Once you’ve established your objectives, organized the elements necessary for successful completion, and motivated your salespeople to achieve the goals, the next step is to make sure things stay on track. To do this you must monitor and evaluate the results to ensure your sales management system is continuing to do its job. In other words, you must INSPECT what you EXPECT. This involves:
- Daily counseling and coaching of your salespeople.
- Providing disciplinary action when warranted.
- Termination of employees (when all else fails).
WHEN TO MONITOR YOUR SALESPEOPLE
Your salespeople need regular feedback from you regarding the progress they’re making toward their objectives.
Performance monitoring is an ongoing process that involves these three activities:
- Observe your salespeople
- Compare their performance relative to their objectives.
- If you discover something that requires you to take action, do it. If someone is performing ahead of expectations, give them positive reinforcement. If someone is lagging behind, analyze the cause and offer counseling or training as needed.
HOLD ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS EVERY DAY
Don’t skip the one-on-ones. Even if sales are going through the roof and everyone is well ahead of their objectives. Once a habit is broken it is much easier for it to stay broken than to go to the trouble of reestablishing it.
As a sales manager you must make a commitment to meet one-on-one with each of your salespeople every day. Mornings, before 11am, are usually the best time for this, your chance to offer the guidance, motivation and direction they may need in order for them to meet their objectives.
Always make sure you meet in private and away from distractions; always start one-on-one meetings on an upbeat, positive note.
ELEMENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE MEETING
In your one-on-one meetings, be sure to:
- Review yesterday’s results.
- Evaluate each salesperson’s month to-date performance.
- Discuss variances between projection and performance.
- Go over today’s plan.
- Review their organizational habits.
- Provide assistance as needed.
- Review yesterday’s results
Refer to your Customer Log. How many customers did each salesperson see? How many were written up? Did they close any? Did any kept appointments come in? Were new ones made? Were notes sent to hot prospects? Etc. Calculate where each salesperson is relative to their monthly objective. To reach this figure, divide each salesperson’s sales-to-date by the number of days worked so far. This tells you their daily sales rate or “rate of travel.” For example, if Jim sold 7 units during the first 10 days he worked, his rate of travel is .7 units per day.
Next, calculate their projected total sales for the month based on their current rate of travel. To do this, multiply the rate of travel by the total number of days that a salesperson will be working that month. If Jim will be working 22 days this month, his rate of travel projects him to sell 15.4 units.
a. 7 units ÷ 10 days worked = .7 rate of travel
b. 22 work days .7 units per day = 15.4 projected units
Now look at the monthly goal. If Jim’s goal was 15 units, he’s in great shape. If it was 20 units, he’d better get moving.
If there’s a difference between a salesperson’s rate-of-travel projection and their monthly objective, you do one of two things:
1. If the difference is in the salesperson’s favor, congratulate them and motivate them to keep that sales pace going.
2. If the person is falling behind projection, you need to discuss what might be causing it. Is the salesperson doing what they said they would in order to meet their objectives? Are they calling the be-backs, making prospect calls, getting kept appointments? psb