The Coaching Effect Blog

Sales Managers: Are you tracking your activity?

Posted by Bill Eckstrom

August 27, 2012

describe the imageSales analytics—I get a charge out of studying them.  If you allow them, they will paint you a picture, provide guidance and strategic direction, they will provide you the opportunity to be a more effective sales leader. 

Thinking about the above reminds me of a quote from Mark Twain “the man who does not read books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them”.  Just because you track analytics doesn’t make you better.  Just because you have the latest CRM or analytics software package doesn’t make your organization more productive.  It is the actions you take as a result of interpreting the data that will ultimately affect performance.

Change begins with learning.  Learning must then convert to strategy.  Strategy must convert to action for change to occur.

Action--Don’t think the data you track should only encompass sales rep activity and pipeline movement. Too often sales departments neglect the actions taken by sales leaders that ultimately impact sales rep performance.  Certain management/coaching activities and interactions will lead to outcomes that absolutely impact revenue.  Your managers directly impact items such as talent acquisition, turnover, sales rep skills, sales rep activity and much more. 

Think about the following sales management data points as they relate to the balance of the 6 Pillars of Sales Management Productivity.  Also think about how each of your sales leaders would compare if the following were tracked.

Planning—among many things, this is the documentation that will tell you what to track, how often to track, when to meet and discuss metrics, how often to meet and so on…

Talent I.D. and Acquisition—interviews conducted, offers made, graphing of assessment scores across all producers and managers, correlations of assessments to performance, offers accepted, number of recruits in the pipe of each sales manager…

Professional Development—company core competencies, review rating systems, frequency of reviews, turnover, measuring return on professional development…

Sales Methodology and Sales Skills Development—this is what classic CRM will track, strategic steps in the sales process.   But, who or what is tracking your pipeline information—data that your CRM doesn’t provide?  One should track success in training—average test scores, measuring effectiveness of all training components, days/months to first sale, average time to quota, rating system of those in training…

Compensation/Recognition/Rewards—Average income, % at goal, % of total compensation at risk…

Management teams should meet a minimum of monthly to strategize and develop action plans that are derived from analytics. Again, don’t just look at what reps need to do differently, but also analyze what sales managers/leaders need to do differently. 

Topics: sales leadership, goals, Sales Plans, sales coaching, professional development for sales management, Leadership & Management, EcSELL Institute, professional development, 6 Pillars of Sales Productivity

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