Aligning strategic operations and their associated success measures with organisational goals in all areas of the business including sales. Management and measurement of those critical factors that determine defined success is a business fundamental. How often are these key metrics reconsidered as the organisation responds to or even creates new market conditions?
Given the plethora of possible metrics settling on a dashboard that reports historical information that provides little decision support and offers no insight into how things are developing.
Timur Hicyilmaz posted on the CEB Sales Blog that a solution, at least from a sales metric viewpoint, is to try to model out the sales process and provide different individuals with numbers that will make it easier for them to deliver against their commitments:
1. For sales professionals, according to Hicyilmaz, the metrics will tend to be around the pipeline and will want to contain a mechanism for evaluating the quality of the opportunity as well as the usual pipeline metrics that are more focused on volume.
I agree and experience has taught that you get the behaviour you reward. Focussing sales professionals solely on pipeline metrics, such as order target cover, in a business-to-business context has no clear impact on quality of delivery or business sustainability. Revenue recognition, based on collections, and incentives tied to annuity revenue provides some guarantee of sustainability.
2. Similarly, according to Hicyilmaz, managers will want to have access to aggregate and trend information so that they can help achieve the desired outcomes. We would always recommend that any manager dashboards also include some softer measures, assessing the development needs of individual reps, as well as a measure of the quality of the relationship between the manager and the sales professional.
I agree and the role of sales coaching as a developmental management approach is instrumental in empowering significantly improved sales success.