Monitoring performance has become a major part of our lives thanks to advances in technology. We monitor our physical activity with smartwatches, our energy use with smart meters and even our calorie intake with various apps. The idea is that this constant vigilance helps to hold us accountable, track our successes and reverse downward trends before they become major issues.
And the same can be applied to our working lives. Sales managers need to know how to monitor the performance of sales staff to ensure reps continuously strive for success.
But do you evaluate it collectively or individually? And how do you go about monitoring the performance in your sales team? This article explains more about the reasons and methods behind sales performance monitoring.
Collective performance vs. individual performance
Many businesses focus on individual performance at work. However, some experts believe that teamwork will play an evermore important role in business. There are a number of differences in the ways that collective performance and individual performance monitoring occur. Let’s look at them.
|Collective monitoring||Individual monitoring|
|Reflects how teamwork affects organisational performance||Focus on the skills that the individual possesses and how they meet pre-agreed objectives|
|Can include assessment on how an individual contributes to the team performance||Individual monitoring is often used to establish financial compensation for the rep|
|When people are organised in teams throughout the company, there will usually only be a collective monitoring process in place||When people are solely tasked with individual projects, the performance of the individual is usually monitored rather than the collective|
Sales reps do not work in isolation and are susceptible to the influence of others on their team. Whilst the very basics of the job involve them making their own sales, how they interact with, support, and confer with their colleagues does have a bearing on their performance. This means that only monitoring individual performance might not be the most accurate representation to evaluate your sales team.
Why monitor your sales team’s performance?
- Collective monitoring allows sales managers to both assess the performance of the team and ensure they keep an eye on the contribution made by the individuals as well. It helps to foster a culture of collaboration and unity as there are common goals for reps to meet together.
- It encourages teamwork and knowledge sharing which helps develop the skills of the individuals within the group. Since everyone wants to be seen as contributing towards the collective, monitoring raises the bar for performance.
- When an individual’s performance dips, it is not ideal, but only affects your department in a small way. If the entire team’s performance dips, it can lead to big problems, missing sales goals and sales targets. This could be disastrous for the company.
- Monitoring can provide an early indicator that a strategy is not working, allowing you to change course accordingly.
6 steps to monitor the performance of sales staff
Here are the six steps on how to monitor the performance of sales staff:
1. Set goals and expectations
When you start monitoring, discuss with your team as you set their goals and expectations. It’s important to allow them to have their say over what they believe are the most important aspects of their work and where there might be issues.
After the discussion, your team will feel they are working to realistic expectations that they have approved themselves. You are sure you are not asking anything of them that is impossible to achieve or would cause resentment. In fact, they will feel motivated to attack the challenges they have set for themselves.
2. Choose the right metrics
There is no point in measuring performance for the sake of it. So, you have to choose the metrics that will help you make informed decisions over your future sales strategy. This involves mixing up short- and long-term goals that help your sales team focus keep track of their progress.
A long term goal keeps their minds concentrated even when the day-to-day world of sales enters a rough patch. Conversely, a long-term goal might also seem too far away to be excited by. That is when those short-term goals bring satisfaction and dopamine hits that we all need to feel motivated at work.
3. Coach your team, don’t micromanage
No one likes to feel constantly watched by a sales manager who is waiting to pounce on any misstep. Think of your role as that of a football coach. You provide the strategy, the motivation and the tools that your team needs to deliver a great performance. But then you have to let them go out onto the pitch on their own.
Your sales team takes your coaching on-board and integrates it into their working day. You have to give them the freedom to put your strategy into action without constantly micromanaging them. Allowing your reps freedom and room for growth is the way to create a positive working environment.
4. Tool up for success
If you’ll be monitoring the performance of your sales team, you must ensure they have the tools needed to succeed. This means access to social selling and a CRM that is fit for purpose. It’s also important to include a sales tool, like fullinfo, which makes prospecting a one-click process.
Set your team up for success with the right tools. Then, you can be sure that you are monitoring their true performance instead of their struggle with insufficient resources.
However, it is not just your team that needs access to the correct tools. You should also have a sales dashboard where you can input the data needed to track your team’s goals. Being able to visualise progress makes it easier to spot trends and issues. It will keep you and other managers in the loop, allowing you to monitor the sales team’s performance.
5. Follow up
To return to the football analogy, you need to sit down for a half time and talk with your team. Make sure you catch up regularly to go over progress and performance. Share the knowledge you have accrued from your analysis, discuss problems and work out solutions.
Meet with individual sales reps to help them understand their contribution to the team and how to improve their performance. This might be specific training that they need or other such tools.
6. Be consistent
When you have multiple project dashboards, you need to remain consistent with certain metrics and KPIs in your CRM. This way, everyone understands what is expected and knows how to work towards their targets.
