Managing Sales Force Productivity
TOP20Qs - A DIRECTION TO CAPATALIZE YOUR SALES FORCE
As a matter of rule, we all understand that our behaviors are different as individuals and groups and in the
same way our needs & demands also change. Despite of knowing the fact, our managers end up managing
individuals not the group and that is why we always finish up with clear cut good, bad and average people in
our teams. For sure dealing people at individual level is equally important but it must not be confused with
managing them at group level. Human resource cannot always be defined like good and bad because today’s
good performer can become tomorrow’s bad player or vice versa. It’s just a matter of lessening or finishing
the gaps between these three types of performers.
Do we have an appropriate size of sales team and if
not then is it over sized or under sized?
Do we have the right hiring process in place to ensure
constant quality of required sales staff?
Do all the sales reps meet a minimum knowledge &
skill set requirement for the position and stand alike
in their qualifications? And if not how do they vary
from each other?
Do we have a training & development plan in place to
bring all the team members at par with the required
standard and have a system for those exceeding to get
a chance to move ahead?
Have we installed a uniform sales process among all
teams & members and devised mechanism for its
implementation and follow up?
What is the IT support for sales planning and
Have we identified the level of information needed for
sales planning and its access by team members?
Do we have an IT support for existing & prospect
customer database management?
Do we have a lead generation and qualification
process in place and incorporated market intelligence
building process for proactive decision making?
Are the team members well versed with “Sales-inPipeline” and their expected maturity dates?
Do we have a well defined territory structure based
on geography, product specialization and industry
What is level of cross functionality of sales teams to
address the complex buying needs of customers and
after sales service?
Have we defined geographical territories based on
equitable market potential distribution and if not
then have the limitations been properly attached to
performance evaluation tools?
Is it the only revenue and volumetric targets given to
sales teams or their objectives are also linked to other
well defined KPIs to ensure deeper market access and
What is the degree of involvement of frontline sales
reps in sales forecasting and have we quantified the
commitment level of individual sales person to the
Have we identified the interdepartmental sales
support areas and ensured that the support is well
integrated through a defined process to guarantee the
aptness & continuity?
What are the performance evaluation methods and
who are the people involved the evaluation process?
Have we identified the sales objectives as period
specific and Run Through Year (RTY) for performance
evaluation of both on team and rep basis?
Do we have an “easy to understand” incentive &
reward plan in place?
Are the incentives & rewards properly attached with
the prioritized sales objectives?
The time has changed now and your reliance on top 15% or 20% best performers to cover up the target
differences of others is no longer a valid strategy. The presence of tough competition and similarity of your
product features with the competing brands expects the entire team to take the load as equally as possible.
The TOP20Qs provide us a clear sense of direction to fully capitalize our sales force but finding answers is just
not a straight line exercise. It will take us into a scientific approach towards managing TOP20Qs but the real
bad story is in finding questions of some very apparent answers, if not properly interrogated will take all the
good efforts back to history. I call them Forces of Business Demon.
K. M Saleem – Director Sales Venture & Agents
August 05, 2010