Sales Enablement can change the 80/20 rule


While it is not a figure set in stone, it is a figure that we do pay attention to, and it is NOT far off the mark!

The 80/20 rule is a belief that 20% of your workers are doing 80% of the work. This equates to a lot of company resources not being utilised to anywhere near potential.

The 80/20 rule

If we look at this from a Sales Team Perspective, and as an example lets say Joe is our Sales Manager, looking after a team of 10 reps.

There are two of Joe’s reps that are responsible for 80% of the sales turnover (approximately). Joe has some decisions to make.

Joe can be happy with two members of his team, however it is likely these two members may not share his happiness, having to take on the extra workload for the remaining 8 does take its toll.

Employer review site Glassdoor surveyed 1000 salespeople and found 68% will look for a new job in the next year, just 19% had no imminent job hunt plans. If things continue statistically speaking, Joe could lose his best assets.

Sack the Slackers?

Considering this option, Joe realises that the cost of replacing just one team member is in the region of €27,000 ($30,000), and this is just to recruit. It will take 7 months to find the right candidate. Following this there is then a 7 to 11 month period to train in the newbie. (See last weeks post for more info) This leaves Joe with the following option…

Invest time and resources 

The remaining 8 reps will continue to struggling hitting quota, they come in each week, do the same as last week, how can the results be different? This is an issue for Joe, it is also an issue for the company, and often forgotten – it is an issue for the 8 reps.

They are involved in weekly team meetings where they are continuously reminded of their quota miss – again! Motivation, confidence and general belief in their own ability at an all time low.  You could not have anyone more receptive to learning a new way of doing something.

Sales Enablement

In an effort to retain his best Sales reps, while simultaneously improving practices and team spirit amongst all 10 members, and by extension improve the overall sales for the company – Joe could introduce Sales Enablement tools – this would increase the reps conversions.

Sales Reps would be able to access and use content, from price sheets to sales / marketing material in a timely manner, this would add value to their sale.

Sales Rep Training

Source: Corporate Executive Board

Training the reps to apply analytics to the content they have at hand, and using applications to automate tasks, results in sales reps hitting higher quotas, which in turn translates into higher salaries and commission, happier and more content sales team and manager, and of course more revenue for the company (see image above).

While there are instances where there is no other option but to replace a member of staff, there are also many instances when investing just a small amount of time on an ongoing basis would be far more beneficial to the company.

Where possible, retention is the key.


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