- How do I increase my team’s productivity?
- How do I increase my sales?
- Why isn’t my revenue increasing?
How many of these questions have you asked yourself? Business success depends on improving your team’s performance which can be daunting, especially if you have a large team where you have your superstars and you have your low performers. The question you should be asking is, “Whom should I spend my time with?”
I have broken this down for many companies and what I would prioritize is designing processes for incrementally moving “the 60 percent,” which will lead to big wins in the long run.
What do I mean by moving the 60% ?
Under-Performers & Superstars
First, let’s do some quick math.
Twenty percent of your team will be your top producers and twenty percent of your team will be underperforming. Underperformers fall into two categories: employees who will not be with the company long term, and employees that are brand-new and will hopefully be producing for you soon.
If I asked who you would work with first in order to improve performance, what would your answer be? Many leaders choose to focus on the low performers to increase results. They feel that getting these performers to increase their productivity will impact the overall results quicker. I personally do not think that is the best use of your time. That being said, you do need to have a solid new hire training process in place, and an effective re-training and follow up process to deal with low performers. Spending too much time on this 20 percent will not gain you the lift that will happen focusing on the 60 percent.
On the other hand, some managers will say that it is better to focus on your top 20 percent because they are already successful. I agree that you will need to appeal to their strengths and egos a bit and explain that you need them to go out and get an extra sale or two to cover for the lower performers, but focusing all your time there will create a bit of animosity amongst the 60 percent, which may impact the overall performance negatively.
Moving the 60%
Now you are left with the 60 percent. If you are working to scale your business or already have a large team that will have to generate results, your goal is to create a solid process that does not rely on your employees having superior instincts or skill levels. You need to create structure and process that the 60 percent can follow and utilize to become more successful. Your superstar sales people will fly outside of this structure at times or are able to bring other skills that the 60 percent does not possess. Do not create a process based on the skills of your superstars.
Let’s say that the average productivity you’re aiming for per person is 10 units; your new hires are going to get you five, so you need your superstars to get you 15. The key though is to get that middle 60 percent to get 10¼ sales or 10½ sales, and then eventually, get them up to 11 sales. It will be more effective to move the 60 percent than hoping that the top sales people will save the day.
Use your top sales people as the horses to set the pace. Focus on ways to train the 60 percent to be incrementally better. Getting 60 percent to move one step will impact your bottom line.
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