In order for sales managers to get a good handle on the situation, they need to have the tools set in place to track and measure performance on an on-going basis.
When sales managers, and their directors, are able to monitor performance, it puts them in a strong position to make adjustments necessary to encourage best practice and achievement throughout the team, while eliminating weaknesses.
The trouble is, too many businesses do not have a specific means of measuring sales performance. Recent research from data marketing firm JNR shows that 60 per cent of companies do not have the infrastructure in place to measure sales success or failure.
It shouldn’t take a detective to unravel who is driving your sales team’s success and who is holding it back. With the right tools and processes in place, however, sales leaders can quickly clue into what is going on with their teams.
First, it is necessary to understand how the sales team is performing on the whole. This can be achieved by setting up a standard set of metrics that encompass key sales team targets. Relevant performance indicators to monitor include:
- Number of leads received
- Number of leads converted into opportunities
- Number of leads that progress through each stage of the sales cycle
- Average length of the sales cycle
- Number of sales won
- Revenue breakdowns and averages
It is critical that these metrics should be monitored on an individual basis as well. It is particularly important when assessing individual performance to track follow-up time, opportunity conversion rate and the overall time it takes to progress a lead.
Only once you have these metrics to hand are you in a position to achieve true visibility about who the star performers are and who needs more guidance and coaching. The inclination of most sales managers may be to follow their instincts as to whom their strongest people are, but the reality is, they need to look at hard statistics on performance before making significant decisions.
Usually when sales reps are confronted with poor performance, they claim the situation was beyond their control and due to circumstances.
More often than not, this is not the case. Having a standardised monitoring process in place ensures that the reasons for strong and weak sales performance are quantifiable, clear to see and indisputable.
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