Sales people and the sales function, like other functions, are managed by metrics, and companies spend a lot of effort to design dashboards to help their organization understand how they are performing relative to their goals. From our research among companies we identified over 300 types of metrics, but in reality only 17% of sales metrics can be truly managed!
The Sales Manager as key lever
In addition, when business leaders become overly focused on reporting, these can get in the way of effective sales management. Organizations are rapidly coming to the same conclusion: that sales managers are a key lever in driving improvement in sales. Whether a company targets higher market share, better account penetration, or some important outcome, sales managers are the principal mechanism for success. Sales people who receive more effective coaching outperform (+19% in goal performance) versus those who don’t*.
However sales managers, after removing their internal meetings and reporting obligations, have only 30% of their time left for true sales management and coaching of their sales teams. Effective sales managers are those that focus on the right sales metrics and able to conduct quality coaching to answer three critical questions:
(1) What should my sellers be doing?
(2) What should I be doing to enable my sellers?
(3) Is it working?
To learn more about how to define metrics to manage the sales activities of your teams and how these can contribute to additional sales performance, and learn from other companies who implemented this approach – sign up to the Fifth Annual Marketing and Sales Performance Summit (November 16th afternoon in Mechelen, Belgium) and attend the track: The Power of Sales Metrics
* Source: HBR Blog, CEB Sales Leadership Council Research