Do you care about sales performance management? Do you monitor your team’s performance closely? Did you know that by taking the appropriate actions, you can drastically increase it? If not, you should probably start caring about it. As a Sales Head or even as a Sales Manager it is one of the most important metrics you need to worry about. Now, let’s illustrate sales performance management using an example.
Back in 1954, nobody in the world could run a mile in under 4 minutes. Every athlete trained in a particular way, and it was thought that the limit of human performance had just about been reached. On May 6th, 1954, Roger Bannister crashed through the performance barrier and ran a mile in 3:59.04 – only a fraction better, but it meant he was faster than all of the competition he had at the time. Research into human physiology and performance science led to improved training methods over the following years, and the World Record is now 3:43.13.
All professional male middle-distance runners now need to achieve a 4-minute mile to be considered contenders, and anyone slower just isn’t good enough. However, with what has been learned in the more-than-half-century since Roger Bannister’s amazing run, training techniques can be implemented to improve almost anyone’s time.
Of course, if nobody cared about performance, they wouldn’t have tracked times. There wouldn’t have been a time to beat, or a World Record to own. Without examining runners over a number of years, there would be no statistics to show what worked and what didn’t. Runners these days are constantly managing their performance, striving to reach the next level, desiring to be the best.
Keep on Running
You might find that your sales team is a little bit like a group of runners trying to achieve the 4-minute mile. Some of them were clearly born to do it and are on course to smashing the record, while others are struggling to get out of the starting blocks.
Sales performance management is the very important practice of monitoring what your sales team is doing and helping them to improve their skills and techniques in order to sell more.
An athlete can only improve their times if they adapt their diet and training regime to match the ideal, and a salesperson can only become a record breaker by working towards being the perfect example of a representative of your business.
Measure sales performance on equal grounds
The bottom line of sales figures doesn’t tell you everything you need to know. If you have a sales team of just two people, and each works in their own territory, Salesperson A may make $1 million in sales, while Salesperson B only makes $100.
From those facts alone, you could conclude that Salesperson B needs to be better trained, work harder, and be more convincing to customers.
What might be happening is that your company is selling ice cubes, and Salesperson A sells to California (known for its hot weather) while Salesperson B sells to Alaska (known for, well, ice and snow). If you were to switch territories, Salesperson A may fail to make any sales at all in Alaska, while Salesperson B sells $5 million in California.
It’s only fair to compare the members of your sales team on equal measures. Sales performance management involves the use of reporting at the management level to reveal every intricacy of how each member of the team is performing.
At the sales team level, Sales Performance Management helps the members set realistic and achievable goals and can add automation into the mix to make their job a little bit easier.
Improving Performance with Automation
In the future, there may be two kinds of Olympic games – one for humans, one for technologically enhanced humans. The one-minute-mile may be a possibility for rocket-powered humans with robot legs!
Your sales team is, of course, human. They don’t have robot legs, but they can reap benefits from the use of advanced technology. With software to automatically monitor potential customers on your business website, automated email messages, tracking of telephone calls, and more besides, a lot of the pressure is removed from the sales team.
When this information can be collated and used to score how likely a lead is to convert into a customer, the guesswork is removed from the sales job – it is clear whom to call or email next.
By following these automated processes, the sales team will move closer and closer to the ideal, being able to spend their time on the tasks that truly matter and not be distracted by tasks that don’t need human input.
Congratulations. You’ve just created a robot army of salespeople.
Measure the results to decide your next step
The great thing about a robot army of salespeople is that they don’t have to be told to do something more than once. Sick of waiting for that sales report to be emailed through? Don’t worry, it will happen automatically. The robot – sorry, salesperson – won’t have to press a button.
And that’s a really important upgrade to standard human performance. How many times have you been waiting for those figures to come through? There’s always that one guy, right? Not any more.
Using LeadSquared, you’ll have access to multiple reports on-demand, so you can see exactly how each individual is performing, and how each team is performing (as split by territory or any other important metric).
You can also see where leads are in the sales process, and which sales team members are the most skilled at closing sales. If you find some that are struggling to close deals, you can take action to find out why. Maybe it’s the territory, maybe they have been dealing with particularly demanding customers, or maybe they simply need a little more training – anyone can run a 4-minute mile with the right training.
Better Performance Drives Profit
Getting every member of your sales team to the highest level possible will give you the greatest chance of making the most sales, and therefore gaining the highest profit. If you don’t track where every team member is or what they are doing, you can’t hope to see an improvement – how can you measure an improvement when you don’t know where you are starting from?