Is Your Sales Team Failing?


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Sales is super competitive.  You are graded every day by your customers and prospects. As you close out the year, it’s time to reflect on how you did.  What grade would you give your sales team?  What grade would you give yourself?


Why measuring is important

When you don’t measure the right metrics, you aren’t following your sales strategy.  When this happens, your performance suffers.  You don’t know what to fix or where to spend time coaching.  Metrics should help guide your decision-making process.  Relying on past performance, like revenue attainment, gives you one dimension.  The metric is important, but you also need to look forward.  Traction on sales adoption and initiatives should be measured. 


  1. Are your current metrics tied to your sales strategy?
  2. Are your current metrics aligned with your corporate strategy?
  3. Are you tracking more than 10-15 metrics?
  4. Are your metrics helping you change behavior?
  5. Do you have both leading (future) and lagging (past) metrics?
  6. Are you running metric reports and not using them?
  7. Are your reports automated?
  8. Do you have a regular cadence that reviews all the metrics you report?
  9. Are you identifying action plans based on the metrics?
  10. Does your sales team know why each metric is important?

Bonus: Are you changing the metrics for next fiscal year? Explain why.

How did you do?  Did you have more than eight “YES” answers?  If so, then congratulations!  You are on track.  If you had several “NO” answers, you may need some guidance.  Measuring the wrong thing is common in sales management.  Dashboards are created that have too many KPIs or the wrong ones.  In our annual sales report, we outline best practices. 

In the graph below, you will see some examples of KPI metrics.  Notice that behavior is the foundation for the leading and lagging indicators.


Checking your work

Here are some tips to help guide you through the selection process.  Use these as a checkpoint to make sure you are on track:

  • Communicate what the metrics are and why they are important.
  • Connect the data to both corporate and sales performance goals.
  • Ensure that the data is available through system reports.
  • Create a coaching and enablement program using metrics.
  • Implement a consistent measurement cadence that can impact success.
  • Evaluate and adjust metrics at least every quarter.

If you have an F

If you took the quiz and failed, it’s time to study.  Start with understanding your sales strategy.  Once you have this defined, you should set metrics that are aligned.  Don’t create reports that measure things that don’t matter.  If you need help, download our How to Make Your Number in 2015″ report.  This will give you a great start.  In addition, read articles and blogs that will make you an expert.  Finally, don’t rely on someone else to grade your team.  To be a model leader you need to be a model student.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Josh Horstmann
Josh serves as a Principal at Sales Benchmark Index (SBI), a sales and marketing consultancy focused exclusively on helping B2B companies make the number. Josh is an industry thought leader, with extensive experience in the technology field. He has served leadership roles within sales and sales operations, ranging from medium to Fortune 500 companies.


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