“If you want to improve the way your team plays the game and boost the score in the future, you need to be paying much closer attention to another set of numbers, namely, the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that give you insights into how well each member of your team is actually playing”Forbes Magazine
The eternal, albeit tired, phrase “competition is good for business,” is perhaps even more applicable to your internal sales force, as you move your startup or small business into new growth opportunities in the period following the New Year.
As a sales leader you are probably heavily focused on new sales, customer retention and helping your sales force identify the top 20% of clients who will generate the majority of the revenue and profit over the next 12 months.
Probably your traditional CRM package does a great job of contact management, activity management, and perhaps campaign management. If you’re lucky it helps implement a defined sales funnel as you move a customer through various stages including suspect, prospect and initial order.
What may be entirely lacking is the ability to analyze sales staff performance both individually and collectively in the CRM in a way that allows you to make quick, intuitive decisions on where they are falling short and what steps need to be taken to win or keep a customer.
The additional requirement that processes be automated without a taxing degree of manual intervention is also probably out of your reach, especially as you deal with day-to-day issues related to being a sales leader including motivating teams and launching new products lines.
The Holy GrailThe fusion of visual performance metrics with automation can thus be considered one of the holy grails of a savvy sales leader seeking to separate the forest from the trees.
And, if there was a way to allow the sales force ways to also see their performance in relation to broader company indices, the startup or small business is literally inches away from transparently and accurately establishing healthy competition between salesmen on a real-time basis.
While traditional incentives to ignite competition usually include prizes, rewards or bonuses, a visual sales graph depicting individual vs. Sales Force performance is a powerful FREE way to naturally spark healthy rivalries in your business.
How many times have you seen a particular sales broker or account manager close a sale immediately after a colleague announced a similar deal? Many salesman are simply motivated by their position in the pecking order which is usually not available in real time within the confines of CRM software.
Understanding KPIsIn the Enterprise world, this broad analysis outlined above falls under a term called Key Performance Metrics (KPI) – really just a fancy way of describing CRM methods to benchmark sales performance in an understandable manner based on company goals. It has largely been missing in the small business CRM, or if available, highly complicated to understand and implement.
But over the last several years a few leading CRM innovators have mobilized a device known as ‘Leading Indicators’ within KPIs to measure activities and actions taking place in your sales pipeline (whether that be in real estate, retail, car sales or law firms).
According to Forbes Magazine, these leading indicators could cover activities such as:
- How many calls is a sales maker making per week?
- Who is the sales maker calling on?
- How many of these calls turn into opportunities?
- how many of these opportunities turn into wins?
One Metric to Rule Them AllBut the one metric that really stands out is the following: How are the sales makers performing in these categories compared to your peer group?
“Sales managers who don’t regularly track sales maker performance against a set of standard KPI metrics don’t really have any objective basis for evaluating performance,” said Forbes Magazine.
“The sales maker may be a great person and hard worker, or they may be a disagreeable know-it-all, but those aren’t the most important behaviors for a sales manager to evaluate. The only thing that really matters is how they are performing in relation to the KPIs.”
These objectives are the cornerstone of the Getscorecard CRM, offering transparent tools for both sales people and management to track all sales activity via activity widgets (and sales graphs). This ultimately allows sales makers to gauge his performance against the company average (in seconds) prior to any sales meeting.
In addition to removing Manager stress at meetings it is the silent aphrodisiac fueling healthy sales peer pressure in your small business or startup.