Blog Post

Apex HCM S3 Series: Five Top Traits of High-Impact Sales Organizations

No matter the product or service line, today’s B2B sales professionals compete in a fast-paced, technology-driven environment where buyers have high expectations for quality interactions. That’s certainly the case in the payroll software and service industry.

Based on a recent Sales Readiness Group survey of some 400 respondents representing more than 20 industries, 44 percent of which boast annual sales of more than $51 million, the highest-impact sales organizations are those where more than 75 percent of sales representatives achieve quota. Among responding companies, those quotas range from less than $250 to more than $2 million. But no matter the sheer numbers, when examining these high-achieving organizations, you’re sure to see these top five traits.

  1. Their sales managers spend more time coaching: Some 65 percent of sales managers at top-performing organizations spend at least 20 percent of their time coaching sales reps, compared to just 51 percent of average performers and 40 percent of low performers. Managers have to teach critical payroll industry specific objection handling and payroll industry knowledge.
  2. They’re better at managing sales performance: A whopping 75 percent of survey respondents from high-performing sales firms (compared to 47 percent from average-performing and 43 percent of low performing firms) said they believe their managers are effective at managing sales performance. As defined by respondents, great sales performance management is marked by clear definition and communication of performance expectations; holding sales reps accountable; providing regular, actionable feedback; monitoring and managing key performance indicators; and conducting effective sales pipeline reviews. Inspect what you are expecting from your sales reps. Inspect what you are expecting from your sales reps.
  3. Their sales managers are more involved in recruiting and hiring sales reps: While sales managers in lower-performing organizations are quicker to delegate much of the screening and hiring process to assistants or HR personnel, those at higher-impact firms are more likely to actively involve themselves in developing job profiles, recruiting, sourcing and interviewing candidates, and in the onboarding and training of new hires. Not a task you can delegate.
  4. Their sales managers are considered trustworthy by their companies: A far higher percentage of respondents from top-performing firms – 76 percent – reported that their sales managers had earned their companies’ trust and respect, compared to just 64 percent of average performers and just over half – 54 percent – of low performing organizations. Among the hallmarks of a great sales manager include the ability to identify motivators for individual sales reps, adapt leadership styles based on varied situations and make unpopular decision when necessary.
  5. They invest more in developing their sales managers: Nearly a third – 32 percent – of high-performing organizations reported spending more than $2,000 annually to further train and develop their sales managers. By comparison, just 12 percent of average performers and 7 percent of low performers spent at least the same amount. Surprisingly, nearly half – 45 percent – of firms said they allocate no budget to sales manager training. Participation in Apex’s monthly S3 Growth Series is one important step.


Of course, having a range of leading-edge products and services to offer prospective clients is a must for successful sales reps. Apex HCM offers a full suite of customizable software and cloud solutions developed specifically for payroll, human resources and time and attendance functions, as well as extensive training on use of those products. Call 877-750-2739 or request a demo online.