What gets measured, gets done
What gets measured, drives behaviours
These are two of the most important statements when considering Performance Management for the Sales Team.
I have worked with many organisations to introduce performance measurement matrices, as well as having reviewed the same when consulting to increase sales importance in other organisations.
The following is a very brief overview of the do’s and don’t of using Performance Management Measures within the sales team. You may want to consider these points against your existing performance measurements if you are thinking of a revision, update or even starting with a completely blank sheet.
- Keep it simple – Don’t over complicate the measurement process or the measurements taken, try to make it as transparent and as logical as possible and ensure there is a direct relationship between the performance measurement you are making and the ultimate critical positive outputs the sales person is measured on. For example if the sales person is measured on GP per deal, then do you really need to be measuring how many appointments they sit per week? (Just consider how this could actually drive the wrong behaviour by having two conflicting goals).
- Performance policing – let the sales team measure their own performance on the criteria you set. This will increase buy in, responsibility, focus and competiveness within the team. This makes the process an ongoing activity, rather than a set of stats that get reported at the sales meeting. Hold the team accountable for reporting their own performance.
- CRM stats can kill you!!! – Beware of measuring too many performance indicators. This is a simple case of less is more – just pick the performance measures that are really important to the critical positive outputs. If you are generating sheets and sheets of data then chances are you will not be working with meaningful information…which is the whole point of having a Performance Management Matrices. Be clear, be precise and be strict about what you will measure and be able to explain why measuring those elements will have a very direct and meaningful impact on critical positive outputs
- Question the data – Continually ask ‘what is this data telling me?’ If it’s not telling you anything, then stop collecting it
- Patterns and Trends – Look for correlations in data collected and critical positive outputs. They may or may not exist. Initially, don’t take the correlations as gospel, treat them more as an hypothesis to be tested, presumably, if you are measuring performance indicators then I assume you are a learning organisation – so use the hypothesis to test your understanding, and increase learning.
- Be Singular – If you are going to test the impact of changing elements of your offering to assess the impact on key performance indicators and critical positive outputs, then change one thing at a time. Also beware of the delayed impact effect – what’s changed today may not be evidenced until months down the line – don’t expect immediacy in your measurements
- Make a difference – If what you are measuring makes no difference to the final critical positive outputs, stop measuring it.
- Keep it positive – If there is no positive reason, only negative, reasons for measuring an output, then consider if you really need to be measuring it.
- Focus on value and benefit – Stop talking about what you are measuring, get used to talking about why you are measuring them and the positive impact it is having. Watch the language – talk in terms of value and benefit to the ultimate critical positive outputs. Don’t just fixate on the numbers
- Define outputs – Relate all measurements to critical positive outputs – make sure everyone knows what critical positive outputs are – could be GP, CSI, turnover, number of complaints…
- Involve – Engage the sales team at all times – as grass roots individuals working at the sharp end then they have a wealth of information and input. Plus, it will increase buy in.
- Remain a flexible learning organisation – Don’t set too rigid a template for collecting data – be prepared to change and be flexible, and let everyone know that this is part of the learning process.
Finally – remember the whole point of collecting performance information is to help you make better decisions regarding how to increase the critical positive outputs and decrease the negative outputs. If the information is simply being collected to beat up the sales team, then a valuable opportunity is being missed to make sales processes leaner, improve the customer experience as well as build a scalable sales function.
Carol Griffiths – Principal and Lead Consultant
0779 002 1885