The Figure above illustrates the increasing gap between technological sophistication and the amount of work actually performed in organisations.

What causes this gap? We believe that the problem comes down to human capital strategies—how businesses organize, manage, develop, and align people at work.

-2017 Human Productivity Trends | Deloitte University press | United States

This Gap is the main reason behind those end-of quarter sales peaks, high resource churn and the fact that most organisations still measure performance on a bell curve.

What’s wrong with the bell curve? Everything!

At the very start of the goal management process the bell curve assumes a random distribution of productivity in sales reps.
1. We rarely get more than what we expect
2. In business, even good surprises can be bad.

( Think about the time you had to pay more bonuses than you budgeted, the process itself can be painstaking) .

So now life of an average sales representative on bell curve feels like a game of Mario. One spends days, weeks and months crossing both psychological and physical hurdles in a hope to find the princess at the end of the level but all one gets is a disclaimer saying “The princess is in another level; better luck next appraisal cycle”. And the worst part? There really aren’t any level ups in the game of sales if you don't find the princess.
Sooner or later the bell curve drives top performers to a state of complacency and the bottom performers to a stage of disengagement. This drives the organisation in the productivity danger-zone where forecasts are seldom met, majority of sales happen on the end-of-the-month, there are more excuses than ideas, people attend training sessions because they have to, company invests in an expensive CRM and only uses it for lead management, prospecting, opportunity management, and so on. Lack of engagement is the key reason why organisations often fail to reap the full benefits of their technology and human investments.

CRM softwares are heaven’s angels when it comes to automating the Marketing-to-Sales hand-off processes. The place where CRMs fail to add value is when representative have to manually enter data into these softwares. Thus begins the [love-hate relationship of CRM and sales managers].

The devil is in the data

In the hyper connected, data driven world that we live in today, most US based organisations find a need to collect data at every point of the sales process in order to make mindful decisions. Sales managers are forced to spend 100s of hours in vetting the benefits of the last mile data that CRM softwares can provide and 1000s more to gain adoption in the sales team, in the hope that at the end of this treacherous cycle lies the magic solution for 44% increase in sales.

More often than not this cycle does not end at adoption but only transforms into another mammoth called performance/productivity management. Now, the task at hand is to create applicable insights based on the ‘efficient’ CRM data and transfer them to individual sales representatives to drive more sales. The process of which is not even remotely magical. What if you could engage your sales team, motivate them and get all relevant processes as well people insights at the click of a button? Wouldn't that be truly magical?

With inbuilt integration with all major CRM softwares and on premise deployment capabilities, Playlyfe’s flagship product “Catalyst” bridges the productivity gap almost magically and enables sales organisations to uncover their maximum productivity potential. The activity based point system drives engagement at every stage of the Sales process. Real Time leaderboards provide a sense of excitement and achievement which motivates sales reps to come back and feed data in the CRM. With Catalyst the “ why?” of an activity shifts from completing- a -quota -by- the- end- of- the -Quarter to being on your best game at all times .

In it to win it

Nothing motivates sales professionals more than winning. Sales competitions are known to work as effective performance boosters every time. At almost every organization, sales managers have to manually maintain competitions. This is where processes kill innovation and creativity. Competitions work, but they have to be created, managed and tracked. And all that needs both time and resources. Competition emails have to be sent, teams need to be formed and then a kick-off to explain what it's all about, and how to win? Then all activities during the competition period have to be mapped out in another excel sheet and daily/weekly performance of all reps needs to be communicated via emails/meetings. The amazing concept of boosting performance via competition now becomes another thing to manage for the Sales Manager.

With Catalyst, Sales managers can set up multiple competitions at the click of a button. They can then track them in real time and even compare two sales representatives during the competition period. Remember the basket of incentives that we spoke about in the [last blog]? Catalyst’s customizable competition pane allows sales managers to customize awards and competitions for any activity or objective; real-time Live Leaderboard Channels amplify the power of competition and level up sales engagement and productivity.

Transparency drives Sales Productivity

While transparency as a concept is often most visible in the realm of social responsibility and compliance, its real benefit is when it’s seen as a management priority. Transparency not only creates a culture of trust and mutual understanding in the organisation but also saves a lot of valuable time. Think about the time you had an appraisal meeting when you thought you deserved a better rating on your performance and your manager thought the opposite. What did that discussion look like? Was it motivating? Appraisal cycles are created not only to evaluate performance but also to provide valuable feedback to improve performance. Sadly, in most organisations (not all) these meetings turn out to be very unsatisfactory for sales representatives and prove more fatal to performance than helpful. Catalyst’s TV channels ensure that every member of the sales team knows where they stand relative to their team and organisation at any given point in time. This eliminates the painful discussion/negotiation of one’s past performance, and provides a good starting point for managers to use the appraisal cycle as a tool to provide vital feedback on “where you stand” vs “how to improve”.

The simplicity of activity-based design allows both representatives and managers to take a deep dive into individual and team productivity (that is: How Activities are factually translating to KPIs?). Just like doing more isn’t always better, success in the sales process is not exactly a direct derivative of quantity; engagement, transparency and process have a huge impact on the final result. Catalyst insights provide a deeper look in team performance and productivity. With all possible x-y Correlations at the finger-tips, Catalyst enables sales managers to create and execute data driven growth strategies. Define, Measure and Drive Sales Productivity with Catalyst.