Which sales management sales activity metrics does your company track and measure? Sales organizations often focus only on tracking and measuring a salesperson’s sales activity metrics, such as number of prospecting calls, new sales conversations, demos, proposals and closed business.
This type of accountability is important to ensure sales success. Equally important is holding sales managers accountable to the achievement of their sales management activity metrics.
The consistent cadence of the sales management activities CREATES consistent achievement of sales goals.
There are several sales management metrics to consider. The metrics will vary by the tenure of the sales team, type of sales team being managed and where the company is positioned in the competitive landscape.
Here are five key sales management activity metrics to install, track and measure. The result will be high-performing salespeople, consistent sales results and healthy sales cultures.
1. Ride-alongs. Do this, whether you are working with inside sales team members or field salespeople that are conducting video sales meetings. There is nothing, I repeat nothing, that replaces hearing and seeing live prospect/client/salesperson conversations. You must be present to win, and hear both the verbal and nonverbal conversations that occur when connecting with prospects and clients.
2. Pre-briefing calls. It’s easy to cave into the “I’m too busy” excuse. “I’ll just ask my seller to tell me about the sales meeting.”
Stop. Think. Ask. How many of you would take off on a cross country road trip without a map or plan?
Sure, you eventually would reach your destination, but how many times would you have had to backtrack because you took the wrong road? The same thing happens with your sales team. Some eventually land a new client, but it takes them a lot longer without a pre-call planning and preparation.
Or, how many of you have purchased too many snacks at the grocery store because you went to the store without a plan, without a list? You didn’t plan your visit, so you caved in to the “emotional” lure of cookies and chips.
The same behavior happens in sales. If sales managers don’t discuss and role play possible objections or tough questions BEFORE a sales meeting, a salesperson will cave and allow emotions, rather than good selling skills, to run the meeting.
3. Debriefing calls. The research is clear that we all think we are better than we are. It’s called the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Ever met someone that thinks their jokes are really funny, but they’re not?
To eliminate this cognitive bias, create a common debriefing-sales-meeting checklist. A checklist eliminates subjective thinking — denial thinking — because the salesperson quickly discovers questions or data she missed during a sales meeting.
4. Recruiting and interviewing potential sales candidates. Anyone besides me held on to a poor performer too long? You’re doing all the right sales-management activities. You’ve conducted weekly ride-alongs, pre-briefs and debriefs, and that sales dog still can’t hunt!
The reason you’ve retained this poor performer is because you don’t have a full salespeople pipeline. It’s the same reason your salespeople keep unqualified prospects in their sales pipelines. They’re not doing enough activity to keep their sales pipeline full.
Sales managers that don’t set, track and measure this sales activity metric for interviewing potential candidates end up staring at empty-people pipelines. As a result, they default to desperation interviewing and hire candidates that don’t fit their ideal salesperson profile.
5. One-on-one coaching meetings. Years ago, I worked with a very successful sales manager with 16 direct reports. That is a lot of sales cats to herd! We were working towards hiring another sales manager to ease the workload, but this was his reality.
This hard-working sales manager had every excuse to skip the weekly coaching cadence with his team. It would have been easy for him to cancel coaching sessions with excuses such as, “I’m getting pulled into other company meetings. I have to put out this fire. I don’t have time.”
However, this smart manager realized he was training and coaching human beings. And human beings, alias salespeople, execute better with consistent coaching and accountability.
Study great musicians or athletes. Can you imagine if the coaches or conductors showed up only once a month to check on progress? I’ll guarantee you that no music lovers or sports fans would show up.
Sales manager, do what great sales managers do. Install, track and measure sales management metrics to create consistent sales revenues.