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Mind Your Selling Gaps

Mind Your Selling Gaps

Economists often use the phrase “a rising tide lifts all boats” to describe improvements in the overall economy that tend to benefit all players in the economy. The phrase also fits in a distribution sales context as well when you start examining sales gaps between your reps.

Examining sales gaps is a great way to find ideas for improving the entire performance of your team. If you can identify which behaviors your most successful sales reps employ and then teach those behaviors to all of your reps, you will go a long way toward creating a rising tide of improved sales strategies.

Identifying and sharing successful strategies across your team gives everyone an opportunity to improve, not just those who are already succeeding. Having access to easy-to-use data visualizations of your sales data makes it easy to raise the tide on your sales and revenue performance.

What Are Selling Gaps?

Sales performance gaps can manifest in many ways and can be measured on several parameters. One example is the sales activity gap. By measuring how many sales activities your reps are performing and plotting them against how many closed opportunities they completed you can get an estimate of how many new opportunities you might be closing if you could complete more sales activities.

Sales Activity Gap = # of opportunities closed by reps with the most activities – # of opportunities closed by reps with the least activities.

Using SMP, you could create this analysis in less than five minutes before your next sales meeting. And in doing so, you’d create many opportunities to improve your team’s effectiveness in that one meeting. What’s more – you can use Dashboards in SMP to create this so your sales reps can easily see how their activities translate into sales with easy-to-digest graphs, which they can review anytime.

Tracking the sales activity gap is critical for several reasons:

1. Identifying Performance Gaps: By comparing the number of opportunities closed by the most active reps with those closed by less active reps, you can identify potential performance gaps. If a highly active rep is closing more deals, it could suggest that increasing activity levels could lead to better sales results.

2. Understanding Activity Efficiency: Not all activities are created equal. A rep might be very active but not closing many deals, while another might be less active but closing a higher percentage of opportunities. Tracking the sales activity gap can help you understand which activities are most effective at driving sales.

3. Encouraging Best Practices: If you find that your most active sales reps are also your most successful, you can study their habits and strategies to develop best practices for the rest of your team.

4. Guiding Training and Development: The sales activity gap can highlight areas where less active reps may need additional training or support to increase their activity levels and improve their sales results.

5. Resource Allocation: Understanding the sales activity gap can guide management in resource allocation. If higher activity levels correlate with higher sales, it may be worth investing in tools or personnel to increase activity levels across the sales team.

Your Sales Reviews are Only Limited by Your Imagination

Remember, while tracking the sales activity gap can provide valuable insights, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. It’s also important to consider the quality of sales activities, not just the quantity. For example, a smaller number of well-researched, personalized outreach efforts might yield better results than a larger number of generic ones.

Here are some additional examples of performance gaps:

  1. Lead Conversion Rate Gap: This is the difference in the number of leads converted into customers by different sales reps. A rep with a higher conversion rate is more effective at closing deals.
  1. Average Deal Size Gap: Some sales reps may consistently close larger deals than others. This gap can highlight differences in selling skills or the ability to upsell and cross-sell effectively.
  1. Sales Cycle Length Gap: If one sales rep typically closes deals faster than another, there’s a sales cycle length gap. This could mean that the faster rep is more efficient, or that the slower rep is taking time to nurture leads more thoroughly.
  1. Customer Retention Rate Gap: This measures the difference in the ability of sales reps to retain customers over a specified period. A lower retention rate could indicate problems with relationship management.
  1. Product Knowledge Gap: If certain sales reps have a better understanding of your products or services, they may be able to sell more effectively. This gap can be identified through tests, customer feedback, or observation.
  1. Prospecting Gap: This is the difference in the number of new potential customers (prospects) identified by different sales reps. A rep who is better at prospecting will have a larger pipeline of potential sales.
  1. Revenue Per Call Gap: This measures the average revenue generated per sales call. A gap here could highlight differences in selling skills, product knowledge, or customer handling.
  1. Upselling/Cross-Selling Gap: Some reps might be better at upselling or cross-selling than others. These gaps can be measured by comparing the average transaction value for each rep.

Each of these gaps provides valuable information on where a sales rep might need additional training or support. By identifying and addressing these gaps, sales leaders can help their teams become more effective and efficient, leading to improved sales results.

Would You Like to See Your Own Gaps?

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