The Benefits of Sales Accountability for Sales Managers


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One of the major reasons why sales managers are having so many issues with their sales teams is there is a general lack of key performance metrics that ensure accountability. As the world becomes more competitive it is imperative that sales professionals reach their targets. Missing targets leads to more cost, higher attrition and increased competitive pressures.

The crazy busy world that we now live leaves very little time for managers to mentor and council individuals on performance. However, dismissing the issue only brings about added stress. Boosting key performance metrics leads to improvement in the bottom line- productivity and profits.

The reasons for implementing a key performance metrics include the following:

It leads to accountability. Unfortunately sales professionals desire independence. As such, there is a tendency to miss target dates and key goals. Much like the conductor in an orchestra, sales managers must harmonize the individual plans with the organizations strategy.

Which passengers are on the bus? Several years ago, Jim Collins wrote a wonderful book called “Good to Great”. In the initial chapters Mr. Collins describes hiring for talent not behavior. When key performance measurements are implemented, a sales manager will immediately identify with who is on the bus and who needs to be placed underneath!

It leads to less stress. The issue with both senior officers and sales managers is that stress flows downhill when goals are not met. Each desires a bit more peace of mind and perhaps some time off should individuals reach their targets and the organization become profitable.

Just to be clear there are numerous issues that surround accountability with key performance metrics only a part of the enigma. Unfortunately too many firms waste good money on bad investments such as hiring the wrong people, training and development, even profile assessments. These bromides do little but waste time, resource, and most importantly never return initial investments.

Recently a client attempted to implement nine sales training sessions to their virtual team via webinars and teleconferences. The goal was to assist them in creating techniques to aid sales closure. However after four months and hours of training there was less than a ten percent return. If your organization fits a similar profile perhaps the following recommendations can assist your organization.

1. Crucial Confrontation – The inability to confront individuals about performance has undermined organizational performance. It is important when managers confront employees that do not meet expectations. Simply put sales professionals are the key to the bottom line avoidance does little to meet goals.

2. Avoid Narcissism. Performance measurements cannot be implemented if sales managers do not hold themselves accountable. Sales managers must be the icons others emulate. This requires spending less time in the office and more time with representatives mentoring them in best practices.

3. Wasteful Techniques. Training is an event. Nothing will alter in a training paradigm unless managers hold the team to certain new performance behaviors. Representatives MUST implement new ideas and illustrate progress not have them sit in a three ring binder. Training fails in implementation when it sits in a draw.

4. The best practices. Simply put the best things to measure are lead management techniques, sales activity and most importantly time with customers. Sales professionals that spend less than 60 percent of their time out of the office and not in front of a client are not worth retaining.

Sales managers that create a foundation for success sleep better at night and have more time with friends and family. Accountability ensures that all individuals are focused on the overall strategy of the organization. More importantly when all representatives work harmoniously to meet objectives, there is less stress, less attrition and better relationships- internally and externally. Those that achieve such success are more profitable.

How does your organization deal with representative accountability? Do you have succinct stories or best practices you can share? Provide a quick comment below.

©2010. Drew j. Stevens Ph.D.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Drew Stevens
Drew J. Stevens Ph.D. (Dr. Drew) is the author of Split Second Selling and the soon to be released Ultimate Business Bible and six other business books on sales, customer loyalty, self mastery and business development solutions. Drew helps organizations to dramatically accelerate revenue and outstrip the competition. He conducts over 4 international keynotes, seminars and workshops per year.


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