Steve Promisel is an experienced operations leader with a focus on the application of data analytics for process optimization, sales forecasting, compensation planning and capacity management. His disciplined and passionate approach to maximizing productivity has led to a significant impact in improving performance and reducing attrition within many companies.
On average, it can cost more than $750K to replace a sales rep when you take lost revenue, recruiting costs and training into account, not to mention the qualitative impact on customer and internal relationships. Some of these reps are simply bad hires; they were not fit for a specific role or solution sell. In other cases, they had the unfortunate luck to have a “bad territory”.
Much of the time, the reason why a rep will leave is due to poor personal performance, or more subtly due to sub-optimal performance of their managers. To amplify these cost considerations further, as a SaaS company the valuation multiple could be up to 15x lost revenue multiplied by potential multiplier, which certainly makes these numbers something worthy of your attention.
By changing the way sales personnel (especially reps and FLMs (first line sales managers)) learn their job, and how FLMs act more as sales coaches than forecasters and deal closers, companies have a much greater chance to improve productivity, increase revenues and reduce attrition.
A sales rep today has so many challenges. All the best want to do is meet with customers, build relationships and trust, develop solutions and close business. The complexity of sales – especially Enterprise sales – means that the learning curve is substantial, yet there is rarely enough time to make it all work. After a one-week onboarding class, the rep is blasted with emails and pointed to the company’s intranet (which is likely filled with out-of-date material), asked to put “everything in the CRM”, and is then faced with a Rubik’s cube of a quoting system.
At the end of the day, there’s not enough focus on learning, a problem that is largely the result of a lack of validation that the learning has been absorbed and understood. This is further compounded by the lack of support by effective FLM coaching.
The FLMs have their own challenges; from having to be ready for the weekly forecast call, spending a significant amount of time recruiting and supporting field marketing events, it’s increasingly difficult for them to invest in coaching.
Let’s create a hypothetical. You work for a company that at least makes an investment in training. They have an onboarding program, they invest in a Learning Management System (LMS) to hold and deploy content, and they have heroic sales enablement teams develop content for annual sales kickoffs based on the latest product offerings and marketing messages. Despite all this, they still have limited success. Why?
When Mentor Group starts working with clients that are struggling to handle growth or sales challenges, we often see the following issues related to learning:
In the next post, we’ll discuss ways of making things better.