Chapter 18

Profiling and Shaping a High-Performance Sales Force

David Smith, Victoria Luby, PhD, and Patrick Mosher


Chapter Summary

  • Improving the performance of the sales force remains a major challenge for most companies.
  • CSOs clearly already have a sales talent crisis, and it will only get worse as the world in which companies are selling moves faster and becomes more complex.
  • There are five building blocks for developing the kind of talent needed for the Agile Selling model to be successful.
  • Rebuilding the talent model across the five building blocks requires a stepwise, coordinated approach aimed at creating real behavioral change across channels operations, sales operations, and the field sales organization.

Most CSOs, regardless of their industry or company size, share common challenges: finding good reps to bring in; getting them productive once in the door; helping them meet their numbers; and battling turnover, especially keeping the best reps on board. Recent CSO Insights research shows that the average annual turnover of sales reps is one in five (21 percent).1

Such high turnover is certainly frustrating. It could be that, because it's tough to find good sales talent, companies are bringing in people they shouldn't. Or, sales reps are getting frustrated and quitting because they aren't getting traction in their job fast enough. Whatever the cause in any one company, 47 percent of reps are not making quota and 38 percent of hired reps don't succeed. And the time to ...

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