If you're in inside sales management, then you know all about metrics. In fact, whenever I consult with new clients the owners and managers automatically begin showing me their call monitoring reports. They show me metrics on how many calls a rep is making, how much average time each rep spends on the phone, what their conversion rate is, and on and on.
When they ask me what I think, I tell them I think they're measuring the wrong things. Now don't get me wrong - those things are important and they should be monitored. The problem though is that those metrics are not what drive sales.
You see, it isn't the activity around the sale that's important (and that everyone measures), but rather, it's the activity during the sale that matters.
In other words, as a manager you need to know exactly what and how your reps are responding and dealing with their prospects and clients while the sale is going on.There are two times to monitor and coach this:
- You can either monitor your reps while they're actually on the phone with a prospect or client, or:
- You can record the call and spend time reviewing and coaching your rep as you go over their performance.
Both of these methods will give you the most important information of all: Are your reps using the best practice approaches to successfully handle the sales situations they run into 80% of the time when trying to sell your product or service?
You see, if your reps either don't know how to best handle these sales situations, or if they simply aren't using effective techniques and skills, or worse, if they just don't have the talent or willingness to consistently use proven best practices, then it doesn't matter how much time they spend on calls, or how many calls they make or how many leads they get out.
Again, it's how they perform during a sales call that matters most. And your number one goal as a manager is to know how each of your reps perform while in the sale, and then to teach them the most effective, best practice techniques to win more sales.
Once you've given your team the skills and techniques to succeed in your selling environment, and you've trained them thoroughly on them, then managing simply becomes a job of coaching adherence to these best practices (see numbers one and two above).
Again, it isn't the activity around the sale that's important, but rather, it's the activity during the sale that matters.