How often do you inspect the results of your sales team? Never? Annually? Midyear? Quarterly?
What do you inspect? Sales dollars? Gross profit? Actual vs. goal?
When do your salespeople look at their performance and goals? Daily? Weekly? The day of your sales meeting? Never?
Do you track not only sales results, but also behaviors that lead to sales? What do I mean by behaviors? They are the activities controlled solely by the sales professional, like the number of outbound phone calls per day, number of conversations per day with decision-makers, number of face-to-face appointments booked with decision makers, number of face-to-face appointments attended per day with decision-makers, quotes issued (count and dollars), etc.
These behavior metrics are a good leading indicator to predict if your salesperson is getting out and prospecting effectively. If you wait until the monthly sales meeting to assess progress, you’ve let four weeks go by without some indicator if this person is doing the correct activities to close sales.
It’s been my experience, that if you track key behavioral metrics on a daily or weekly schedule, the sales will come. But, if on a daily basis your salesperson is not making out bound calls, not talking to decision-makers, not booking appointments, not going out to meet qualified prospects at networking events and not being given qualified opportunities to quote, then you as the manager will be rudely surprised at your next sales meeting.
I suggest you monitor these behaviors weekly, and make adjustments or coaching calls as needed so the sales process stays on track consistently. And – this is an even bolder move – publish weekly to your entire sales team the key performance metrics of each salesperson for the entire team to see. There is nothing like a good dose of peer pressure to motivate a sales department.
DAVE HARMAN is an associate with Sandler Training. He has over 30 years’ experience in sales and sales management with Fortune 500 companies as well as small, family-owned organizations. He has held positions from sales to senior management with companies such as Conoco/Vista, Amresco and Ohio Awning, and owns his own business. He earned his MBA with a concentration in Marketing from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. You can reach him at
or (888) 448-2030.