Sales Performance Management and Data – This Isn’t “Big Brother”
Data powers companies today – fueling sales and marketing efforts and driving revenue. Further, it empowers leaders to make more informed decisions for their businesses. But nowadays, data is often synonymous with surveillance and privacy concerns. However, this isn’t “Big Brother.” It’s effective sales performance management.
In business, analytics systems that utilize company data drive efficiency and generate innovation across departments. However, Sales is one department where data is being vastly overlooked. A field that relies heavily on the phone, the data generated by call activity is valuable information that is often not being collected or utilized by leaders to improve the performance of their teams.
The Data Managers Need
It is well known that there are massive liabilities and risks which accompany failing to monitor your organization’s phone communications, but further, there is a considerable loss in value. The fact is that the phone line is the most effective source of intelligence a sales manager can have if they can capture, process, and transform activity data into actionable insights.
In a sales environment, we communicate with clients and prospects primarily two ways—via email or a phone call. We lock down communication over email, but why not over the phone?
The stats are in:
- 65% of people prefer to contact a business by a phone call vs 24% who prefer to fill out a web form – Boston Consulting Group, 2017
- 64% of customer interactions were by voice (phone) in 2017 – Deloitte Global Contact Center Survey 2017
Evidently, the phone is an integral tool for sales organizations – and so is the call activity data that it generates. Data is a sales manager’s best tool for understanding the day-to-day activities of their reps and coaching their team towards success. The information is out there, so why not utilize it to your advantage? The truth is, your competitors likely are already using data to benefit sales performance management. If you aren’t going into battle with all your weapons, you likely won’t come out on top.
The past decade has seen an increase in mobile workforces and branch-based sales teams. This decentralized approach comes with higher employee flexibility, but lower visibility from a management perspective. However, the phone isn’t the wild west. So much information is transmitted via the phone daily that it is almost reckless for organizations not to have a structure in place to collect and utilize it.
Real-Time Sales Performance Management
Call activity data is the most valuable and least understood asset amongst sales teams across the country. However, today most of the data available to sales managers is not only unused, but inaccurate. This scenario is just another reason why using call activity data generated by a sales performance management system is so integral for sales teams.
Manually-input data and CRM reports are no longer enough. Inaccuracies, rough estimates, and human-prone error aren’t going to cut it. Without an accurate understanding of daily rep behaviors, particularly phone communications, managers are forced to rely on hunches, historical trends, and instinct to do their jobs.
Increase Sales Effectiveness with Accurate Data
Real-time, 100% accurate data generated by a sales performance management tool is different than manually input data for one main reason – because it is ACCURATE. Again, this isn’t “Big Brother.” If you align sales management, collecting activity data, and examining call recordings with “spying” or “micromanaging” your team, you’ve got it wrong.
If you are going to collect manually-input reports from your reps anyways, why not automate the process? Doing so will save your team valuable time and allow your reps to focus their efforts on selling activities rather than administrative tasks. Activity data is yours to use. Your team is producing it, so use it to your advantage to better your strategy and the performance of your reps.
Additionally, this is not a concept of micro-management; in fact, utilizing a sales tool can have the opposite effect. The best performers want to make commission, want to close deals, and want to see how they are performing. Generating this data not only allows managers to make more informed, data-driven decisions for their teams, but also enables reps to self-improve and fosters a healthy sense of competition between teammates.
Finding Sales Success
The aim of sales performance management is not surveillance, but to promote success. Having insight into the actual numbers your reps are hitting is the best indicator of sales success, and sales performance management is the most accurate way to set and reach your sales goals. Because if you can’t measure performance, you can’t hope to improve upon it.