If you’re an inside sales manager, then you know all about metrics. In fact, whenever I consult with new clients, the owners and managers automatically begin showing me their call monitoring reports. They show me metrics on how many calls a rep is making, how much average time each rep spends on the phone, what the top of the funnel looks like, what their conversion rate is, and so on.
When they ask me what I think, I tell them they are missing the most important thing. Now don’t get me wrong—those things are important and they should be monitored. The problem, though, is that those metrics are not what drive sales.
You see, it isn’t the activity around the sale that’s most important (and that everyone measures), but rather, it’s the activity that happens during the sale (during the calls) that matters most.
In other words, as a manager, you need to know exactly what and how your reps are responding and dealing with their prospects and clients during each sales interaction.
There are two times to monitor and coach this:
- You can either monitor your reps while they’re actually on the phone with a prospect or client (by listening in live) or:
- You can record the call and spend time reviewing and coaching your rep as you go over their actual sales performance.
Both of these methods will give you the most important information that matters most: Are your reps using the best practice approaches to successfully handle the selling situations they run into 80% of the time when trying to open and close your product or service over the phone?
If your reps either don’t know how to best handle these selling situations, or if they simply aren’t using effective techniques and skills—or worse, if they just don’t have the talent or willingness to consistently use proven best practices—then it doesn’t matter how much time they spend on calls, or how many calls they make or how many leads they generate.
Again, it’s how they perform during a sales call that matters most.
And your number one goal as a manager is to know how each of your reps performs while in the sale and then to teach them the most effective, best practice techniques to open and close more sales.
Once you’ve given your team the skills and techniques to succeed in your selling environment, and you’ve trained them thoroughly on these techniques, then managing becomes much easier: it becomes a job of coaching adherence to your best practice approach (see numbers one and two above).
And when you start putting the emphasis here, you and your team become more effective.