How Tracking Sales Management KPIs Creates a Culture of Success
But if you’re a human-centric sales manager who’s driven by the energy you give and get from your team members, then analyzing data might be your least favorite element of the job – and we wouldn’t blame you.
Metric success tracking can be dry and statistical, compared to people-driven tasks such as coaching. And, considering just how many KPIs can be measured, can also be mind-boggling!
But would you warm to the idea of meticulously tracking your sales management KPIs if you knew that in doing so, you’d:
- Unite your team,
- inspire them to work harder,
- and create a culture of success within your salesforce?
What are sales management KPIs?
KPIs or ‘Key Performance Indicators’ are the specific sales metrics you use to evaluate your team’s performance. They must be connected directly to one or more of your company’s goals or objectives – or, in your instance, the goals and objectives you’ve set for your sales team as their manager.
Sales metrics are the data points that represent your team’s performance. On their own, they’re pretty useless. How useless?
Let’s break it down.
Imagine you’re a parent whose child has been struggling terribly at school. So much so that you’ve decided to switch schools.
Now, how are you going to measure whether or not this new school is a good fit?
Certainly not by looking at one 10/10 test score.
You’re going to take the knowledge you have of your child and how they behaved at their previous school and compare their new situation to their old one. You know your child.
And you have a clear idea of what thriving at school looks like as it pertains to your child’s personality and their unique needs. A few weeks or months into the new term, you’ll examine the following indicators:
- Are they raising their hand and participating in class?
- What kind of feedback have you received from the teacher?
- Do they come home and tell you about their day?
- How are mornings before school? Does your child wake up happy or are there tears and apprehension?
- Have they made friends?
The results of those findings will help you determine if your child is happy in their new school, and what factors are contributing to their well-being.
Analyzing data doesn’t just tell you what’s happening, but why it’s happening.
Are not enough leads being converted into customers? Maybe your sales reps are pursuing dead-end leads instead of those that should be prioritized. Applying the BANT sales method at the beginning of your sales process could help them improve when it comes to qualifying prospects.
Do prospects seem to be dropping off in those moments right before your sales reps should be closing the sale? Maybe your team needs to be coached in alternative closing techniques.
Analyzing and understanding the data you collect is the key to growing your revenue and achieving your targets.
Less is more when it comes to KPIs
In many cases more is more – especially when it comes to revenue!
But when you’re tracking KPIs, less is more.
You could track as many metrics as Joe Girard has sold cars, but it won’t guarantee better results. Your aim should be to enable your team’s agility and motivate them to keep striving towards their goals. Too many metrics will make them feel like they’re wading through quicksand.
So, don’t measure their every move. Measure the right moves.
When you measure the right moves, you’ll be able to take your findings and use them to become a better sales manager who brings out the best in your team.
What KPIs should you be tracking?
There’s no one perfect list of KPIs to track, but what we can tell you is this: there is a list of KPIs that are perfect and unique to your industry, your team, and your goals as a manager.
What you need to do is make sure:
- Your goals are well-defined (without established goals to measure them against, they’ll simply be metrics and not KPIs).
- You choose KPIs that are relevant to both your short-term and long-term plans.
- Your whole team is working towards one common goal.
- You have at least one KPI that pertains to each stage of the sales process.
- Your team has its own set of metrics to work towards (it’s about their results as much as yours as a manager).
- You split the metrics you’ll measure into two categories. Those that are:
- Each KPI can be directly influenced by how you ask your team to act upon it, as only 14% of sales metrics are manageable!
You’ll be able to determine which KPIs to track and report on based on what you know about your business, your team, and the unique goals you’ve set.
To get you started, we’ve listed what we consider to be the top ten sales management KPIs:
- Monthly sales growth
- Calls and emails per rep
- Sales targets
- Sales rep productivity and leaderboard
- Sales opportunities created
- Sales by contact method
- Average conversion time
- Sales by region
- Product performance
- Average purchase value
If you need inspiration, a quick google will produce countless more metrics not included here. Once you’ve established the specific list of metrics you and your team will be monitoring, you’ll need to collect and store the data in one place – a sales management dashboard.
Your sales management dashboard
A sales dashboard is a tool that allows you to control and monitor your KPIs in one central place.
If you look past the sea of numbers and charts, you’ll see that your dashboard tells a concise story about your company’s performance.
This allows you to dig even deeper – enabling you to:
- Pinpoint potential bottlenecks
- Control your sales activities
- Optimize your sales process effectively and efficiently
We’re not here to tell you which template or software to choose, but what we are here to say is that using a data dashboard is an absolute gamechanger and will put you at an immediate advantage.
Once all your data has been amalgamated into a dashboard, your next step will be to generate informative and actionable reports, which you’ll then share with your team.
Sales reports as a management tool
Consider this: You’re sitting in your office poring over data and sales reports while your sales force is in the field doing what they do best. You don’t want to bore them with analytics. They’ve got a job to do.
But no manager is an island.
If you keep this part of your job from them – a part of your job that correlates directly to their performances, what kind of divide does that create? A ‘you versus them’ mentality will never bring about positive results.
Start rattling on about KPIs and yes, you might notice your team members stifling yawns. So, when it’s time to share your findings with your team, try reframing metric tracking altogether.
Say this instead:
“I found out what we’re doing well, and what we could be doing better.”
We’re sure that your salesforce will start listening. Because:
- Who doesn’t love a conversation that starts by celebrating their success?
- Being given tangible ways to improve is a great way to motivate someone.
The managers we train have found that sales management reports help them connect with their team by allowing them to speak about facts rather than assumptions.
How KPIs benefit you and your team
KPIs and sales management reports can create a culture of success in your team by:
Providing your sales reps with a ‘lighthouse’
Metrics provide markers. Every team deserves an achievable goal to set their sights on to succeed. Analyzing the right KPIs – properly and in moderation – will let them know how close they are to hitting their goals and give them the lighthouse they need to keep striving.
Uniting your team
Metrics give each department a reason to work hard, collaborate and share in each other’s victories. When everyone feels like they are having a positive impact on the business, you’ll see a happy, motivated, and cohesive workforce.
Helping their personal development
Analytics helps you identify your sales reps’ bad habits, which lets you know what behavior they need to change. You’ll also be able to better determine what kind of ongoing training they’ll benefit from.
Enabling you to be a better coach
Coaching is a crucial element of sales management. You can use your findings to make you a better coach. Instead of telling them how to improve, sit down with each salesperson, review some of their key accounts, and problem solve collaboratively.
As a manager, people skills and intuition alone won’t cut it in this day and age. Embrace analytics, and you’ll realize that they can be interwoven with your more holistic attributes and used to your advantage.