Sales Managers - Sales PerformanceSales managers have many things to handle, stress about, deal with, fix, etc.  Do yourself and your team a favor and spend the bulk of your time focusing on the big three:

  • Goals
  • Pipeline
  • Activity

First we need to revisit a topic I have written on previously… leading and lagging indicators.  Lagging indicators are highly important, but are a historic view.  In sales, lagging indicators are the closed business your team generated.  You and your team CANNOT control the amount of closed business the team generates, but can control the activities preformed every hour of every day, which help to influence the amount of closed business.   Your team cannot even control whether or not they get to speak to any prospects.  They can only control what they are doing to improve their odds of speaking to actual prospects.  Activity, including the quantity, quality and type, are the leading indicators in sales.

Here is how the three items above relate to each other:

GOALS:  Make certain you completely understand the closed business goals for your entire team, and the goals each team member is responsible for individually.  As a sales manager, if you understand how their sales goals fit into their wider personal goals, you will be able to effectively motivate each person individually. For instance, do they need to make a certain commission to be able to buy that boat they want?

PIPELINE:  This will require a little math in order to understand how many opportunities need to be in each stage of the pipeline for your group to meet its annual goal.  In addition, each person on your team must understand how many opportunities they need to have in each stage of the pipeline in order to meet their individual goals.

ACTIVITY:  You must fully understand what the critical activities are for your team’s success, and you must know how many of each activity is required to place the needed number of opportunities in each stage of the pipeline.

Work backward from the goal to get to the required activity, then hold the salespeople accountable to the appropriate quantity and quality of activity to fill the pipeline with deals to eventually close, as to meet their goals.