Sales Leaders: Ensure Your Team Avoids Time Wasters

Using Sales Performance Management to Save Time

Time is Money

One of the biggest time wasters within an organization is having a poor strategy.  From the sales leader’s perspective, their strategy starts with sales performance management (SPM).  SPM is a vital part of a sales organization’s effectiveness.  Pulling in data and tracking metrics is an important piece of having an effective sales coaching process in place.  In many organizations the data that is necessary for customized and targeted coaching lives in disparate systems and at times is inaccessible to the people that need it most.  The lack of easy access to metrics and KPI’s often leave sales managers in the dark about their employees current performance and how best to coach them to reach their quotas by the end of the quarter, leading to reactionary coaching as opposed to the more productive proactive coaching. A proactive sales manager might be resourceful and search for the data/metrics necessary to provide the effective coaching that their reps need.  In doing so, the sales manager is taking time away from selling activities and instead doing administrative tasks.  Every minute that a sales manager is pulling data, compiling KPI’s/metrics to discuss with a sales rep, and recapping coaching conversations at their desk, is time not spent selling or helping their reps sell more.  This wasted time results in wasted money and is counterproductive to the reason managers are pulling the data in the first place, to sell more. SPM can also help solve a couple of other time wasting activities:  slow response time to lead inquiries, and too few attempts to contact leads.  Having the data available to track metrics around response time, and contact attempts will allow sales managers to work with their sales reps on behaviors to improve those skills.  Research has shown that companies that reach out to inquiries within 1 hour are 7x more likely to convert that lead into an opportunity.  Managers need to ensure their reps are following this best practice and coach them to follow up in a timely manner Some organizations have a different problem, too much data.  With the amount of data that is available to managers in these organizations it is important that they can access the information quickly and efficiently.  Spending time tracking down all the data and figuring out what is relevant to them and their sales people can be an endless task.

More is Always More, But Not Always Better

Having a large amount of data is important to understanding the health of the sales organization, but too much data can be counterproductive.  Different people need access to different information.  Giving sales managers access to the information they need, will help them better understand where they should be focusing their efforts during coaching conversations.  Having a single source of information that shows the metrics and KPI’s that lead to better sales results, will save the sales manager countless time, while simultaneously helping them coach better. As Selling Power noted in their white paper: Strategies for Long-Term Success: How to Coach and Incentivize for Sales Growth: “When data is stored ad hoc in notes or spreadsheets, sales managers are less empowered to use it to promote sales effectiveness.  The hidden cost is that sales managers spend an inordinate amount of time gathering and analyzing disparate data, yet they’re unable to grasp the skill sets of their salespeople or put together ‘progress trends’ to show how reps are performing and where they need help.” Striking a balance between having the right data and having too much data can be difficult.  Using an SPM platform can help pull together the necessary data to optimize the performance of the sales team, while allowing for the sales manager to spend their time proactively coaching/selling, and not pulling metrics.  Give selling time back to your sales managers by automating the coaching process, allows them easy access to impactful KPI’s, allows them to coach on-the-go while doing a ride-along, and helps them enable them to have impactful coaching conversations with their sales reps. Take a look at our recent recording webcast for more information: 7 Sales and Lead Generation Time Wasters to Avoid in 2014.

By Jon Skog | December 17th, 2013 | Sales Performance Management (SPM)

About the Author: Jon Skog

Jon	 Skog

Jon is a member of the CallidusCloud content marketing team and covers all things sales and marketing in the lead to money process.  He is a husband and father that reads too much and sleeps too little.