James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

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The 3-Minute Process to Improve Sales Performance at Scale

James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

Full Profile »

You want your sales organization to be successful. Duh.

What executive doesn’t want their team to knock sales numbers out of the park?

Of course you want your sales department to be great, but how do you take your sales team from “doing a good job” to “how on earth are they doing that?!”

You start by tracking your metrics and making informed decisions based on those numbers. Tradition would tell you that the answer for tracking is a CRM, right?

But what if your CRM is missing the most important sales metric that’s been under your nose the whole time?

We sat down with Duncan Lennox, Co-Founder and CEO at Qstream, to talk about the missing sales analytic metric that everybody has been looking for.

Thankfully, it’s far more obvious than a lot of people might think.

The Most Important Metric

Pretty much every large B2B sales force has implemented some type of CRM.

Generally speaking, most of the major CRMs out there accomplish the same thing.

Sure, they all provide a level of value, but they often lack some of the key productivity benefits that customers really want or need in a CRM. A CRM gathers data throughout the pipeline and forecast, but it only looks at it from a hard metrics standpoint.

There lies the problem.

With this method, there’s no way to capture the impact that the sales reps themselves are having on the process. Things like relationships and rapport aren’t tracked with a traditional CRM. The thing that has the biggest impact on your sales force is the sales rep themselves.


Think about it — the knowledge, experience, and skills your reps bring to the table aren’t being captured.

So how do B2B sales teams capture this data in a scalable way?

You can’t record every single phone call, analyze each email, or shadow your reps all day, so what’s the solution?

One way is through Qstream’s unique sales capabilities platform.

Qstream leverages neuroscience and psychology research done at Harvard Medical School combined with mobile devices and big data.

Qstream’s mobile-friendly platform is a clinically proven solution to engage, measure, and drive the capability of an individual. They capture this information for sales reps by 3-minutes scenario-based challenges they can do on their iPhone at the end of each day.

The mobile accessibility makes it easy to participate and the research-based approach gives a rich picture of the capability of the sales force. It also drives the change of behaviors customized for each rep.

Qstream helps each sales rep a little every day, and over time it moves the entire salesforce up and to the right.

Embrace Gamification

Gamification. Is it a waste of time?

The answer is a resounding “no.”

Used by a growing number of large companies these days, from Nike to Home Depot, these internal game-based challenges don’t take a lot of time, are fun, and tap into people’s competitive drives in order to make positive changes.

By analyzing these simple, scenario-based challenges, Qstream is able to gather more data on their sales staff, and in return, use that data to drive decision making at a high level.

It also motivates sales reps in a competitive setting where they can compete to get their name on a leaderboard against their peers.

Think of Qstream’s challenges as mini check-ins, or small 1:1 meetings personalized to each rep.

They allow your sales staff to learn something new or cement what they already know, and do it in a fun and competitive way.

You’ll be amazed how quickly people adopt a new initiative or idea if you “gamify” it and make it fun; all the while, collecting data in the background and driving decisions.

Don’t Just Hire More “A” Players

Most organizations think the solution to hitting their numbers is to hire more “A” players. It might seem like the most logical and intuitive place for sales leaders to start, but data show that’s not the best solution.

We all try to hire well all the time, but there are only a limited number of “A” players out there.

Data actually shows that you can have a much bigger impact by doing something Duncan calls “moving the middle.” When you look at your sales force you end up with a normal distribution, or a bell curve, when it comes to quota performance.

You have your all-stars, who are consistently knocking it out of the park, consistently hitting 150% of their quota.

Then you have your underperformers. Those who might be brand new or just struggling.

Then you have roughly 60% of your sales staff right in the middle of the curve. They’re delivering 100%-102% of their monthly quotas.

Instead of hyperfocusing on the “A-Team,” what if you could move everybody from 100% to 103%? What would that look like for your bottom line? Odds are, if you’re a large B2B business, it means hundreds of thousands if not millions of additional revenue.


If you’re wanting to improve your sales performance, you have to start by measuring the impact of your people.

They are your most important asset in learning how to move sales up and to the right. You need to understand where each of your individual reps are struggling, thriving, or need feedback.

Focus on the pack, not just a handful of rockstars, and you’ll start seeing a big impact on your sales numbers.

If you want to learn more about Qstream and what they can do for your sales team, you can find them at Qstream.com, or on twitter at @qstream

This post is based on an interview with Duncan Lennox from Qstream. You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to the B2B Growth Show on iTunes.