We’ve spent the last decade helping elite athletes, startups, Fortune 500s, and tens of thousands of individuals maximize energy, performance, and productivity by helping them improve their sleep. We know that better sleep leads to happier, healthier, better-performing humans, and our mission is to make healthy sleep, and performing to potential, standard.
We’re well-versed in the science behind our claims, and while the science is pretty clear-cut about the impact of sleep on workplace performance, we know business leaders need to see real-world ROI to justify budget. (Even if you’re sold, you need data to secure support from your CFO.)
Modern sleep research kicked off nearly a century ago, and while there’s no shortage of study reports and academic papers on the topic, lab data isn’t always directly applicable to real life scenarios. Here we’ll share the results of one of these partnerships, so you can begin to see the impact that improved sleep has in an actual sales context.
In order to give you confidence that the bench science bears out (that is: sleep improves real-world performance) we have conducted controlled studies in sales settings. Here is one example:
For companies wanting to examine sleep's impact on the bottom line, we collaborate with 3rd party researchers to design and carry out scientifically rigorous trials using historical sales data, a control group, and technical analyses that control for variables like market seasonality, new training techniques and sales enablement technology, tenure, and selection bias for those who opt in to the experimental group. These trials can run a quarter or longer (typically determined by sales cycle length), and result in a true first-hand look at the impact of sleep on your own team's sales performance.
Rise Science recently partnered with a Fortune 200 company for one of these in-depth studies. This company needed to meet aggressive growth guidance while delivering profitability, and the hypothesis was that improving sellers’ sleep could contribute productivity gains and sales capacity within their existing sales motion without adding new full-time hires. To design an experiment that would target these goals precisely, we worked closely with the company’s Director of Sales Compensation, as well as Professor of Statistics at Arizona State University, Dr. Richard Hahn, and the Kellogg Sales Institute at Northwestern.
The study, which spanned five months, included 93 sellers. Of these sellers, 32 opted in to use RISE to become better sleepers, overcome sleep challenges, and optimize their days according to their natural energy peaks and dips. The other 61 sellers represented the control group.
To solve the problem of attribution (we were concerned about being able to correctly attribute increased monthly revenue to sleep considering all the variables detailed above), we again enlisted the help of Dr. Hahn, who is an expert in causal inference from observational data. Dr. Hahn advised use of the causal inference technique difference-in-differences (DID), which required us to collect three months of pre-intervention sales and activity data across the 93 sellers--data that included volume of inbound and outbound calls, amount of time spent on inbound and outbound work, average order volume and revenue per days worked, and, finally, average commission sales value per days worked.
The results of the trial were striking. Our analysis found that when sellers use RISE, teams see positive results: productivity improves, and revenue increases. Sellers who shrunk their sleep debt to less than 7 hours with RISE increased their outbound call volume by 50%. And sellers using RISE generated, on average, an additional 14% in monthly revenue (the range was 7-30%) over their colleagues who did not use the app, an increase that persisted for the life of the 4-month trial. Importantly, the Fortune 200's Director of Sales Compensation concluded that the improved sales results were indeed attributable to the use of RISE.
The company’s VP of Sales shared a similar sentiment on the crucial role of sleep in performance gains. "Because we're a mature business, new tools and techniques can struggle to find a foothold and have the chance to deliver,” he said. “I've never seen anything deliver the way sleep did."
And finally, Craig Wortmann, Founder of Northwestern’s Kellogg Sales Institute and key collaborator in the study, said in response to these findings, "I am not aware of any other lever as simple and clean as sleep having as big of an impact on sales."
Sales performance is a critical question in the mind of every sales leader, but revenue isn’t the only measure of success. Retention, well-being, and team morale matter too. The study found that using RISE lent a significant boost to these factors as well. In surveys of the sellers during the program, we observed that:
It’s worth noting that happier, healthier employees often perform better, too. And considering that annual cost for hiring, onboarding, and training new employees can reach upwards of six figures for large companies, investing proactively in seller health and wellbeing through prioritizing sleep isn’t just humanitarian--it’s also smart business.
It should be clear at this point that better sleep is an opportunity for your team to have better sales days. Leaders of teams from the military to elite athletics to Fortune 500s ensure individuals perform to their potential daily by prioritizing sleep. But if evidence from validated studies leaves you wondering “how will this play out in my organization?”...well, let’s answer that. Let’s work together to design a controlled trial custom to your situation, so you can have confidence and conviction in the ROI of better sleep.
Whether you’re seeking to better manage stress and improve your team’s quality of life, or ready to unlock productivity gains, or both, the investment in seller sleep will sell itself.
Learn more about Rise for sales teams.
RISE makes it easy to improve your sleep and daily energy to reach your potential