If you are involved in business development, at any level, ask yourself this question. What elements of converting a lead to a prospect and ultimately a customer do I absolutely control?
If your list included anything related to leads, prospects or customers actually MAKING a decision you are kidding yourself. At the end of the day the only thing you have absolute control over is your attitude, technique, and behavior.
Seems like a bit of a disconnect when many sales managers are only monitoring and “managing” outcomes such as appointments set, meetings held, sales converted, total sales dollars, and other “outcome” based metrics.
When you are struggling to hit your sales quota how do any of those metrics lead to actionable feedback indicative of what you should actually DO differently to get a better result?
I am not saying that traditional metrics such as those listed above are unimportant, I am only saying they should be measured and not managed to.
Metrics such as total sales posted by an individual over any period of time are always TRAILING indicators. The metrics you should be managing to are always LEADING indicators. That’s right, the best metrics for getting better results for yourself or your sales team, if you are a manager, is your answer to opening the question “what elements of selling are within your absolutely control.”
An example of what I am talking about can be found in the common prospecting activity of cold calling:
Can the salesperson control how many total conversations they have with when making calls? No
Can the sales person control how many dials they make? Yes, that is a behavior
Can the sales person control how many of those conversations result in a meeting? No, but if they are making the prescribed number of dials (behavior) and the outcomes aren’t consistent with where your industry/company history says they should be, it could set up a potential coaching opportunity for their cold calling technique.
The takeaway from this? Always manage the things you can control and adjust the attitude, behavior, and technique to maximize outcomes.
Measure the dollars but manage the behaviors in order to maximize success.