HomeBlog Are You Moving the Middle Performers?

Are You Moving the Middle Performers?

April 01, 2015 | By Christina McKeon

  • When you develop content for sales, target the middle performers that are just over or under quota
  • Helping middle performers gives you an opportunity to help sales leadership make their number
  • It’s better to get ideas and inspiration from the top performers than try to create more content for them

Strong portfolio marketing leaders know that interlock with sales is key to go-to-market success. One conversation that doesn’t happen enough is the one where the head of sales shows portfolio marketing the breakdown of the sales force’s performance. In other words, which reps are far exceeding quota, just over or under quota, or so far below quota that their job is in jeopardy?

When you develop content for sales, target the middle performers that are just over or under quota. Why the middle performers? The top performers already know how to leverage your content, and no amount of content that you can produce will help the bottom performers. But the middle performers give you an opportunity to help sales leadership make the number. Your head of sales will know historically what percentage of reps fall into each of these performance groups.

  • Identify the middle target. Once you know the cutoffs for middle performers in your company, you can further isolate this sales audience. Work together with the head of sales and sales enablement leaders to figure out the target band of middle performers – i.e. those that can be moved enough to achieve the overall goal. It might be reps that are 90-110 percent of goal, 85-99 percent of goal or some other band. To help visualize sales rep performance, use a classic sales bell curve.
  • Replicate best practices. Replicate the top performers’ content usage with the target band of middle performers. For example, knowing what content the top performers leverage at various points in the sales process can be applied as a best practice for middle performers.
  • Set proper expectations. Replicating the behavior of top performers won’t necessarily transform middle performers. Talent, which cannot be replicated, has a lot to do with sales performance. But with this approach, you can move the middle performers enough to impact the overall number.

You might be thinking, “Why not help the top performers exceed quota even more?” There could be caps on commission, or these reps could be checked out – knowing they have secured a seat at club this year. Focus the discussion with the head of sales on how to leverage what top performers are doing with the content and apply those lessons to middle performers. You are better off getting content ideas and inspiration from the top performers than trying to create more content for them. 

To get started, request a meeting with the head of sales. Choose a meeting topic that will get noticed. The words “help you make your number” are very effective when you are working toward sales alignment. With only 38 percent of sales leaders highly confident in their ability to hit their growth targets this year, there’s a good chance your meeting request will be accepted.

Christina McKeon

Christina McKeon is the Service Director of Portfolio Marketing at SiriusDecisions. She has more than 20 years of experience in product and solution marketing, sales enablement, demand generation and social media. Follow Christina on Twitter at @ChristinaMcKeon.

Featured SiriusEvents®

Join Us at #SDSummit