One of the hottest recent Q&A topics at the Focus.com Sales forum dealt with this question: “What are the 10 things sales managers should be most worried about in maximizing performance?” Below is Valgen’s answer from our analytics view:
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I am going to answer this question a bit more from my perspective, which is how can managers using data and insights to improve performance. These are worrisome in the sense that being insidious, if left unmanaged they could lead to real headaches.
1. Customer: Let’s put the customer front and center here. How well do they know the customer, both historical as well as expected behavior? If they do not anticipate and use both dimensions to add value to every customer interaction, then this could be the most worrisome aspect of all.
2. Cycle: Do the sales people have a good idea of customer buying cycles, and have a consistent process to manage these customer touches?
3. CRM System: How well are they using the CRM system? Is it up to date, enriched with analytics and metrics, and easy to use? Are you training, listening to feedback and making it work for them?
4. Communicate: Have an active outreach program to — as a primer — show how to understand data, create reports, detect patterns and learn basic analytic concepts and how to interpret them.
5. Collateral: Are reps using all resources available to them? Have you made aware and consistently promote them? Everything from internal (marketing), to partners, peers and even industry resources.
6. Comfort Zone: Are reps and everyone working within an area they are most familiar? When you want to improve performance, you often have to step outside to try something new.
7. Culture: Both management and sales reps should have an open mind to “test and learn” from insights. Document mistakes and share for others to learn/avoid.
8. Confidentiality: Be respectful of what you share to whom. The goal should never be to punish but to motivate.
9. Continuity: When you set rules to measure performance, maintain the same definition and metrics over time, so that everyone can see where they are going. Think of this as consistency over time.
10. Consistency: The information that you use and provide to your team should be reliable, predictable and timely. Consistency = Value.
So what do you think? What would you add? Share in the comments here …