The following is a guest post by Colleen Francis, Founder and President of Engage Selling Solutions.
It all starts with metrics. Yes, there’s always a way to improve the performance of your metrics – people say “It’s not about the quantity of calls, it’s about the quality.” But on the other hand, if you make too few great calls, you’re still not hitting your number, because there are some realities wrapped up in the numbers. The data is critical.
An inside sales team needs to understand how many hours of talk time and how many calls you can get in an hour, with that kind of granularity. A company that’s only looking for their teams to sell one or two pieces of business a year needs to be more focused on meetings, for example. I like to take these numbers down to as small as I can get; how many contacts do we need? How many leads do we need? How many qualified leads do we need? How many attempts or calls a day do we need? How many leads have to be generated by the channel team? What you want to be doing is measuring those. We need to understand what the numbers are today, what we can improve on them, and are we executing based on the numbers that we know are going to help us hit our targets? I call those leading indicators.
I find it fascinating that most sales reps and Sales VPs forget that the sale is a lagging indicator of success. Of course it’s the thing we all strive for, to ring the bell, but all it tells me is that you did a bunch of things right in the past that got you to that place. If you only focus on lagging indicators, you forget that you need to make calls and fill the pipeline. Too much energy and effort is put in on that close, to the detriment of the rest of the pipeline.
About Colleen Francis
Colleen Francis, Sales Expert, is Founder and President of Engage Selling Solutions (www.EngageSelling.com). Armed with skills developed from years of experience, Colleen helps clients realize immediate results, achieve lasting success and permanently raise their bottom line. Make sure you check out Colleen’s latest book, Nonstop Sales Boom for powerful strategies to drive consistent sales growth quarter after quarter, year after year.
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Colleen Francis is the Founder and President of Engage Selling Solutions.