5 Proven Ways to Elevate Core Performers

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

Core performers make up approximately 70 percent of the sales team. Since they’re the majority, your core performers are responsible for the bulk of sales productivity. Even a small boost to their skills will translate into big differences in performance. In fact, some reports suggest improving core performers’ skills by a mere five percent pays off with a 60-percent boost to performance.

Sales leaders can access these dramatic results with simple initiatives designed to motivate and elevate core performers. Here are five proven ways you can elevate the core performers on your sales teams.

Sales performance curve

1. Provide Training and Coaching

Many businesses implement new sales methodologies like social selling and digital selling without providing the training to go with it. If social selling is new to salespeople, they need the proper support to learn and master these new skills.

Even sales representatives who have been using certain sales tools or social selling tactics for some time can benefit from training. It may provide a refresher for their skills. It can also help them refine the sales tactics they’re already using and ensure their skills are up to date.

Take things one step further and move beyond training by implementing coaching. Coaching focuses more on what sales rep do—not just on what they know. Training can provide the foundation, while performance-based coaching can truly elevate core performers.

2. Reinforce Knowledge

Coaching is one way to help your salespeople retain more of what they learn during the course of training. Sales leaders often notice a “forgetting” curve as newly trained sales reps seem to forget almost everything they just learned. Statistics bear this out. In just 90 days, salespeople lose around 84 percent of what they learned during sales training.

Reinforcement activities, ongoing training, and coaching provide real value. These activities help your core performers put knowledge into practice. Sales leaders who want to boost core performers’ productivity and achieve a higher ROI for sales training should invest in ongoing efforts.

3. Motivate Them

Sales rep motivation may appear simple, and most people believe salespeople are motivated by commissions, bonuses, and other monetary rewards. This isn’t the whole story of motivation.

Sales leaders should recognize that motivating factors vary between individual salespeople. Core performers don’t respond to the same motivations as overperformers. Instead, core performers often find messages about team contributions and achieving personal goals better incentive to perform.

Sales motivation still has to be nurtured, even in the era of social selling and digital selling. Elevating the core performers on your sales teams could be as simple as fostering positive, can-do attitudes toward sales.

4. Create a More Cooperative Atmosphere

As mentioned, many salespeople in the core performer demographic don’t respond to “winner-take-all” style incentives. They’re less concerned about being the top performer or the “best of the best.” For them, being their personal best is more important.

Many of the sales reps on your sales teams also have a strong desire to contribute to team success and company success overall. One way to help them satisfy this desire is to foster a more cooperative atmosphere in your sales department. While some competition is still important, your core performers may turn in better performances when they know the team is relying on them.

A cooperative atmosphere can also motivate your top performers. Everyone can benefit from this kind of sales enablement, as these overperformers are asked to share their knowledge and expertise.

5. Focus on Incremental Change

Improving the performance of 70 percent of your salespeople requires a mindset shift. Market leaders increasingly focus on incremental and sustained change. While overperformers may take only one session to incorporate a new sales tactic, your core performers will show steadier improvement over time.

Set goals in line with this shift and help your core performers elevate their performance.

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