You should also commit to continuous monitoring. Only by consistently tracking your sales team’s performance can you discover the real trends and challenges that occur. If you dip in and dip out, you just find yourself with snapshots that are difficult to make sense of.
Reference table: Important sales metrics to track for sales leaders
These are the essential sales performance metrics that you need to check to ensure your sales strategies are on track.
|Metric||What is it?|
|Total Revenue||The overall amount of money brought into the business by the sale of its goods or services. This is important to know, as it represents the funds the company will have to use for operations, profit and so on.|
|Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)||How much it costs to onboard a new customer, including the marketing campaigns, the sales person’s time and other expenses. The lower the CAC, the more value you will gain from that customer over time.|
|Percentage of Revenue from New vs. Existing Customers||It costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. You can see where it is more cost-effective to deploy your resources if you know how much revenue is brought in from new and existing customers.|
|Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)||This is the total revenue brought in every month by existing subscribers, including membership fees, add-ons and similar payments. It doesn’t include one-off payments. This metric provides a predictable income that you can factor into your targets.|
|Average Sales Cycle Length||The sales cycle is the length of time between first contact with a customer and the deal closing. To calculate the average, you add the total number of days to close your deals and divide it by the number of deals. This tells you how long it takes to bring in a new customer and gives you a benchmark to work from, trying to reduce that average time.|
|Win Rate||Divide the number of opportunities closed by the total number of opportunities in the pipeline. This shows how often you successfully turn prospects into sales. Increasing the win rate shows forward momentum.|
|Proposals Sent||This tracks how many proposals and sales packs are sent out to potential clients after meetings, demos and discovery calls. You need to know that you are engaging clients enough to reach this stage and that your strategy to push customers through the pipeline is robust.|
|Average Deal Size||Take the total revenue for a period of time and divide it by the number of closed deals during that same period to get the average deal size. Ideally, this number should grow over time to show progression. The greater the average deal size, the easier it is to hit business goals.|
|Percentage of Leads Followed Up With||Your team should follow up with as many leads as possible to make sure they do not miss opportunities. Encouraging sales teams to raise this metric can lead to more deals closing.|
|Year-Over-Year Growth||Comparing similar periods in previous years is a good way to monitor progress. The assumption is that market conditions would be roughly the same, which makes sense particularly for seasonal businesses. If your sales figures for Q3 are higher than Q3 last year, this is probably a sign you are growing.|
|Lifetime Value (LTV) of a Customer||Multiply the average purchase value by the average number of purchases a customer makes. This helps you predict revenue and work out whether the CAC is good value for the revenue you will receive back.|
|Net Promoter Score (NPS)||Survey your customers to find out how likely they are to recommend your product or service to a friend. This shows you how good your customer service and customer retention efforts are.|
|Conversion rate||Your conversion rate is the number of sales made compared to the number of visitors to your website or prospects engaged. This shows how well your sales efforts are going in a set time period.|
How to monitor sales performance remotely
When you don’t work in the same location as your team, you need clarity on the sales plan and expectations. As you are not around for a consultation, you should know that you have set the parameters of essential KPIs. This would make them easy to understand, and reps would know where the benchmark is.
Strong relationships with sales professionals are key to building the trust that is involved with leading a remote team. Make sure you check in with them on phone calls and video conferencing, and not just focus on work. Develop the type of personal relationship that creates a bond between colleagues. You might also suggest social meet-ups, either in person or on a video chat.
These measures help ensure that your team can work remotely. You can monitor their performance using data captured in the CRM. It’s important that each member is given the tools and resources needed to perform their tasks.
Should you review individual sales rep performance?
It is helpful to review the performance of individual reps to understand their contribution in meeting the essential sales KPIs. This way, you win and lose as a team. Although each member needs to be in top form, collective sales performance is key to meeting your sales target.
How often should you review sales team performance?
Sales leaders should continually monitor the performance of their sales team and hold periodic reviews. Forbes says using quarterly revenue targets can see teams gain 31% higher returns, meaning reviews every three months make sense.
Now that you know how to monitor the performance of sales staff, you can put these steps into action. It is important to understand your progress and how it relates to improved revenue and profit for the company. Choosing the right metrics to track will help you spot what you are doing right with your sales strategies. It also helps you learn what you need to do to avoid issues like missing your sales target.
fullinfo helps you cut the time needed to find out the contact details of key prospects. It allows your team to spend more of your time and energy selling to them. Try it for free today.
References and Further Reading
- The Essential Sales Team Performance Metrics To Track
- Sales monitoring video
- [Guide] How To Motivate Your Sales Team When Sales Are Down
- Use These 20 Creative Prospecting Ideas When You Feel Stuck
- Sales performance metrics
- How to Follow Up with a Sales Lead Like a Pro
- Why does your business need a sales monitoring system?
- How to Create a Sales Rep Performance Scorecard (Easy Guide)