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Want to increase the output of your sales team? Look examine your ‘watermelons’ more closely

Co-founder and CEO of the sales enablement platform Highspot is Robert Wahbe.

Improve inside sales to increase B2B client acquisition

Leaders have a wide range of measures at their disposal in today’s era of abundant data to compare progress to their strategic ambitions. Despite having access to all of this information, a disproportionate number of executives still prioritize aggregate statistics over the measures that really matter.

High-level data synthesis runs the risk of producing metrics I refer to as “watermelons”: figures that appear green but are actually red. If left on the vine for too long, watermelons can destroy your company from the inside out because they conceal execution problems that are occurring across your sales force.

If left on the vine for too long, watermelons can rot your company from the inside out because they cover up underlying execution problems.

By failing to delve deeply enough to comprehend the status of their business goals and opportunities for progress, leaders who rely on averages and aggregates harm their organization.

For instance, Cloudflare stated that they have “identified more than 100 people on our sales team who have consistently missed expectations” on a recent earnings call. Simply put, a sizable portion of our sales staff has consistently underperformed in comparison to important KPIs and measurable performance targets.

How could 100 people consistently miss the mark? The data wasn’t being examined in depth enough by the leaders. It’s critical to pinpoint the underlying issue behind these merchants’ failures and provide a comprehensive solution.

Here are some definitions of looking for watermelons, tips for spotting them, and a framework for taking smarter decisions that will boost your revenue.

Making watermelons available through people-centered analysis

Many leaders examine their data too narrowly when examining crucial performance metrics. To help leaders respond to queries like “What is the win rate for manufacturing in the mid-market in Europe?” activity and outcome indicators are frequently segmented and broken down by several dimensions like industry, segment, geography, product line, client cohort, and buying persona. This is fantastic, yet practically every business overlooks one of the most crucial factors: people.

Inconsistent performance across the team is hidden when metrics are not broken down by people, which destroys team productivity. If your average victory rate is 34%, for example, what could appear to be a fantastically healthy number could actually be a full watermelon. Since your team’s victory rate is often low, it is likely that the top-performing quartile’s win rate is above high for the majority of organizations.

This truth won’t become apparent unless you examine the distribution of each person’s performance against the metric in the context of the people dimension. It might resemble something like:

Compare the performance dispersion of each player to your winning percentage on average.Image Source: Highspot

Here is a method to make the analysis simpler because looking at distributions can be a little challenging. For whatever cohort you like, you can use participation rate as a stand-in for distribution.

Building on the preceding illustration, you can assess your win rate for manufacturing in the mid-market in Europe, review your reps’ success in those agreements, and compare the result to the win rate metric to ascertain your participation rate.

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