In sales, too much hope is placed on monitoring outcomes and results. So if a member of a sales team fails to hit target, this is often dismissed as them not closing enough deals rather than looking at the underlying cause which could well be lack of activity.
In order to understand why this happens, we need to take a step back and look at activity, not outcomes.
Results, such as closing enough deals, are a consequence of the right number of calls being made and meetings booked in the diary. Whether those meetings are with prospects or client accounts, it’s the activity levels that are going to make the most serious impact.
How to set more effective KPIs?
#1: Number of calls made
For example, say you expect a sales person to have 20 in-person meetings every week.
How many calls does it take to book those? 40, 60, 100? However many it takes, they need to be making those calls during the week between meetings they are taking in that week.
At the same time, if a salesperson is seeing customers they see on a regular basis, they need to book those meetings the last time they see that customer. This way, there is a steady stream of new business being booked and accounts managed.
As a manager, if you know how many calls everyone is doing it puts you in a better position to encourage those who need prompting to take more action. Do more calls, book more meetings, and get closer to hitting target.
#2: Number of meetings
Depending on targets, deal sizes, territory covered and accounts managed, each member of your field team might need to take as many as twenty or more meetings every week.
Having real-time data on meetings booked before the start of a new week should give you a clearer idea whether they’re making enough calls/contacting enough prospects or accounts to keep those meetings flowing in. If not, you can coach them to take more effective actions.
#3: Number and geographic spread of accounts
From i-snapshot data recording over 20 million sales visits, we know that, on average, an effective sales person can meet with 200 accounts every quarter.
Not all accounts are created equal, of course. Some are tire kickers. Others are low value and take a lot of time. Whereas others generate a value from every meeting. What you need to be careful is that salespeople are spending time with the right accounts.
With proactive monitoring and real-time data you can make sure they’re not seeing the same ones every other week. When a sales person concentrates on only a handful, others can be neglected and competitors can jump in. A sales person who’s too lazy can undermine the team and reduce the chance of hitting target. Stay focused on who they meet with and how far they’re traveling.
#4: Value of the sales pipeline
Every companies sales pipeline is unique. In most cases, there is no single overview that exists. A pipeline is a combination of several metrics and ways of measuring progress, which could include some unique to your business or industry:
- The number of potential deals;
- Total monthly, annual or lifetime value of those deals;
- Conversion rates through the various stages of the pipeline;
- Time it takes to move through the pipeline;
More importantly, a sales leader needs to know how confident, or not, every team member is with the deals they’re managing.
To answer the confidence question more accurately, ask them:
- Has each lead been qualified?
- Who is the budget holder or decision maker?
- Who else needs to sign-off on this? Is this an urgent matter for them?
- What are the consequences to them if they don’t go ahead?
- What have they done/going to do, to prepare for this at their end?
Potential leads or clients who have taken action, who are clearly invested in the process themselves are far more likely to go ahead than those who take ages to reply and aren’t invested in it themselves.
As a sales leader, when you ask the right questions and measure the right KPIs, you can predict the pipeline more effectively and have a much clearer grasp on what is or isn’t happening within the sales team.
SalesVisits: Powered by i-snapshot. Improve the performance of your sales team. Our real-time sales visits analytics increases field sales team productivity 21%, with 20 million and counting sales visits recorded so far. Contact us to find out more.
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