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Sales Reps and the 80/20 Rule

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In case you’re not familiar with it, the 80/20 rule states that 80% of the work on your sales team is done by 20% of your sales reps. This rule is not hard and fast, and the quantities may shift a bit over the months. But the point of the 80/20 rule isn’t to be a substantive analysis of the division of labor as much as it is to be a reminder for managers and small business owners that not all agents are created equal.

So the 80/20 rule reminds us that achievement is uneven on the sales team. But what can be done with that information? In what way is it actionable? How are high-performing sales reps rewarded? Clearly, the built in reward for high achieving sales agents is a higher income. That is no small motivation. Other prizes and accolades may incentivize the team to try harder, and reward those who are high performers.

But since these high performers are boosting company income, not just their own, it really makes sense to reward them with more opportunities. More chances to make connections with prospects and make deals. It makes sense to reward them with more leads. This does add a layer of complexity to lead distribution if you are distributing your leads by manually. It becomes necessary to monitor agent performance pretty closely and reward those who hit exceed defined goals with more opportunities.

But for sales teams using lead management software, this can be done automatically. Lead management has features that route leads based not only characteristics of the lead, but based on the performance of the sales reps. Two such features that reward high performing reps are Performance Based Lead Maximum Adjustments and Pipeline Thresholds.

Performance Based Lead Maximum Adjustments - This works by dynamically increasing or decreasing maximum lead allotments based on agent performance. Let’s say a sales rep is normally assigned three new leads a day. It is possible to increase his allotment based on a number of different performance measurements, for example, Speed to Contact Attempt or Conversion Rate. Here’s how Performance Based Lead Maximum Adjustment work.

Pipeline Thresholds – This works by temporarily pausing the flow of new leads to an agent whose pipeline is experiencing a bottleneck. The most common example of how this is used is when a user has too many leads that are New” and “Uncontacted.” If a threshold is reached, then the agent should become temporarily ineligible to receive new leads. Here’s how Pipeline Thresholds work.

So one feature looks at how the particulars of how a sales rep is working her leads. Is she fast? Is she successful? While the other feature looks at the state of her lead pipeline. Does she have too many leads backed up in a given status?

With these features, it is possible to reward your top achievers with more opportunities while reducing the load for reps who are underperforming. There really is no better way to motivate a sales team and reward top performers.

Pass the Beans!

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