In our previous blogs we’ve talked about some of the things to bear in mind in 2014 if you’re looking to improve profitability and efficiency in sales management, technology and business in general. Now the year is well and truly underway, it’s time to sit down and establish which metrics will reveal whether your company is progressing in line with objectives.
What we’re talking about are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Firstly, we have to identify which indicators will tell us about our company’s overall activity, then set clear and limited objectives to focus our efforts. To help us we use metrics that provide us with data on our progress – or on oversights that could trip us up further down the line.
All KPIs are metrics, but not all metrics are KPIs. According to Dennis R. Mortensen, a pioneer and expert in the business of analytics, KPIs must meet the following criteria:
- Demonstrate the company’s objective
- Be defined by management
- Provide a context
- Have meaning on different levels
- Be based on real data
- Be easily understood
- Lead to action
At ForceManager we believe that every sales force should analyse business development according to:
- The activity/sales ratio
- The distribution of activity
These two KPIs help to ensure excellent business results – even in difficult economic times. Here’s why:
1. The activity/sales ratio
Our mission is to help our clients increase sales activity and make it more productive, enabling the sales department to close more sales with the same resources. The metrics we use and promote to other companies looking for sales success are summed up in the premise: “+ sales activity = + sales efficiency”. To achieve this, we continually collect and analyse the following data.
We guarantee an increase in sales activity by:
- Automatically recording the level of intensity of each sales rep’s sales activity
- Regularly informing each sales rep of their level of activity compared to that of their colleagues.
Increased efficiency is achieved by:
- Providing the sales person with the necessary tools and information.
- Avoiding tasks that distract from the sales process
- Giving sales management detailed information on the sales network’s performance and identifying opportunities for improvement.
The second but equally important KPI we monitor is:
2. The distribution of sales activity
Sales management will only be effective if carried out with maximum transparency. A key feature of ForceManager is inverse reporting: providing instant, real time access – anywhere -to information that’s essential for optimising activity in the sales funnel, including:
- Client contact details (e.g. company, sector)
- A record of sales visits, orders, communications, details of any problems
- Sales opportunities
- Reports, metrics and statistics
The recorded data meets the information needs of both sales reps and management: it provides a complete overview of how our time and sales efforts are distributed, comparing all the necessary variables. These metrics are ultimately an exercise in making each person responsible, as they tell us whether or not we’re contributing to overall business development. What’s important for us is that we dedicate our time to actually selling.
This is why these two KPIs help us move towards sales management perfection and optimum development of our business. We learn through our clients and pay attention to each item of data in the quest to improve our results.