The Most Important Aspect of Sales Performance Management Explained
The main objective of Sales Performance Management (SPM) is to have most of your sales people hit their quota more often. SPM uses various tools to keep a Salesforce motivated and focused on their quotas while working within their territories. Some of the key aspects that characterize a good SPM strategy include incentives and commissions, training and coaching, on-boarding, sales quotas and territories, and sales data analytics.
Of the above aspects, I consider sales quotas and territory management as the most important to put emphasis on. This is because while other aspects are organization driven, hitting sales targets and territorial focus is majorly determined by the behavior of individual sales reps. This doesn’t demean the other pillars of a great SPM strategy, but it sets the pace on how other aspects are aligned to deliver superior results.
So, how do you make sure salespeople operate within their territories and meet targets?
- Set clear & realistic quotas and well-defined territories
Every organization should have both short and long-term sales objectives which define periodic quotas of their salesforce. These targets should be realistic, time-bound and stretching. For example, if you set monthly targets, these should further be broken down into weekly and daily quotas. This way, you will be able to tell whether the targets are achievable or not.
Also, you’ll need to define your territories to avoid any ambiguities and possible encroachment which often results in unhealthy rivalry among team players. A good example is to assign each staff a list of specific potential clients to work with. This information should be communicated to your staff in good time.
- Have individual accountability measures
In order for your SPM strategy to work, you need to hold your sales staff accountable and at the same time reward good performers. However, before you take any action against under performers, you need to make sure that everyone understands the basis of your accountability actions. The focus should be on issues and individual personnel. This will necessitate you to lead by example and set the standard of accountability.
- Prioritize daily tasks
When it comes to executing your selling strategy, it all boils down to daily activities of sales reps. For example, how do they balance the time spent preparing and submitting reports versus the time spent on actual selling and customer interactions?
If they are overwhelmed with lots of work that has no contribution whatsoever to the selling process, then hitting the quotas will be hard. On the contrary, if 90% of their daily activities involve actual selling, then hitting targets won’t be a far-fetched reality. Therefore, use technology to your advantage to make sure that your salespeople don’t waste time on non-selling tasks.
Before we can talk about motivation and compensation, there must be a plan to execute a sales strategy. This is where setting individual sales quotas and defining territories comes in. To help your salespeople achieve their targets, come up with an accountability plan and a way of prioritizing their daily tasks. These will be key in determining whether your SPM strategy works or not.