You know, like and trust your team: but how are they performing in their sales?

While it’s important for managers to have constructive relationships with the sales staff they lead, relying solely on these strong relationships can lead to trouble. Failing to benchmark sales performance, and adapting strategies to address weaknesses, can mean missing your team goals or being beaten out by the competition.

Here’s how to evaluate sales performance and act on what the numbers reveal:

Know what to measure.

“Benchmarks” are measurements of your business’s or team’s performance against competitors in your industry. In this way, they differ from measurements of your team’s success against its own prior work, or against goals set in-house.

Choosing who to benchmark against and on what terms is essential for any sales leaders seeking to acquire meaningful data. Focus on key business drivers, like customer care, closed deals and return business. Choose companies with similar objectives and of a comparable size against which to set your benchmarks.

Get specific (and quantitative).

“We’re doing better than Company X” is great to hear, but it doesn’t give your team any actionable information. “Better” by what measures? What do we do “better,” and what impact does that have on the measures by which we outperform Company X?

When benchmarks are specific and quantitative, they provide instant feedback on these questions, pointing your team toward the tasks that offer the biggest impact for the least effort.

Use a system that engages your staff.

Benchmarking data is a powerful way to change performance, but only if you have the data you need. Choose a data-gathering system that works for your staff. Every data point that goes unlogged is a data point lost.

Communicate and seek help when needed.

No manager is an island. By working within your own company and with professional trainers and consultants outside your company, you gain allies who can help you gather more information on other companies and turn it to your advantage.

At Hahn Training, we specialize in helping sales professionals and leadership find and use the tools they need for both short-term and long-term success. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you, or explore related topics below:

 

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