As sales leaders look to maximize return on investment as quickly as possible, we explore three levers that can increase productivity across sales teams.

Shifting market dynamics are forcing sales leaders to find productivity improvements wherever possible - in other words they’re wondering “how to do more with less”. Our research shows that salespeople only spend 32% of their time selling, so sales leaders are looking for both leverage and scale in their efforts to get quick wins that will deliver improved productivity.

Charlie Dorrier, an Associate Client Partner in our Global Sales & Service practice, explains three different levers that can drive sales productivity.

1 Weighted opportunity scoring

Weighted opportunity scoring is a method of scoring deals to make sensible, data driven decisions about how to prioritize limited resources in support of new sales. Take a close look at your most recent and biggest wins, as well as some losses, and use the insight from this exercise to develop a scorecard, where deals are rated based on the presence (or absence) of your win/loss themes. As your team determines the specific criteria that work for your business, you can then build a weighted opportunity scorecard to evaluate the deals.

This numbers-based approach helps teams make better business decisions based on insights from previous deals instead of instinct in the moment, and is proven to deliver higher win rates and improved productivity across the sales organization. Additionally, when embedded in the CRM, it helps transform your CRM platform into a valuable resource for sellers.

“As we’ve studied the behaviors of sellers inside of Korn Ferry Sell, we’ve learned that updating opportunity scoring criteria is the single biggest driver of seller visits to the CRM,” Dorrier commented. He went on to explain that through this approach, sellers can also study what’s working and not working with their individual pursuits so they can continue to grow and develop over time.

Sales Effectiveness

Break through to immediate, predictable and sustainable sales effectiveness

2 Insight-driven funnel management

Weighted opportunity scoring has significant benefits for sales organizations. To take things even further, sales leaders are applying the same concept across the entire sales funnel.

By assessing the aggregate set of opportunities and corresponding scores across the full funnel, sales leaders can see trends emerging. There are countless insights you can glean from this exercise, for example: a martini glass shaped funnel likely indicates that your pipeline is top-heavy, and deals are stalling in the qualify stage, whereas a teardrop shape implies the opposite problem, where sellers are struggling to close deals. Once you have overlaid your opportunity scores with your sales funnel, you’ll find an abundance of low-hanging fruit in terms of sales productivity improvements.

3 Dynamic coaching & deal reviews, supported by technology

Coaching is a well-documented challenge for sales leaders, and the root causes are many: top sellers promoted into management without coaching experience, managers that vary wildly in their coaching approach, or unintentional blurred lines between coaching and performance management, resulting in coaching “avoidance” from sellers. What is the best way to overcome these challenges? Dorrier recommends formalizing your sales coaching model. “Make coaching purposeful, including both deal-level and skill-focused coaching, and give managers access to technology to make it easier.”

Korn Ferry has studied sales organizations that follow this approach, and the benefits are clear: 32% higher win rates, 28% more salespeople hitting quota, 8% higher revenue attainment, much lower voluntary turnover, and significantly higher levels of field engagement. Furthermore, companies that support coaching with a technology solution are much more likely (70%+) to reach these outcomes.

Ready to get more out of every opportunity?

If you’d like to talk further about how Korn Ferry can help you stay ahead of the competition and manage pipeline effectively, get in touch with one of our experts.

Related Capabilities