Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Why Metrics are Critical for Work-From-Home Sales Teams

While leading WFH and Inside Sales organizations, I have seen the important role metrics play in driving productivity and success—they give leaders an accurate picture of their team’s activities and lead them to achieve consistent results.

COVID-19 has forced many sellers to work from home for the first time. This adjustment could easily lead to a decline in rep productivity on important metrics. As a leader, it is critical that you focus your reps so that they can have the greatest chance for success in this new environment. Sellers who recently moved home face distractions, lack of oversight, reduced interaction with other sellers, and often lack a structured routine. These factors are merciless! If you don’t intervene to help your team, they will disrupt your reps.

A properly structured scorecard, that tracks the right metrics, is more important now than ever. It teaches reps which goals to make, and it give managers the ability to track progress on those goals. The best scorecards include both leading and lagging indicators. This combination of forward-looking indicators and historical statistics will help to set your sellers up for success.

Lagging indicators like quota attainment and win/loss ratios measure actions that occurred in the past, allowing leaders to review rep actions and council their team accordingly. In some cases, they can even help predict future success. Leading indicators forecast a team’s success in the future. Key examples include number of prospects qualified, accounts identified, and pipeline added.

When building your work-from-home scorecard, keep these 3 tips in mind:

  1. Establish Metrics as a Team—Pick which metrics you’re going to focus on with your reps. It will help them to understand which actions from their old routine are still applicable, and what new things need to be added to succeed in their current environment. Ask them to suggest metrics that they think would make a difference. Tracking metrics that reps suggest will help them to “own” the numbers.
  2. Review Metrics Weekly—Talk about what is working and what isn’t. Hold your reps accountable for their weekly metrics and offer them suggestions to make up for deficits. Coaching a rep to dedicate time on their calendar to fixing a specific issue can help them feel more confident when preparing for the next week’s review.
  3. Keep it Fun—Gamification is an enjoyable way to keep your reps focused on metrics. Run contests, send updates, and have video meetings to celebrate success. Individual competitions are important, but don’t forget challenges for the team as a whole. These group activities encourage group members to reach out to one another and build camaraderie.
  4. Adjust—During volatile times, any plan needs to be flexible. Metrics can help you see necessary changes, but your team needs to be ready to make them. Set the expectation with your team members that the scorecard indicators are open to review. As a group, you will find new paths to success and be able to remove extraneous figures.

Working from home presents both obstacles and opportunities. Choose to focus on opportunities. Using a flexible metric-based approach will allow your team to seize unique chances that COVID-19 presents while keeping your reps productive, happy, and connected.

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