It’s Monday morning. You call a meeting of your sales team to plan the week’s activities. On the agenda: a presentation at a major event in your sector, a meeting with product managers to find out the latest product improvements (and agree how to communicate them), a final meeting with an expert on consultative sales, a review of the newsletter and a look at which contacts to call… In other words, an extensive list of pretty important tasks.
But if you don’t start the meeting by looking at the current status of sales, you can forget the whole agenda. What fuels the sales department are concrete, valid facts about what’s happening in the sales funnel – facts that can be compared, contrasted and analysed.
If you want to grow your sales, you, the sales manager – and your team – need to know 3 key sales metrics:
1 Interactions with the market
Sales activity analysis starts by measuring the interactions between the sales force and the market of customers and prospects. Included within this are phone calls, emails and geolocated sales visits.
You need objective information on how much interaction the salespeople are generating with the market. And for those results to be 100% effective, the information should be updated in real time, as interactions take place, so that every item of information is taken into account.
Completed call/email plans, consultative calls, rejected sales calls… all this is rich material for analysing and improving the quality of interaction between sales reps and buyers – both real and potential.
2 Geographical distribution of sales activity
Another vital metric is the overview of geographical areas where sales efforts are being focused – at local, regional, national and international level. ForceManager’s software – based on geolocation of interactions (sales visits) and the real time position of salespeople in the field (optional) – allows for automatic generation of this data, thus making it more dynamic.
The information helps detect sales opportunities near the sales rep’s current position, and find out the quickest ways of getting there – saving valuable time in the process.
3 Sales coverage analysis
The third important variable is the type of customer you’re dealing with. At the team meeting it’s important to quickly evaluate the effort spent on each type of customer to identify accounts that have been neglected – and find a solution. You also need to look at how sales effort is distributed time-wise to work out how to optimise the working day.
Thanks to this metric you can research and follow a lead through each step of the sales cycle. You can then extract the number of completed sales opportunity plans, find out at which stages the lead-to-customer conversion rate rises or falls, and know how to increase the value of a customer long-term.
The importance of inverse reporting
To work with a results-based scientific methodology, we recommend sales reps receive a weekly report, by email, with a quantitative and qualitative analysis of their professional activity. This provides them with insight into the intensity of their own work, and information on good sales practice by colleagues.
Inverse reporting makes the salesperson aware of their own performance, which in turn produces an increase in sales activity. By combining information on the intensity of sales activity with sales generated by each salesperson, you have a complete overview of what’s going on in the sales network. ForceManager provides a dynamic ranking of all sales reps, based on a range of criteria including level of activity, or sales generated.
With these results in hand you can set and meet objectives, increase sales activity and make it more productive, and close more sales with the same resources.
In the words of William Hewlett, one of the founders of Hewlett Packard, “You cannot manage what you cannot measure…and what gets measured gets done.”