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One major hurdle in sales performance management is getting greater yield out of the middle performing members of the sales force staff.

However, by using gamification and properly identifying employees into the proper performance sales margin using the Pareto principle can greatly increase sales yield.

Sales performance management and relation to 20-60-20 the Pareto Principle

One essential piece of sales performance management is making sure that the sales force is returning the maximum yield on investment. The problem, however, is that people are not robots. Some people are naturally driven and rise to the top of the sales chart because they not only have the passion to succeed, but have also had the skills or training it takes to set themselves apart.

For the 20 percent that rests on the top, there is another 20 percent who would be best off not being utilized on the sales floor. Rather than firing these employees, they are best suited to the meta-tasks of the sales force, such as ringing up customers, restocking shelves. However, there is another 60 percent of your sales force that is middle of the road. They bring in sales, but they simply do not have the experience necessary to close deals and make sales as confidently as the top 20 percent. This is called Pareto principle, and learning how to apply it can greatly expand the efficiency of the sales force.

Retraining

Take a few of your top 20 percent of the sales floor in rotation. Give them some time to come up with a curriculum for retraining, and then send them to teach small groups of the 60% margin. It is best to do retraining in small increments as the human on human interaction is unpredictable, so it should be conducted alongside an already strong and streamlined existing sales force operating on the standards previously set up by the sales performance management committee.

However, during retraining, the committee in charge of sales performance management can see two things, who in the 60 percent is a rising performer, to whom extra investment in training would be worthwhile, and who among the top 20% is talented at teaching and thereby streamlining the sales force. The majority of the 60 percent will benefit somewhat from the retraining, but not everyone. Likewise, not everyone from the top 20% is going to be a good teacher. The sales performance management committee should consider the employees’ team building skills before putting them in a group as either a student or a mentor.

GamificationSales performance management

A risingly popular sales performance management strategy that has been expanding in popularity with the growing availability of technology. Many points of sales system have gamification built in now as well. Especially effective for younger members of the sales force, gamification works similar to a video game in that employees are awarded achievements, mark progress, and are encouraged to set goals to reach long term objectives. An example would be an employee getting a pin digitally awarded to them when they reach a certain sales goal, such as selling fifty products.

Rooted in biology, gamification becomes an almost addictive experience for employees as it not only gives them a way to measure their progress, but also gives them incentives to keep their stats up so they keep up with the other 60% while not get reassigned to the bottom 20%. Sales managers can even take the benefit of this a step further by offering a monetary incentive to the top 10 percent of the middle performing sales force based on performance. It is best to separate the top 20% from these games, while still giving them similar or greater incentives than the top prize if their pay isn’t significantly higher than the 60% already so as to maintain fairness and prevent jealousy.

Image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

At this point, the sales performance management committee can shift the dynamic of the sales force one final time. Relying heavily on monetary incentives, the final phase involves sedimenting this efficient structure in place. The top 20% should be rewarded the most, with the teachers getting a little extra benefit. The middle performers, however, should be motivated to be in the top 10 percent of their bracket for additional rewards.