Sales managers coach their sales team about the power of goal setting, tracking numbers and metrics. When conducting one-on-one meetings to review their sales pipeline, they study the number of prospecting outreaches, the outcome of their prospecting efforts, first exploratory calls, demos and the outcome of those conversations.
They share pithy quotes such as, “What you measure improves” and “Inspect what you expect.”
Effective sales managers measure both the effort and outcome of sales activity and conversations.
But how many sales managers take their own advice by setting goals and tracking sales management metrics, specifically training and coaching metrics?
The answer is too few because often, no one is holding the sales manager responsible for the daily and weekly training and coaching activities that ensure sales success.
For example, if I were to sit down with you and ask these questions, what would your answers be?
- What is the goal for conducting pre-briefing sessions with each member of your sales team? How many were conducted? What attitude, habit or skill changed because of this coaching conversation?
- What is the goal for debriefing sales calls with each member of your sales team? How many debriefs were accomplished? What attitude, habit or skill changed because of this coaching conversation?
- How many group sales meetings do you have planned for each month? How many were conducted? What attitude, habit or skill changed because of this group sales meeting?
The answers might vary from, “I got caught up in internal fire fighting so I didn’t get all the coaching sessions conducted. Well, I don’t really know what improved as a result of my coaching efforts.”
The reality is that sales managers wouldn’t accept similar answers from our sales team. “I got caught up in internal fire fighting so I didn’t get my prospecting calls made. Well, I don’t really know what the next step is with this prospect.”
However, since no one is really holding the sales manager accountable for such metrics, they often fall into the same trap of good intentions but little action. They end up neglecting the most important part in their role as a sales leader: Teaching, training and coaching.
What gets measured improves.
If no one is holding you accountable, find an accountability partner. Perhaps it’s a sales manager from another division or a non-competing company. Meet up on Friday afternoon and review your sales management metrics. What gets measured improves.
Apply the same success metrics you are teaching your sales team to yourself. Model the sales behaviors you expect and you can expect great sales success in building a high performance sales team.