A quality sales manager will be the first to tell you that one of the primary reasons to have realistic sales productivity metrics is to improve sales reps’ performance. “If you want to improve it, measure it.” Good sales metrics give management teams the ability to identify what is working and what isn’t, across a variety of process points—lead generation, lead qualifying, sales closes, lead sourcing, and more.
However, sometimes these types of sales metrics can be a source of discontent with front-line reps, because it forces them to do things that on the surface don’t feel inherently productive—note taking, flagging events and tasks, dispositioning leads, setting deal stages and actions.
What they don’t realize is that metrics are just as much about motivating a team as they are about measuring its performance.
Time and again it’s proven that without clear metrics, follow-up, and accountability, sales teams “demotivate.”
When goals and metrics are unclear, it causes unnecessary stress and lost productivity. Agents’ time and effort are valuable commodities that must be leveraged. Unclear goals forces agents to constantly work in a state of flux, forcing them to reevaluate nearly every project or action they do, because they don’t know what’s going to produce the desired result. They’re forced to guess at what the most important use of their time is.
Without clear metrics and goals, agents invariably choose the path of least resistance—the stuff they know that will get sales NOW. Follow-up and prospecting are typically the first victims in these scenarios, because the results are too variable. Regardless of the intent of a metric, a sales rep is going to act in their own best interest.
Without a clear vision how a given activity is going to help them maximize their time (and ultimately the organization’s), sales reps get frustrated. They become distrustful and apathetic.
Remember: Good metrics and processes give managers the ability to be more effective, but more importantly a rep can only give top maximum effort when they clearly understand the reward.