How to transform the middle majority into your top sales performers

Top Sales Performers

It is a truth universally accepted that the 80:20 rule (or Pareto’s principle) has impact throughout your business whether it’s 80% of your customers contributing 20% of your sales or 80% of your time accomplishing 20% of your tasks. However when you see it reflected in your sales team and recognise the impact it’s having on your quarter then it’s time to start looking at ways of turning the 80:20 rule on its head.

Here we show you how to transform the majority of the team who are recording average results into your super sellers – the top sales performers who are performing head and shoulders above the rest.

The team

First, look at your team and categorise each of them into one of the four types below:

Seller Performance - Middle Majority

  1. The Tryer – they do all the right things but are not yet getting results. They need to be coached and given guidance and support. These are often your new hires who have shown potential but are still finding their feet as they get to know their market and their customers.
  1. The Non-Performer – They are typified by poor behaviour and as a consequence poor results, they need clear direction on the changes required to improve in order to be successful.
  2. The Maverick – They follow none of the rules but have managed by various means to get results. Their techniques can’t be scaled and in the long-term will not be able to sustain positive outcomes without a drastic change in behaviour. They shouldn’t be tolerated.
  3. The Performer – They are your top sellers, combining model behaviour and the results to match. They set the standard for the rest of your team.

In an ideal world, all of your team would fall into the last category but in actuality only a small percentage do. The solution however lies in social selling and by adopting these techniques you can improve behaviour and results throughout – so the Tryer starts seeing the fruits of their labour, the Non-Performer begins performing, the Maverick uses best practices to ensure results and your Top Performer is given more time to do what they do best.

So how do you turn your team into social sellers?

The techniques

  1. Be Proactive

Ensure your team understands their customers and their markets and that they use social channels to engage well before they become leads or prospects.

  1. Build a Network

Support your team in growing their connections with thought leaders, commentators, customers and prospects.

  1. Listen

Buyers are increasingly social which means their needs are increasingly transparent. By training your team to listen for buying signals, enable them to connect with prospects when they’re in the right place to purchase and before others see the opportunity.

  1. Become a Brand

Do people know who your team are? Encourage them to build their reputations through a professional social profile, their content, conversations and contributions.

  1. Practice 360º Networking

Once your team has worked to build a network, get them to approach their prospects through common connections as a warm introduction.

  1. Nurture their Network

Make sure your team are finding reasons to connect each and every day. A comment in a forum, a tweet or something to share is the perfect way for them to stay top of mind.

  1. Be in Service to Their Customers

Smart sellers have always known that their personal success is an outcome of being focused entirely on their customer and their needs. Support your team in becoming smart sellers.

By building these habits in your team, they will become a natural part of their sales process and the results will speak for themselves in new opportunities, new deals and happy engaged customers.

The results
Seller Performance - Middle Majority

  1. The Tryer – With these techniques they now have better process.
  1. The Non-Performer – With new transparency of data, you can see clearly if they are implementing the processes needed.
  2. The Maverick – As with the non-performer you can use data to ensure they are following the necessary processes.
  3. The Performer – The standard of excellence you compare the rest of the team to, they now have added time (saved where they otherwise would have spent it looking for engagement points, seeking content to share, generating pipeline, identifying decision makers etc.) allowing them to contribute even further.


The effect of this behaviour change has a knock-on effect on your team’s productivity, their engagement with customers and with each other as well as their sales success. The impact is evident – IBM reported a 400% increase in sales in the first quarter of a social selling pilot while LinkedIn reports that Social Selling leaders create 45% more opportunities per quarter. Aberdeen similarly attributes 15% higher customer retention and 31% higher quota attainment to social selling practices.

Most importantly by using Artesian to deliver engagement triggers and to measure each individual’s social selling success, as a manager you can get transparency over how your team is behaving and performing. So with 80% of your team now performing as elite salespeople you can identify the 20% who are undermining their success and work to improve or remove them.

The huge power of harnessing Pareto is evident when you make the 80:20 work for your sales team and transform your middle majority into your top performers.

For more on sales transformation and insight from industry leaders, join me at Connections 16 –  the leading B2B conference dedicated to sales excellence on 1 December. Find out more and pre-register here.

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