By Mark Christie, Salesforce Training
One of our favorite questions we ask our clients is to describe what a good week looks like. We ask this because we are curious how Sales Managers measure success and whether or not their sales teams are doing the right types of activities day in and day out to add to and grow their sales pipelines. Most sales teams find it tough to quantify “good”. Yes, most sales people are busy – we get that – but were they busy doing the right types of sales activity. The activity that leads to better results
Most companies rely heavily on reports filled with Lagging indicators – things like revenue achieved and closed deals. These are important, no question, but these represent outcomes. Which is why businesses need to take a closer look at the steps that made the results happen. These are what we call the Leading indicators. If it’s your second quarter and your report is only about deals won and revenue captured – it shouldn’t be all you measure because revenue happens after you’ve gone out and done the right things every day.
|Lagging indicators||Leading indicators|
easier to define
hard to improve or influence
e.g. revenue, deals won
harder to define
easier to influence (relatively in your control)
e.g. calls made, meetings attended
Ask your top sales person what activities they do that makes them successful. I’ll bet they’ll have a tough time quantifying their behavior. That’s because measuring success is subjective. Or is it? To us, it’s defined by metrics such as “number of meetings”. Which promptly leads to my next question, “were they with the right people/clients?”
While a revenue report paints a picture, it’s in black and white. A technicolor report looks at the activities, for example: # of meetings, # of phone calls, # of emails sent, prospecting calls, follow-up calls, proposals sent etc. Salesforce does an excellent job of tracking activity and these reports will give you the recipe of what a good week looks like.
Once you’ve figured out the magic formula, you can plan out your activities (Leading indicators) three months in advance of the Lagging indicators. You can determine if your sales people have had a good week or not and help them identify areas for improvement – long before the end of quarter revenue reports arrive.
Salesforce Training helps organizations improve their utilization of Salesforce and increase adoption rates. With consultants and trainers across the U.S. and Canada, we are well positioned to help sales leaders with the guidance and ongoing support to ensure positive behavior change in their sales teams.