Quantity or quality?
Once upon a time in a land far far away sales managers everywhere were perplexed by the dichotomy they faced: sales teams who were hitting targets by having high activity rates at the expense of poor customer experience or leaving opportunity on the table. Their sales teams would push back when asked about this by saying quite reasonably: “I’m hitting my KPI’s…what’s the problem?”
This isn’t happening anymore…at least it hasn’t for a really long time. Sales managers today would probably love to have the problem of their sales team members hitting targets due to activity levels. Working on quality is a different challenge, but quantity DOES matter.
You can’t actually get high quality without quantity first. By having enough experience, sales team members build the muscle of repetition and refinement and will find their winning formula sooner than later. It’s the way it works.
With new starters in particular, it’s important to see them busily prospecting and meeting with the right prospects. That’s the first task of a sales manager – to get them into a high activity operating rhythm. Not so easy when teams are working remotely but it matters. Going along with them to these early meetings is an opportunity to work with them, help them to build their self awareness levels and determine for themselves (with you there to provide specific examples) of what is and isn’t working and what makes you say that.
Quality will come with time spent in field with your team, and with your one on one coaching conversations.
Here is a task for the next 90 days to raise activity levels with your team members:
Track their success rates: is it 1 in 10 meetings that progresses (either towards a sale or the next stage of engagement) or is it higher? Someone who has high activity levels will beat someone who has lower acitivty levels but is high in quality because of the numbers game alone. For instance: if someone has a 10% success rate and has 100 meetings they’ll progress 10 opportunities, whereas someone who has a 90% success rate but only has 10 meetings will only progress 9 meetings. You can see you need both
Make this public to the team so everyone can see it. There is nothing wrong with accountability to one another. It’s not a leader board, it’s an activity tracker and it keeps the team honest so they’re living in reality rather than in should’s and shouldn’ts..
Bring them together as a group on a weekly basis (in person or online) to share insights and learnings. The wins will be obvious. Sharing tips around activity levels is the focus
Celebrate those who start to get higher progression rates: ie those who move from 1 in 10 to 2 in 10. Help them to see that through the activity they’re improving. Quantity is driving up quality.
Maintain the focus on activity and then add a focus on quality. High activity plus high quality has a multiplier effect like no other.
And you know what? It’s time folks. Our customers deserve better and to keep our team committed and thriving they need strong direction. Let that be you.