What is sales management after all? What does it involve? It sure is many things but at the base of it all are expectations of results and support provided towards achieving them. The former are usually clear-cut, but what can you do to help reps sell more? There are certain interpersonal techniques you can apply to improve the performance of particular individuals. You can also collect and analyze stats for global and detailed insights into the operations of your sales team. In this post, I’ll focus on data being sales manager’s most important asset and how to use it.
As the late great management thinker Peter Drucker once said:
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
Efficient and successful sales management is rooted in measuring employee performance. If you’re not doing it, you’re moving around in the dark, trying to guess what works and what doesn’t.
A great sales manager should not only teach selling techniques and provide one-to-one coaching, he should also monitor the actions, and then extract and analyze data to optimize the functioning of his team.
One of the tools supporting learning is Brainshark. It helps companies communicate with, educate, and inspire their teams to achieve top performance.
The importance of taking initiative
Meeting targets won’t be possible without a positive work environment. Reps can’t dread clocking in every day – such a mindstate won’t yield results. In order to build the right culture:
- be clear about the current situation of the business and your expectations; be honest, and never resort to manipulation
- drive healthy competitive spirit; encourage excellence
- stimulate habit formation leading to subconscious automation of activities
Results require action. A steady, skillful push is needed to make sales. Oftentimes, reps don’t take enough initiative to close deals. It’s crucial that they realize what it takes to strike a deal. It may take even a dozen or so touches and follow-ups to get a contract signed.
A salesperson has to understand the link between being active and meeting targets. It’s the sales manager’s job to make this perfectly clear and put emphasis on certain areas that need improvement, based on collected data.
Sales optimization tools
Sales happen in a dynamic environment. Your tactics need to be tweaked on the regular so that reps can stay on top of their game. Luckily, sales managers have a slew of tools available, that support and facilitate the operations of their teams.
There are team meetings, internal trainings, individual coaching sessions, motivational chats, and other techniques aimed at improving result. For them do be most effective, though, they should be backed by hard data.
All the information and feedback you collect during conversations with your team members is declarative data (self-reported), which can be skewed by a number of factors. Behavioral data (collected using tracking methods), on the other hand, consists of no-nonsense hard facts you can easily rely on.
These include things like the number of calls and follow-ups made, emails sent, calls postponed, etc. Importantly, you can use this data during 1-to-1 performance analyses to paint a clearer picture of the situation to all parties involved.
To make things easier, You should check Domo. This tool puts all of a business’s data to work for employees throughout the company and enables all employees to engage with real-time data, increasing everyone’s productivity and ability to act on the data—including partners outside of the organization.
Hi, this is Edward speaking
That being said, one convenient way to collect valuable data is through the implementation of a sales assistant like Edward.ai
The app delivers quantitative behavioral data concerning actions taken by the reps, including the time devoted to each of them (incoming and outgoing calls, emails, meetings, etc.). Edward provides access to the reps’ performance in real-time, which helps motivate, coach, and inspire on the go.
Sales manager using the app is aware of the time spent by a rep on particular activities and understands how well it was utilized (efficiency). Edward provides analytics panels available after the implementation of the tool.
Job well done… and awarded
Setting reasonable sales targets is one thing, but let’s not forget about awarding a job well done. Certain level of supervision should lead to desired results, which in turn should be celebrated to boost the reps’ motivation and promote the right attitude.
This is just a quick note for you to remember to make time to celebrate success. Recognition and appreciation are overlooked motivators. As a team leader, be sure to apply them generously when the situation calls for it.
SalesScreen is a sales performance management tool that helps teams to be more focused on goals, motivated and productive. Because nothing drives performance like a little friendly competition.
Let’s be honest, leadership isn’t always glamorous and definitely not easy. There’s no way a great sales team will simply form on its own – you have to take the reigns. A sales manager’s job is to expect results, while supporting and rewarding his team members. You need to be a man enough and own at least a part of both failures and successes. Your team’s performance affects your reputation.
Your success in sales and leadership heavily depends on how you measure performance. Instead of relying solely on self-reported information, collect tangible data to:
- manage time more efficiently
- improve processes and grow
- make adjustments in the dynamic sales environment
- communicate more frequently
- form precise conclusions
- do your job fairly and efficiently
Why not try Edward today?