Manage What You Measure
Pressure to Hit the Target, often leads managers to measure their reps on lag indicators, such as Deals Won. The rep and manager have little control over this measure. They do have control over the activities performed in reach this outcome. Activities such as calls can be measured and managed to ensure sufficient are completed to achieve the desired outcome. Jason Jordan’s research on metrics used to manage sales performance found only 17% were sales activities. 24% were business results and 59% were business objectives. So 83% of metrics were completely unmanageable!
Jason is a recognized expert in the domain of business-to-business sales. He teaches sales management at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business. He is the author of the best seller ‘Cracking the Sales Management Code”.
Replace 3S’s with 3M’s
In the good old days sales success rested on:
Selection: recruit really high-potential salespeople
Strategy: help them make insightful sales plans
Skill: teach them how to make effective sales calls
Now proven success comes from:
Methodology: work with a systematic, disciplined approach
Management: trained, passionate first-line sales supervision
Metrics: beyond the usual outcome-based measurement
Our ability to report data has grown faster than our ability to understand and act on it. Reports do not engage and motivate staff to change their behaviours. Leaderboards provide immediate performance feedback that motivates staff to do more work for better sales results.
The role of the sales manager is to improve the sales performance of the team. They are pulled in many different directions and can easily lose focus on coaching staff to perform better. Leaderboards help highlight staff who are falling behind their colleagues and need help right now.
Managers need a deep understanding of the metrics that drive the business. What are the right metrics, how do you test and use them to run a high performing team. Leaderboards let managers quickly test metrics by running a comp to see if increasing the target on this metric delivers better results.
An ocean of data is meaningless unless insights are gleaned from it. When results are falling “We need to do more,” is not very sophisticated thinking nor good management. The focus has to be on doing more of the metrics that matter. Identify the root cause to lower performance. If you don’t break it down, it’s hard to take corrective action with the team.
Win the War
Link the war room with the battle on the field through the mobile app. Reps stay connected to all activities in the office. They see all active leaderboards, their position and that of their colleagues, all messages, achievements and celebrations. They can send a celebratory message from the app that shows on the office TV.
Change the Focus
Staff want feedback on their activities and how they are progressing against their target. Without it they cannot be expected to know what to do. This self awareness of their performance prompts self management of the responding behavioral change that will deliver the new activity performance levels required to reach the target.