Sales and football
Every year the same thing happens with football in Brazil: teams that were favorites start to lose and contested teams are surprising.
There are many people involved, but the focus is always on the players and, mainly, on the coaches, who are always questioned by the media.
However, experts on the subject point to team planning for the season as the biggest success or failure factor.
The same thing happens in sales teams. Sellers and managers are questioned, but in the end, lack of planning is the great villain.
Another similarity happens when star sellers, with years in the market, cannot adapt to the company and new home sellers can absorb feedback well and shine.
Have you been planning the actions of your sales team? Are you missing any direction or are you a little lost with the madness of the market?
So this text is for you. Come closer!
The importance of planning
Beauty. You know what planning is and you should already have your plans and goals for your personal life. But what about your team management, is your planning as clear as it is?
There is no way to talk about planning and goals without talking about indicators. And this is exactly where I want to get.
The outbound sales model, focused on complex sales, tends to be well segmented to perform in the best way, and then, of course, adapted to your reality.
The more targeted, the more people are involved.
If, on the one hand, this characteristic guarantees productivity gains in the process, it requires closer monitoring to ensure that all steps work as effectively as possible.
So, we have the following characteristics:
- Complex sale / consultative;
- Segmented process;
- Lots of people involved.
Do you agree that, if the manager turns a blind eye to your planning, the process tends to fall apart? That’s why indicators and targets must be well established.
Assuming you’ve realized how important it is to plan, let’s go to the point that might interest you the most: how to do this?
Some indicators in the sales process are already very common, I talk about them explicitly at the end of the text (but read everything until then, it’s important).
However, more important than the indicators themselves is the way in which these indicators are established and measured.
The big challenge remains to keep your salesperson and lead engaged in the process. In an ideal world, we’ll have salespeople selling their best with leads always attending meetings.
But you must know that this is not quite how it works.
A study by SalesHacker people finds that a salesperson typically spends 65% of their time performing non-sales-related tasks.
Yes, it’s not an exaggeration. That’s 65% of time not dedicated to the task he should be the expert. Can you identify the elephant in your room?
This is because a complex sale is, as the name says, complex. It requires much more preparation and organization than a simple sale. Not counting training time.
But don’t despair. The only thing that still doesn’t have a way in life is death.
By following your salespeople closely, with well-defined planning, indicators and goals, as I said, it is easy to identify your gaps.
What about sales engagement indicators?
You probably already use indicators and goals in your company. But tell me, how were they defined?
- Was there an analysis of the company’s history compared to the potential achieved?
- Were they established in a conversation with the commercial team?
- Were numbers simply assumed?
Large consultancies are betting on the SMART goals methodology. You can check out an article about it here, but basically goals have to be achievable, measurable, challenging and achievable.
Returning to football, have you ever heard of Cartola?
It’s a game in which you can choose a team with the players that compete in the first division of Brasileirão. These players score according to what they do in the games in the round, with pre-established criteria.
Game users compete with each other in the hope that their rostered players will have the best scouts, that is, the best performance when compared to the rostered players by their opponents.
But what does this have to do with sales engagement indicators? The game manages to measure, with certain caveats, the performance of players, and rewards them for it.
The indicators in sales engagement should work this way: measuring the performance of your salespeople and your team as a whole on a day-to-day basis.
I like a phrase: In God we trust, all others must bring data.
And, in the same way that a football coach is “swinging a tightrope” when the team is doing poorly, the manager is in that position when he doesn’t present the combined results.
How would you scale your team?
What should we measure?
Above raw data, the most important thing is to understand how your salesperson is performing. How is he doing on emails? And in the calls?
While an email is easy to follow, a call is not that easy. Here comes the great advantage of a platform that has VoIP and allows full recording of these calls.
The Reev, for example, has one of the best performances with VoIP I’ve seen and allows recording of all calls. Seriously, you can ask who uses it 😉
But to answer the question of what should we measure, the famous OPIs and KPIs are, yes, very important.
Below, I put some indicators that I think are essential for your control which are adopted by the team of park view Islamabad :
- Number of prospects;
- Number of emails sent;
- Number of calls made;
- Number of connections made;
- Bounce rate ;
- no-show fee ;
- Conversion rate between funnel steps;
- Size of your sales cycle.
The importance of each of these indicators
Knowing the number of prospects and activities performed, you can understand the conversion between steps and identify where you need to improve your process.
We’ve already talked about this when we talked about deal flow, an important methodology to ensure predictability of your process.
Furthermore, by measuring your bounce rates you can identify how well your lead list generation is doing, i.e. how efficient your business intelligence team is.
With the no-show rates, you can see if your salespeople are generating value and urgency in your lead with respect to your solution.
Finally, with all this data, plus the average length of your sales cycle, you can actually predict your revenue and grow in a scalable and sustainable way.
Once the planning is done, facing adversity becomes easier and the possibility of winning tends to increase considerably.
A poorly planned process is one of the worst things you can have.
So I’m talking about Reev again.
With it and all the features it has, you can keep your salesperson more focused on what he is specialized in: selling.
In addition, you can follow him more closely and assertively, because you can clearly analyze his strengths and points of improvement.
And seriously, there’s nothing better than accurate feedback. It is one of the main motivational factors in a business routine.
the final scenario
Having said all that, I just wanted to make one thing clear to you:
The manager’s role is like the role of a technician, with its burdens and bonuses. Training and monitoring your team, ensuring the best results is essential.
In spite of that, I know that routines often tighten and we get choked up. Therefore, allying with tools that provide a gain in productivity is essential.
A good CRM and a good Sales Engagement platform are, at this moment, the right arm of any manager.
Set goals, measure, manage and give good feedback. The results are sure to come!
What’s left to get you started?
After this text, were there still any questions?
We have a great blog post about the top sales mistakes and how to avoid them. It might be a good supplementary reading.
We also have a text on Sales Operations, which refers to the processes within a sales organization that support, enable and direct the team to sell better, faster and more efficiently.
If you still feel that something is missing, you can contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org, comment here below or send a smoke signal (I just don’t guarantee the effectiveness of the latter).