You have to measure your sales success. It sounds easy, but in reality, measuring successes in sales can be difficult. Although the job is to close sales, measuring the progress can’t come down to the number of sales and looking at profit margins. You have to consider things like the demand for your product (growing or shrinking), the efforts being made my your sales team, the progress over the year, etc. You can’t assume that a slow month means your team members aren’t doing their jobs.
That’s why it helps to think of sales in the same way you think of operations. As Growth Coach Ingar Grev said in a recent article published on The Business Journal website, you can’t just “wait until the end (of the sales cycle) and rely on revenue as the only indicator of performance.”
In that article, Grev describes a client who fired a long-time, successful sales person because his performance seemed to continue to decline. After working with Grev, the client discovered that the problem wasn’t with the sales person – it was with the product – and the replacement they hired didn’t have the materials, overnight or CRM tools needed to be successful.
Treating your sales department the same way you treat operations comes down to three things – quality control, oversight and metrics. Here are a few ways to get started:
Consistent sales content: Your sales people are having conversations with prospective clients. They are talking about your product or service, describing why your business is different and making the case for why your product or service is something they should add to their lives. But what are they saying? Make sure your sales people are relaying the same information to all prospective clients by approving all the sales copy and the prospecting process. You should be able to control the message being sent by your sales people – they are representing your company to the public.
Don’t ignore the data: Sometimes data doesn’t tell us what we want to hear. If your data shows you that your product or service needs changed or that you’re no longer meeting the needs of your prospective clients, figure out what needs to change. No one benefits if you wait until it’s too late.
For more tips and to read Grev’s full article, visit https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/marketing/2017/04/how-to-treat-sales-like-your-other-operations.html.