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Make More Rainmakers

What keeps sales execs up at night? For most, it's whether they will hit their revenue targets. With rising sales quotas and unavoidable cost cutting measures, sales leaders must find ways to sell more with less. In the past, sales leaders could simply put more feet on the street to increase sales. But today, they are expected to sell more with a leaner team, all while increasing the company's profitability. Let's look at ways your sales teams can get bigger, higher margin deals. To tackle today's modern selling environment, there are three areas that will help your sales teams close more deals and blow out their numbers without increasing operational costs: make more rainmakers, be a trusted advisor, and collaborate across lines of business. Today, we'll uncover how to make more rainmakers in your sales organization.

Whether you believe in the sales performance bell curve or in the Pareto distribution (i.e., 80-20 rule) that 20% of the sales org contributes to 80% of the company's revenue, sales execs agree that, in any given sales organization, the star performers represent a minority group of the sales force, while a large majority, 65-70%, are in the middle. The rainmakers consistently blow out their sales targets year after year. How do you get more rainmakers without hiring more people? You must focus your efforts on the 65-70% of the sales force and make them more like your stars.

In reality, the middle performers are not bad sales people. They are likely good sales people who have fallen behind because they just acquired a new territory, started selling a new product set or, perhaps, are more comfortable doing business as-is rather than adopting new tactics or technologies. What if you could make them perform like your rainmakers? Studies have shown that by focusing on the players in the middle, you can increase sales by at least 2%. For a $2B dollar company, that's $40M in additional revenue!

To develop more rainmakers, you must emulate the best practices of your best reps so that your middle performers can be more like them:

  • Learn the questions that your best reps ask to penetrate their accounts and to drive product selection.
  • Provide and automate guided selling questions to help other reps formulate solutions for their customers.
  • Find out how your best performers navigate through various departments to close deals quicker and set sales processes that streamline communication and collaboration across departments.
  • Establish a process for deal configuration and sales flow, standardize it and make it available to all reps.

The idea is to take what works and make it rain. By doing so, you'll be able to help bring the middle performers closer to the performance level of your top reps, benefiting the company as well as the reps.Making more rainmakers is just the first of three ways to get bigger, more profitable deals. Stay tuned for our next blog post to learn about how to be an advisor, not a sales person, and the impact that it can have on your bottom line.

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