The top salespeople in every organization are the ones who drive the majority of the company’s revenue.
This is what’s known as The Pareto Principle, which states “80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” In the business world, 20% of your customer base is typically responsible for driving 80% of the company’s revenues—and less than 20% of your salesforce is responsible for bringing in 80% of the opportunities. Companies invest a considerable amount of time, energy, and resources trying to get the lower 80% of their salespeople to perform closer to the top 20%, 10%, and 1%.
The million-dollar question is “how?”
What do high-performing salespeople do that’s different from everyone else?
First, it’s important to understand that, according to Salesforce, “Only 46% of sales reps have data insights on customers’ propensity to buy.” This means most companies do not provide their salespeople with the necessary data to make educated decisions—despite having suites of tools and CRM capabilities to store and manage prospective leads. The problem with many of these tools is that, while they can be great from an organizational perspective, they under-deliver in the area salespeople need help most: relationship engagement.
Second, out of a survey of 2,900 sales professionals, it was found that the top 24% were 1.5 times more likely to make decisions based on data, rather than intuition. Furthermore, the #1 process challenge salespeople face is meeting and managing customer expectations—which, by definition, would require insight into the status of the relationship and how to best engage with the potential customer.
As someone who has been in the sales industry for loan officers and mortgage lenders, and listened to hundreds of panels over the years from high-performing sales leaders, many of the techniques shared to increase sales conversions are:
- Wake up early and hit the phones as soon as you get to the office
- Always organize and prioritize high-value calls first
- Generate more leads than the company average (by ensuring customers provide referrals aka “word of mouth”). Every leading salesperson has built a referral machine.
The problem with a lot of these techniques, however, is that the vast majority of salespeople aren’t given a structure within which they can execute.
They’re simply told, “Alright now go out there and do what the top producer does.”
Here’s why personalization is the key to 10x sales growth.
Let’s use a mortgage loan deal as an example.
As a loan officer, your job is to get the buyer qualified and into a mortgage they can afford, under the best terms. At every stage of the process, there are going to be moments to move the deal forward—and all of these are opportunities to personally engage with the customer. After all, they’re buying a house, which is an extremely personal life decision.
Your job is not just to ping them with quick updates, or facilitate the sending of contracts via email. You are the steward, the one taking them by the hand and walking them through the process (and this is true for every sales role in every industry). Personalization here would be calling the prospect up and letting them know how things are going with the deal.
Personalization would be receiving a notification it’s their birthday or the anniversary of their previous closing. Personalization is providing the loan officer with any bit of information or data that allows them to better engage with the customer—when, how, and why.
At my company, Usherpa, when we started providing loan officers software to schedule, remind, and foster personalization, we saw a massive increase in sales. We’ve been doing this for more than twenty years, and it has proven to be the single most effective way of increasing opportunities for salespeople and customers.
Personalization leads to customer engagement, which leads to trust. And trust is the fuel needed for a referral machine.
And of course, the more you can facilitate that engagement with software, the more those 80% will perform like the top 20%.