• Duane Cashin

Holding Salespeople Accountable

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

If you feel like you’re having trouble holding salespeople accountable, you’re not alone. This is one of the major challenges for most sales leaders -- whether they are heading up a team that reports daily to the office or a team that works remotely. 

Accountability is a slippery slope because it often means different things to different people. For us, in its simplest form, sales accountability means:

  • Holding salespeople accountable to something measurable (metrics) on a weekly and quarterly basis and sharing with each rep the story their numbers tell. When done in this fashion this is “coaching” versus “micromanagement”.

  • Encouraging reps to voice their concerns regarding the market, pricing and the competition but making it clear that along with their concerns must come several solutions. No blaming and excuse-making will be allowed. This is a component of a healthy “culture”.

  • Providing lots of care and support for each rep while being firm on the process.

  • Eliminating underachievement (everyone achieves or surpassed their goals or is coached out of the organization so they can find a position where they can be successful and happy).

What, exactly, is the best way to do this? And how do you do it without falling into the trap of micromanaging your salespeople? That’s the issue we’ll tackle today.

When we speak to leaders of sales teams, we often hear the following statements:

  • “I feel like I’m chasing salespeople and their quotas each month. Their projections never seem to match up with reality.”

  • “I don’t know what my salespeople are REALLY doing every day.”

  • “The end of every quarter is a nightmare as we scramble to hit our numbers. Why can’t we be more consistent?”

  • “I don’t think my team really knows how many appointments or proposals it takes to hit quota.”

Do these statements resonate with you? Quite likely, they do. Again, you’re not alone in your uncertainty about how to hold salespeople accountable or in your desire to take over when things get crazy and try to fix everything yourself.

But, don’t you want a better way?

Here at Cashin Sales, we believe there is a better way, and that way is holding team members accountable to the sales process and what it takes to move from one stage to another. 

The first step is examining your sales process. We’ve touched on this before, so as a reminder, you must have a written, clearly defined milestone-centered sales process in place that:

  1. Lays out specifically which activities need to be performed, and how often, in order for that salesperson to hit his or her income targets.

  2. Requires each member of the team to follow it (no exceptions).

  3. Provides the visibility you need into each salesperson’s activities that enable you to understand their strengths and weaknesses. This gives you the intelligence you need to coach each rep individually up to the next level of performance.

To measure the effectiveness of your current sales process, feel free to utilize this free tool. 

Remember: Your goal is for each salesperson (and really the entire team) to be self-motivated. To do that you need to create an atmosphere of a professional coach, not a back-seat driver who’s constantly yelling out instructions about how to operate the car. 

Great coaches make sure everyone has, understands, and can execute from the same playbook. They set clear expectations that the members of the team are going to do their job, as defined and practiced. This creates consistency and a culture of performance.

​If you’re struggling with the issue of accountability, give us a call. We can help you create the culture you need to achieve your revenue goals and, believe it or not, while enjoying the process.

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