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Murray Defends the Honor of Stacked Rankings for Sales

October 12, 2010
By David Sims - Telemarketing Software Contributing Editor


Ken Murray (News - Alert) haspublished some thoughts on how he measured his Inside Sales people, “back in the day when I had over 200 of them.” 


We call that speaking from experience.

They used lots of standard criteria, Murray said, but also “stack ranked each of our Inside Sales people... not all managers are familiar with stacked rankings. Secondly, those that are familiar know that stacked rankings can have a bad reputation.” 

Stacked rankings, Murray explained, “is a tool designed to measure and rank employees on particular sets of criteria. The ‘stacked’ part refers to listing, in order from best to worst, all sales people being measured. The bad reputation comes from the fact that many companies used stacked rankings to manage the bottom 10 to 20 percent out of the business.”

 Murray doesn’t recommend that approach. “This was not and is not true in my case, nor was it true in the case of many others. It is just an additional management tool to visually see the relationship between effort, cost and results.”

In fact, Murray said, he used stacked rankings “when I had five salespeople, indicating that it not just reserved for big business. Once again, I wanted to visually see the productivity curve, even for a small group of sales people.”

He ranked his team members into three stacks; effort, lead burn (or total cost) and positive results. “If your shop is like most, dials or attempted calls is one of the measurements that you keep an eye on,” Murray said. “I referred to this as ‘Effort’.”

The second vertical in his triple stack is “lead burn.” This, Murray said, “ranked the reps in ascending order based on the total numbers of leads they would they would close per hour. Think of it as a total of the result codes: yes, no, disconnected, wrong number and so forth. In other words, I wanted to know how many leads they were getting into a yes position or killing on average per hour. 

The third stack ranks the sales people in ascending order based on positive results per hour. The advantage of this is that “without having to delve deep into the numbers,” Murray explained, “a manager can look at the three stacks and quickly determine calls attempted per hour -- which represents effort, lead burn per hour, which goes to cost, and positives per hour, the results.”


David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Juliana Kenny



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