In Jack Welch Is Wrong – Stop Churning D Reps If You Want to Improve Sales Team Attainment we argued that the classic approach of firing “D players” with the hopes of replacing them with a new hire that becomes an A or B Rep has many real world flaws.  The alternate approach we recommend is to take out that D rep, but instead of replacing them right away invest their cost (and the cost to replace them) in an up to date, best practices-based B2B sales model.

Implemented correctly, this new model provides a foundation that can consistently improve overall team results and therefore create fewer, stronger D’s and even better results from top performers.   But here’s the big question.  What kind of results should you expect?

We talked in a recent post about the enablers for this improved sales model (as identified in a 2012 study by Aberdeen Group), that include the following:

  • External social media
  • Email marketing
  • Sales analytics/forecasting
  • Web analytics or website visitor tracking
  • Sales force automation
  • Lead management solutions

Aberdeen reported that the Best-in-Class sales teams have these enablers in common and more importantly achieved these kinds of results:

  • 12.3% YOY increase in total team attainment of sales quota
  • 10.1% YOY increase in number of reps achieving quota
  • 8% YOY increase in deal size.

How do these percentages look when applied to a real sales team?

In our following comparison of two sales models, the Base Scenario team of ten reps achieves a total annual booking value of $6,550,00 at a total annual cost of $2,005,000.   The alternative team simply eliminates one D rep, invests in a best practices sales model (including the above enablers) and is able to achieve that 12.3% YOY increase in attainment for each of the remaining 9 reps.   Here’s a summary of the difference.  Is this an approach worth considering for your sales team?

Remove 1 D Rep / No Replacement Hired
Remaining 9 Reps Each Improve Performance by 12.3%
Booked Revenue grew by:


Team Cost Change decreased by:


Investment in Sales Model Changes:


Net Gain