What Defines Sales Competency? Allego Survey Uncovers Best Practices for Ramping and Assessing Sales Reps

High-performing sales teams rely on peer coaching, one-on-one mentoring, and more frequent assessment to achieve success, according to data

NEEDHAM, Mass.--()--Allego, the sales learning and coaching platform, today announced the results of its survey on how sales leaders assess sales rep competency and popular strategies for effectively hiring and training sales reps. The study’s findings, which are summarized in the e-book “The Ultimate Guide to Assessing Sales Rep Competency” and in an infographic, reveal that ride-alongs (68%), activity tracking (61%), and peer feedback (46%) are the most common means of assessing sales rep competency. Additionally, the survey found that high-performing* sales teams not only value different skills and training practices than lower-performing teams, but that they also asses sales rep competency more frequently than sales organizations that struggle to meet their numbers.

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“One of the results that stands out is that sales leaders who achieve the fastest ramp time put more emphasis on manager interaction and peer mentoring to develop reps,” said Andrew Hally, CMO of Allego. “Having an ongoing focus on coaching and mentorship supports our belief that sales training isn’t a one and done activity. To truly achieve success, top performing teams must continuously coach and assess their reps’ skills to ensure that each and every salesperson is as prepared as possible when they pick up the phone or walk into a customer meeting.”

The survey also looked at eight sales competencies and found the three most commonly assessed by managers were: the ability to close (70 percent), the ability to prospect new opportunities (69 percent), and the ability to retain existing clients (59 percent). However, top-performing companies had a different view of the most important sales skills to assess, with 80 percent citing sales messaging - the ability to pitch their solution and its value - as the most important skill, versus only 53 percent for other teams. Additionally, the top performing companies assess more competencies overall, including communication skills, problem solving skills, and customer feedback, than their lower-performing peers.

When it comes to how often organizations asses their reps’ skills, the survey found that 85 percent of high-performing teams assess their reps at least monthly, while only 70 percent of the general population does the same. Additionally, when faced with sales rep competency gaps, high-performing teams were three times more likely to increase training rather than use a Performance Improvement Plan, the most popular choice among their lower-performing peers. The results also suggest that more comprehensive and frequent sales rep assessment will be a growing trend, as more than half of respondents believe that they should expand their capabilities in this area.

Ramp Time Varies by Industry
Across the industries surveyed, only about half of respondents (54 percent) stated that they fully ramp new hires in less than six months. 82% of life sciences sales teams fully ramp their reps in six months, compared to only 32 percent of high tech companies.

Not surprisingly, the survey found that rep ramp time is tied closely to product complexity – the more complex the product, the longer the ramp time. Additionally, companies with complex products reduce ramp time by 20 percent by hiring reps with previous industry knowledge.

The survey also found significant differences across industries in how sales leaders assess sales competency:

  • 100 percent of life sciences sales leaders use live ride-alongs, compared to just 68 percent of the general population. This result likely stems, at least in part, from the regulation and compliance risks faced by life sciences sales teams.
  • 80 percent of high tech sales teams use activity tracking to measure competency compared to 61 percent of the general population. This is likely due to high tech companies’ adoption of technologies that make it easy to monitor sales activities.
  • 60 percent of healthcare services organizations use call recording to assess competency compared to only 18 percent of the full panel of respondents.

Webinar Discusses the Secrets of High-functioning, Winning teams
Allego’s Hally presented the results of the survey during an ATD webinar, “No More Surprises: Assessing Sales Rep Competency Before It Affects Results.” A replay of the webinar is available on the ATD website.

Survey Methodology
The findings represent the views of 150 sales executives and sales enablement VPs about their sales teams’ competency metrics and assessment. Respondents were asked about their hiring, how they ramp, how fast they ramp, which approach to training they used and how they assess and measure competency. Allego commissioned ResearchNow to conduct the survey in Q1 2018.

About Allego
Allego elevates sales performance by combining training, practice, coaching and knowledge sharing into one app. It uses mobile, video, and peer collaboration to reinvent learning for the dynamic needs of sales teams. Allego’s speed and consumer app design match the pace of even the most hard-charging salespeople. If you can use Netflix, you can use Allego. With Allego, sales teams onboard faster, confidently deliver the right messaging, rapidly adopt best practices, coach and practice more frequently, and collaborate broadly with peers and the home office. Nearly 100,000 sales professionals across financial services, technology, life science and other industries use Allego to ensure they bring their A game to every customer conversation. Explore further at www.allego.com.

*High-performing teams were defined as those that self-identified as having achieved 100% or more of their quota in the last year and those with more than 74% of their sales reps achieving quota in the last year.

Contacts

Allego
Allison Rynak, +1 781-374-5846
arynak@allego.com
or
Matter on behalf of Allego
Alexandra Foley, 978-518-4558
allego@matternow.com

Contacts

Allego
Allison Rynak, +1 781-374-5846
arynak@allego.com
or
Matter on behalf of Allego
Alexandra Foley, 978-518-4558
allego@matternow.com