RAB Research Archive

Measuring What Matters — Response



We have the smartest members and readers! Last week, we shared a two-part series about end-of-year reviews and gave some tips on measuring what matters. We always appreciate feedback and additional thoughts on our sales tips, and one of our frequent responders makes some excellent points to consider:

"As always, a good thought-provoking article. Maybe it should have been called 'Measuring the Individual' because that's exactly what you're prescribing, especially as it relates to your bullet point number three. The answer to anyone with any brain would spot the winner as seller number two, yet to effectively help seller number one and seller number two achieve the individual goals, they have to be managed in different ways. If a manager is not prepared to do that, then the results ultimately speak for themselves.

However, there is something else to consider. People (even individual performers like salespeople) want/need structure and process to operate efficiently. The challenge for any manager is to create processes and systems that are flexible enough to adjust to the individual but still be specific enough to measure.

So, while dials, diagnostic appointments, and presentations, uniformly, as you put it, 'are a worthwhile pursuit for new sellers,' they are not necessarily worthwhile for experienced ones — a broad generalization, but with truth to it. Success is measured in all kinds of ways, but crossing the finish line ahead of the budget is always paramount. Here are a few suggestions with more experienced sellers that I have found workable, measurable and successful:

Budget — When handing budgets to sellers, the goal is to not smile and wave as you pass by their desk dropping off a number. but rather to sit down and map out an individual game plan with that individual and determine together how the goal will be reached.

Data Analysis — For the more experienced sellers who have multiple years in the same position with the same company, analyzing their meetings, presentations and closes allows for an individual to be measured against their performance and NOT against others. As a runner, I can tell you that running a race with 40,000 other runners is irrelevant to me. I only care about beating my PB (personal best). If I do that, I'll have succeeded. If a seller who is running their own race is measured against themselves, they are more likely to win (with a specific plan of course).

It's ok to have a monthly or quarterly day of calls — It should be accompanied by specific guidelines of course, and there should be specific rewards for it. It's ok to pull the senior seller aside and say 'look, this is designed to get more meetings and close more business. The goals we agreed on together are not being met, so I recommend you focus on this at least until you are back on track." Or, (to the senior seller) 'Look, this is designed to get more meetings and close more business, but you are hitting the goals we agreed on so this is designed to spur those that aren't getting there. I would respectfully request that you do contribute, because as a leader on the team, you can show everyone that even the most successful people on the team see the relevance and importance in prospecting.'

The successful manager manages the individual, NOT the team. The team performs when each individual knows what their race in front of them looks like and how they need to run it to win!"

Such great feedback and advice for all of us looking to improve how we manage high-performance teams. As always, we invite, appreciate and look forward to your feedback!

Happy Monday!

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB





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