If you don’t measure it, it won’t happen. If you don’t measure sales performance, it won’t happen. And if you don’t measure process, choosing to measure results instead, good luck! Measuring process is King, measuring results is vanity.
Believe it or not there are institutions that don’t measure sales processes. They measure results. Even I didn’t believe it until I encountered it. The leadership explained: “We have a leadership meeting every month and quarter, lament about the fluctuating performance, and receive generalized feedback as to the reasons why it is so. And then press repeat.” And why? “Because we pay our sales people better than the competition and so we’ve played our part and they should theirs!” Oh, how I wish management was as simple as a transaction! Unfortunately, it is not. Least of all, sales management is not.
How do you measure sales success?
If you don’t measure process, and frequently so, you are flying blind. And what do I mean by process? Selling is a game of numbers. That very reason validates the reason why it is important to measure sales performance. The number of prospects (potential buyers) every sales person presents to, how often he does that, quality and quantity, how many buy and how many of those make repeat purchases help track progress towards goals and prepare for future growth. For the individual sales person, his team, and the company. The outcome of these metrics is results; and you can’t control an outcome, only what leads to it. In any case it’s too late to tweak anything by then.
Why you should measure sales performance
However, when you know that a sales person presents to 10 prospects daily and 10 days later, no conversion has happened, then you have something concrete to work with. Could it be that the prospects are actually suspects? Meaning the sales person is selling the woman’s magazine to men. They’ll never buy. Or, the prospects are prospects but it’s what the sales person is pitching that’s wrong. The ideal time for management to measure progress is weekly, and for the salesperson himself, and his team leader, daily.
Luckily, sales metrics or KPIs are not grey; they are black and white. As a human resource manager one shared with me, regarding setting objectives for appraisals: “I wish all objectives in all departments were as easy to set as Sales. There is no vagueness to 3 accounts, or deposits of Kes. 1 billion. It’s either there at the time of appraisal, or it’s not.”
Why some ignore measuring sales KPIs
To that extent, measuring sales performance is easy. But it’s also involving. And this latter reason is why some leaders would rather take the easy way out and lament about the results. The involving part isn’t so much having to contend with seemingly unending sales metrics. No. It is having to continually engage with, coach, train, show, groom and generally grow every team member to success, or, unfortunately, sometimes, exit. In other words, do what effective management does.
What sales metrics to measure
What sales measurement metrics to monitor differ from institution to institution of course; and a sales funnel is a useful tool for this. Still, winning in sales is not just a matter of goals scored. Why? Because prudence exists in tracking dietary progress as it happens, and vanity thrives in having not done so, standing on the weighing scales and wondering why the kilos aren’t dropping.
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