Churn in your 80/20 sales team is going to absolutely END your 2024 early.

Churn Will Threaten 80/20 Team's Success

I had > 50 discovery calls with CROs in 2023. Nearly ALL of them had a Pareto’s Law problem – 80% of sales were carried on the backs of 20% of sellers.

This is you. Don’t even try to deny it.

The risk has never been greater in a sales-scarce economy.

Here are the three topics this week:

  1. Churn in your 80/20 sales team is going to absolutely END your 2024 early. 
  2. Who are your Account-based Activators?
  3. Learning Scores are your early radar detection for quota + churn health.

Churn in your 80/20 sales team is going to absolutely END your 2024 early.

You’re shooting your racehorses right now, and you don’t even know it. Unless you’re one of the few sales organizations that have a compensation model that gifts recurring revenue to your sellers/account/portfolio owners, to which the ‘golden handcuffs’ have the sellers sitting on an ATM… they all start from $0 on January 1st, 2024.

Nicknamed the ‘Attraction Myth‘, this Cognitive Bias has people always assume the Grass is Greener somewhere else. They are lured by shiny brand stories and magic product offerings. Lance LeFort has a great article on this:

Every seller in America is even going to self-indulge into 3 camps:

What am I worth in the market?

The market calls them and tells them what they’re worth (because the market is desperate for ‘Rainmakers’ right now.

They self-select to sabotage and leave their current situation and shoot the horse.

Any of these scenarios are bad news bears for you!

If you aren’t OVERTLY demonstrating that you are investing in your sales team in ways that Shiny Co. claims to be… you are going to have rubbernecking sellers.

How are you demonstrating your enablement commitment back into your sales team:



Methodologies / Processes?


80/20 means that you have a few A-Players you need to hug tight… quickly.

Who are your Account-based Activators?

A few weeks ago Matt Dixon and I got to spend some quality time in Milan, IT together at the Performance Strategies Italia conference. What he shared with me was fascinating!  Not to spoil the fun for you, here is a sneak peek when you read this HBR article.

In a professional services company, Rainmakers are the partners that attract new customers / upsell existing customers.  A Rainmaker in a law firm, accounting firm, or consulting firm is a 10x busy version of your Account-based Sellers (AE’s). These Rainmakers have to be LASER focused on time management, and super consistent. In fact, the data was overwhelming as they categorized the top Rainmakers as:

ACTIVATORS = Network Builders

You can see their 3 C’s:

Commitment – prospecting every day

Connect – no surprise here… Social Sellers

Create – Time-for-Knowledge Exchange. They give customers new ideas/insights in exchange for more networking time and referral opportunities.

These Activators spend >130% more time committed to networking than the other partners of the firm.

What can I learn that applies to my AE’s?

AE’s self-sourcing and prospecting are a must. It’s an absolutely lame excuse if not.

Partners in a firm are WAY busier, and with less ‘tail-wind’ of leads coming in (lack of marketing, BDRs, channel partners, and tools) – than your AE’s. Your AE’s can self-source the GAP / Delta to match their quota.

No excuses in 2024.

Learning Scores are your early radar detection for quota + churn health.

In 2014 I tried creating a Learning Behavior Index as a Correlation OR Causation Effect to positive LinkedIn SSI Growth, and ultimately sales results.

Attentiveness Score – a seller’s engagement on GoToWebinar during a VILT training. GoToWebinar is used to monitor and score this.

Learning Frequency Score – LMS activity. Attempts to activate the learning material. Did you access the material 1x or 10x?

Learning Appetite Score – the consumption and completion of the learning assets/assignments within the LMS.

Task-Oriented Score – the graded results on the assignments and final certification.

All of these scores were out of 100, and then plotted against two axes’:

  • LinkedIn Social Selling Index (their activities live in the market within LinkedIn)
  • Their actual sales results.

The results in our customer HireRight were so insane I couldn’t believe it!

Then today I was on a call with our customers Kunal Pandya and Vera Piscopo and I heard music to my ears. They’re bringing sexy back! They had a name for their internal competency benchmarking, but the thinking was the same:

Learning is the ultimate LEADING INDICATOR of success.

  • Gain early insights into who’s ‘On the bus’, or self-selecting to ‘Get off the bus’
  • See where knowledge gaps/skill gaps exist LONG before they show up in the market with poor activity volumes, opportunity conversions, and/or elongated sales cycles.

There is an opportunity for you to design something like this in your organization. What knowledge can you measure absorption/consumption against sales activity and outcomes?

FREE RESOURCE – Activity & Pipeline Gap Calculator

Does each of your sellers know the exact number of conversations they will need to have next month to highly influence Pipeline Creation?  

Have they accounted for the headwinds and tailwinds?

  • Leads from Marketing
  • Leads from the BDR team
  • Leads from Channel Partners

What is their ‘Self-Sourcing’ GAP?

Download it here

How many opportunities do they need to self-source?

How many conversations will be required to create enough opportunities to win?

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Self-Source Pipeline at Scale