All numbers are up except sales.
“By all of the sales metrics, we ought to be doing well”, he told me.
Pointing to graphs and spreadsheets it seemed the sales force was a well-oiled machine.
- Field Call numbers, up
- Meetings with key decision makers, up
- Expenses, down
- Cost per call, down
You’ll have guessed what’s coming next.
Sales, down; gross margins, down.
Well maybe its as simple as we discussed earlier do the ride along with your staff to check them out in action and take it from there.
The explanation is often to find in the distance between the board of directors goal setting and the sales staffs real life experience.
Your sales staff is are goal archivers and if they can’t fill one goal they will concentrate on another in this case there are 2 that they can and will achieve and that is they make more calls and meet more decision makers. This should bring automatic results in, more sales. But what if the sales targets is communicated after the calls and meetings numbers? What if the middle exec communicated to the next level that the board of directors wants higher meeting numbers and much more activity on the phone? What if that is what is communicated as the goal to achieve?
This is not uncommon.
Set a goal like:
Make 50 appointments with the phone this month.
That should give you at least 30 meetings with key decision makers.
This should result in at least 5-10 signed contracts.
You can see where this is going right?
The seller will naturally concentrate on fulfilling their employers wishes and set out to do so. They will do it in the order presented and by the end of the month they will have concentrated so much on getting the 2 first right that focus on the actual signing will be a second-hand goal.
As a salesperson its important to reach the goals but you as the manager will have to give them the right goals to work towards.
The order should be communicated in the opposite order.
This month i want at least 5-10 signed contracts.
To get that i need you to get at least 30 meetings with key decision makers.
I expect you to make 50 appointments with the phone this month to get this rolling.
Communicate in a clear way with your staff and they will respond in a clear way back. = signed contracts.
That´s why the sales execs should concentrate all their efforts on clear and well understood messages. In other worlds always enhance and present in positive words and build up your staff and point them to the contracts that needs to be signed. Getting the deal is the only goal that the salesperson should be concerned about.
Measuring the sales success and all the different parameters that goes in to that is for management.
veni vidi vici
- Business development tip of the month: Plan advances (adverselling.typepad.com)
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- Creating qualified lead lists is a pain (smbsalesconsultancy.wordpress.com)
- SPINNING the Wheel (insideb2bevents.com)
- The Most Challenging Leadership Job (blogs.hbr.org)
- How do you measure sales success! (patrikolson.wordpress.com)
- Sales Rep Metrics for Startups to Track (davidcummings.org)