Which sales management metrics matter?
The most progressive sales organizations understand that the mark of a highly-effective sales manager is not whether they make their number, but the percentage of reps they get to theirs.
But what managerial activities drive those results?
It may not be obvious to your leaders who manage frontline managers, but who, where, and how managers spend their time matters. And for those organizations who believe there is no greater return on sales productivity than the effective coaching and development of a sales manager with their reps, it is important to understand the variables that create a stronger ROI on coaching.
We’ve established three key factors for the next generation of data-driven sales coaches:
- Consistency: How frequently coaching is occurring
- Volume: How much time and energy is given to coaching
- Quality: How valuable your coaching and feedback are
Why does consistency matter? If your managers coach in batches vs. on a more regular cadence, you’ll get a very different result — not only with your manager’s efficacy, but also with your reps’ ability to improve. Like anything you hope to excel at, consistency matters if you want to build the coaching muscle.
Consistency measures to what extent coaching is an activity prioritized each week versus all at once. Managers who are consistently coaching make it part of their weekly plan… in other words, they plan ahead.
Unfortunately, no sales manager has infinite hours in a day. Once sales leaders prioritize coaching as a critical activity, the logical question becomes — how much? Coaching capacity has to be weighed against other activities that take up a managers’ week. Most sales organizations are trying to relieve the burden of more administrative activities to ensure sales managers are out spending quality time with their reps.
That said, coaching capacity shouldn’t be the same across your reps, as team composition may impact the amount of coaching needed. Once sales leaders develop a notion of coaching capacity, it naturally leads to a question of how to best allocate that scarce resource.
Your veterans and rookies will need drastically different amounts of coaching. Along the same lines, spending more time with your middle performers versus your higher and lower performers can drive better results.
What qualifies as good coaching? If your sales team gets value out of your coaching, that’s the ultimate measure of quality. Poor coaching starts by not observing and assessing the inputs that create the outputs — we typically refer to the inputs as “behaviors.” Once a manager can diagnose what they observe and ask good questions to gain further understanding, the next step is to share why. Once sellers understand the rationale for a manager’s assessment of the situation, a manager will share how a seller can adjust or improve going forward.
To be an effective data-driven sales coach, managers benefit from a framework to provide consistent, structured feedback. This takes any kind of emotion out of the process. Though it’s never a manager’s intention, unconscious bias can cloud your managers’ judgment — you won’t be doing your reps any favors by sticking to easy feedback.
The Right Tools
CT Connect helps sales leaders understand the consistency, volume, and quality of the coaching taking place within their organization.
Build and execute coaching plans: Remain consistent with your coaching by building a sales cadence to ensure your reps get the support they need.
Set a framework for feedback: Remain data-driven in your assessments in order to stay analytical — not intuitive or unconsciously biased with your feedback.
Create a sales team culture of continuous feedback and improvement: Give consistent, quality feedback for your reps to help them continue to evolve and grow.
With our assessment maps, team and individual profiles, trends, and activity/behavioral metrics, you get more out of every manager-to-seller interaction by using a data-driven tool to guide where you spend your time, with which sellers, and — most importantly — how you give feedback.