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Want Results? Coach the Middle 70%

Why coaching the middle 70 percent of one's Salesforce is the most important commitment a Manager can make. And how Ambition can help accomplish that objective.

It’s easy (and quite frankly fun) to rally behind your top earners, the 10%, the naturals. The people getting in early, eating lunch at their desk, and leaving late. The ones running to the printer, cold-calling in the bathroom, and ringing the damn sales gong like they’re in the Symphony Orchestra.

These individuals set the tone, raise the bar, and make the money. As such, they should be recognized, rewarded, and compensated accordingly (sure, I’ll take them to Morton’s on the company card tonight). It should also be said, these are the individuals constantly being head-hunted and poached. The individuals who leave after nine months for a job with senior or national in their title because they couldn’t wait six weeks for your promotion cycle.

I digress...

Let’s be honest, the top 10% don’t really need you (this is a great thing) and they’ll always come-and-go (unfortunate fact of life). They will outperform because whatever it is they have can’t be turned off. Give them a rotary phone, more calls. Take away their keyboard, more emails. It’s as illogical as it is beautiful. Sure, you still have wisdom to offer but you’re running into diminishing returns here… there’s not much the best quarterback coach in the world can do for Peyton Manning.

Focus Sales Coaching and Motivation on Mid-Range Performers

If you really want to drive sales growth, coach the middle 70%. This is where you will see the return on investment, the mythical double-digit growth. The middle 70% is looking for the motivation and inspiration to unlock their true potential and double their productivity. They need a coach. They need you.

Step into their shoes for a second. The manager just launched a new sales contest, whoever closes the most deals by Friday wins a brand new iPad. Miraculously, forty-five seconds after the announcement, Susan has nine deals (and that damn gong just triggered the fire alarm). You’re now thinking to yourself… it’s completely pointless for me to try, I wonder what’s on TV tonight. Rinse and repeat.

This is the opportunity for you to step in and motivate.

Listen, I get it. Everybody here knows that Susan will win this contest. You know what though? I think this is an opportunity for you to show everybody else here that Susan has some real competition, that you aren’t going down without a fight. Let’s put together a list and make some calls together.

Four days later, you meet again.

Susan won the iPad but I’ve never seen somebody step up the way you did. You’ve never made that many sales before and I think you just proved to everybody that you haven’t gotten close to reaching your full potential.

The lesson here? Coaching up Susan might have resulted in an extra deal or two. Coaching up your 70% just resulted in an extra six deals per person.

Enter Ambition

Let’s say everything above is completely obvious, you practice this every day of every week. It’s tough isn’t it? It’s effective in the beginning but becomes harder and harder over time, people lose motivation when the results never change. These one-off competitions are not sustainable nor are they truly effective at driving meaningful results. Why? Because they aren’t designed to target the middle 70%.

We created Ambition to motivate and inspire these people, to give them a fighting chance every week. The result? Significant increases in employee engagement, productivity, and profitability.

By applying the mechanics of “Fantasy Football” to the work environment we’ve created an incredibly effective system. We swap out yards and touchdowns for calls and deals. Employees elect captains and form teams. One-off contests become weekly competitions within a season. We have playoffs (and a fan favorite, projections).You are no longer a manager, you are a coach.

It sounds simple because it is. The effects however, are anything but. You now have an opportunity to coach teams week-to-week inside a framework designed for coaching.

#12 is playing #1 this week? I’m going to pull aside the team captain and give a pep-talk.

#12 got beat by #1 last week? Now they’re playing #23, a great opportunity to bounce back.

#23 beat #12 last week? Wow, what a game! I can’t wait for week 9 when they see each other again.

This, my friends, is the beginning of something special. Trust me, it’s exciting. 

Ambition: The 360° Sales Management Platform

Ambition is a sales management platform that syncs business teams, data sources, and performance metrics on one system.

Sales leaders use Ambition to enhance sales performance insights and build sales reports, scorecards, contests, and TVs that supercharge focus, effort and accountability.  

Ambition is endorsed by Harvard Business Review and AA-ISP (the Global Inside Sales Organization). Hear more from business leaders who use Ambition in their organization.

Watch Testimonials:

  1. FiveStars: Adam Wall. Sr. Manager of Sales Operations . 
  2. Filemaker: Brad Freitag. Vice-President of Worldwide Sales.
  3. Outreach: Mark Kosoglow. Vice-President of Sales.
  4. Cell Marque: Lauren Hopson. Director of Sales & Marketing.
  5. Access America Transport: Ted Alling. Chief Executive Officer.

Watch Product Walkthroughs:

  1. ChowNow. Led by Vice-President of Sales, Drew Woodcock.
  2. Outreach. Led by Sales Development Manager, Alex Lynn.
  3. AMX Logistics. Led by Executive Vice-President ,Jared Moore.

Read Case Studies:

  1. Clayton HomesHBR finds triple-digit growth in 3 sales efficiency metrics. 
  2. Coyote Logistics: Monthly revenue per broker grew $525 in 6 months.
  3. Peek: Monthly sales activity volume grew 142% in 6 months.
  4. Vorsight: Monthly sales conversations grew 300% in 6 months.

Contact us to learn how Ambition can impact your sales organization today.

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About Ambition
Sales Leaders, HR Professionals, and C-Level Executives use Ambition to recognize, motivate, and develop employees into more engaged and productive versions of themselves. Funded by Google, used by the Fortune 500, endorsed by the Harvard Business Review.

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