On your last birthday, you didn’t magically become a year older. On the first of January you didn’t automatically get a clean start.
So, what’s the big deal with new years? Actually there isn’t one unless you have the good sense to take advantage of the opportunity and make it a big deal. Decide that you do have a clean slate and the mistakes you made last year (and possibly before then) belong in the past.
So, as the leader of a sales group whose success is vital to your company, what do you want to see happen this year that is new and improved and better?
Measurement is a big plus. Ouch, was that a huge collective groan from every sales rep that just felt this disturbance in the force? Can’t say I blame you and can’t say I don’t feel exactly the same. But that’s what I feel and NOT what I know.
Because measurement improves performance and if there is one thing you need to bring your team onside about it would be this – they want to keep score. That isn’t necessarily a competitive thing, like running contests and rewarding who made the most calls on a given day. That will eventually pull the focus away from the result of those calls. Instead I talk about “keeping score” because its something that we actually seem to be pretty good at, as long as we don’t look at ourselves.
Think for the moment about the stats we collect about sports – baseball, football and racing, (and a ton more, too) but we seem to be universally awful about tracking our own performance in our work. It’s more than a little ironic when you consider which is actually more important in our life.
Look at it this way, you start with a goal – also known as the quota. You know you have a certain amount of time to get to that number – let’s work with a quarter. When you track your progress you have the opportunity to know at any given point in that quarter if you’re on track to hit that number.
There are three mental places you can be with regard to reaching your goal:
- You can know that you’re winning.
- You can know that you’re losing.
- You can be clueless.
Now, everyone loves to hear that they’re winning. They love tracking when it shows that they’re ahead of the game. But do you realize that, if given the choice between knowing for a fact that they’re losing or not having a clue what’s going on, the average sales person would rather be blissfully ignorant. The trouble of course with blissful ignorance is that when you won’t face a problem you don’t have an opportunity to fix it.
Maybe that’s why they’re called average.
Grab the spreadsheets, set the goals and make your team track their performance.