Most sales people are intrinsically competitive. You always want to know what the best are doing to outpace everyone. Sometimes this is right inside your organization. We hear about the star sales manager that is 120% of quota. This is the person that is promoted. The person that makes the most money. The person that gets all the recognition while you are left scratching your head. You wonder how your team stacks up to these top performers. Do not let all the glory misguide you.
This post is about focusing on Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that measure sustainable results. Download the Sales Performance Guide to start seeing how you stack up. This will also ensure your team is doing the right things to be successful. Revenue attainment can be a misleading indicator. There are several other reasons why sales managers struggle to measure the right metrics. Below are just a few.
Measuring the wrong KPI’s is like driving down the road with a blind fold. You are relying on gut instinct and in many occasions, it is reactive. Here are a few examples of why this happens:
- Too Many KPI’s- Everywhere you look on the internet you will find articles on different KPI’s. Sometimes you will find organizations that measure over a hundred different indicators. This makes it difficult on managers to decipher what is actually “key”. In addition, many of the key indicators are mutually exclusive from one another. The performance indicators must support each other to ensure success. Narrow down the focus by using the Sales Performance Guide.
- Lagging Indicators- Often, organizations make the mistake of measuring lagging indicators as KPI’s. Some measure profit, revenue per sales person, sales/cost ratio or employee satisfaction. These are important but they are an indicator of what already happened. They merely record the outcome of a process. To pass the test an indicator has to be attributed to an individual or team. You have to be able to take corrective action during execution.
- Big Deals- Sometimes teams make their number on a few big deals. This is not necessarily a bad thing. However when you live by the big deal, you also die by it. If you removed those big deals, the results would tell a different story. A better strategy would be to make your number without big deals. These bigger deals should be additive to your results.
Measuring the correct indicators allows you the ability to make the best decisions. You can be certain you are taking corrective action in areas of your business. Here are three benefits:
- Alignment- Defining what you will measure gives you the ability to connect with other functions inside your organization. Marketing is a good example. If you measure appointments, you can determine your leads from marketing ratio.
- Informed Decision Making- The right indicators give you the ability to make better decisions at the critical moments. They should focus on behavioral change and leading indicators. This allows you to apply corrective training and coaching.
- Collaboration- Campaign execution is a good example. Sharing dashboards with Marketing allows you to communicate real-time. This allows everyone to streamline a process and become more efficient.
Every businessperson should strive to create exceptional key performance indicators. They show the ways in which troubled teams can fix their problems. Successful teams can proactively plan and manage continued success. Get started using the Sales Performance Guide.