two sales reps. They’re both out there hustling. If you look at Salesforce, they’re both logging a ton of activities. The thing is one of the reps is crushing it and the other rep is really struggling. In this case, the leading indicator wasn’t the number of activities logged in Salesforce. And by the way, it usually isn’t, it was actually the frequency of engagement with VP level contacts in the operations department. So at this company, the great manager knew that the leading indicator would define the future outcome. And that’s where she would focus. During a coaching session, she could look at that indicator, and then if the rep was off pace, she could work with the rep to put an action plan together, to get things back into tolerance.
So as these leaders continue to bring up this concept of leading indicators, it leads me straight into my next question. I always ask them, how do you figure out what true leading indicators are? And also how do you generate them? Typically the answers that I get revolve around three concepts.
First of all, you gotta capture the data and you have to capture all of it. Who are the reps actually meeting with? How frequently are they meeting? And what exactly are they talking about? Then you need to mine that data to separate the meaningful variables from the noise. And lastly, you need to put the key information at the fingertips of managers at the moment when they need it. Most usually it’s when they’re sitting shoulder to shoulder or in this case, when they’re on a zoom call with the reps.
So to recap. Number one, leaders of high growth companies, zero in on increasing productivity per rep every year. Number two, they do so by leaning heavily on their frontline sales managers. And number three, they amplify the manager’s impact. They turn their managers into super managers by operationalizing the use of leading indicators.
Scott Ingram: For more about Justin and from Justin, just click over to DailySales.Tips/745 where we’ll have links for you to subscribe to his Legends of Sales and Marketing on Apple Podcast so you can hear some of these conversations for yourself.
Once you’ve done that. Be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!