• Duane Cashin

Metrics Are Great, But Here's What You're Still Missing

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

For the heck of it, I Googled, “the importance of sales metrics.” In less than half a second, 54,500,000 results were returned. People must think metrics are really important!

And, they’re right.

Sales metrics provide us with the following insights which are critical elements of success:

  • The contribution each sales representative is making.

  • The strengths and weaknesses of each salesperson.

  • Accountability: to yourself and your boss.

  • Time management: knowing what activities move the needle on sales allows you to focus on what matters and be more effective.

  • Specific knowledge of prospecting effectiveness: insight into what lead generation activities are producing results -- cold calling, networking, social media campaigns, referrals, etc. enables you to set clear and achievable prospecting and sales objectives for each salesperson on your team.

Metrics allow you to be in control, and as a result, empower you to improve the quality of your life and the success of your company by increasing your intelligence and making you more efficient.

If you truly understand what the outcomes are statistically every time you pick up the phone or attend a networking event, wouldn’t that give you the insight you need to be more effective? The ability to predict the future surely puts my mind at ease.

So, metrics are good. My issue is that they don’t provide you with an instant and direct opportunity to help each salesperson take their selling skills up to the next level.

Metrics provide insight into traditional lagging indicators such as deals closed and revenue generated and provide us with the conversion ratios necessary to understand the amount of activity needed to close deals such as new meetings, qualified opportunities, and pipeline quantity and quality.

Either way, you have to wait until tasks are completed and entered into a computer before you can assess your salespeople. By then, they may have made some crucial mistakes and lost sales. Now, please don’t get me wrong, tracking metrics is essential, but there is only one “direct” way to improve sales performance, and that is with weekly, effective coaching and role-play. When you role-play with salespeople and ask them to play the part of a prospect, the salespeople/actors will actually mirror the behavior and attitude that they are currently experiencing from their prospects.

That’s because the behavior that prospects exhibit is a direct result of the approach, tonality, questions, conversation, and collaboration of a salesperson.

Salespeople are in a position to influence how their prospects behave.

So, if a salesperson consistently portrays a nasty prospect, then you know that is how prospects are treating them. If they play a tough prospect, then you know that prospects are being very tough on them. If they play an easy prospect, then you know that prospects are being easy and cooperative. What’s so interesting about this?

How the salesperson portrays a prospect over time will give you insight into whether they are improving or not. Salespeople who are improving will portray increasingly more collaborative prospects.

If your salespeople don't seem to be portraying engaged prospects each time you coach them, then, chances are, they aren't getting any better.

Can you get more instant feedback than that?

The importance of coaching and role-play cannot be understated. When you’re ready to improve the quality and impact of your coaching, give us a call.

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