You may hold each of your sales team members accountable for their progress on a daily basis, but how does that translate into long-term objectives? A good sales team accountability plan not only holds reps accountable but it motivates them with group goals.
What is Sales Team Accountability?
Sales team accountability takes individual accountability a step further and holds a team accountable for group goals. In an organization, a sales manager typically tracks the number of calls, face to face visits, appointments ran and booked. But when you take a look at it, this is all historical data. Comparing this to a sales accountability plan that uses real-time data, you can find out when your agents made their first call for the day, the number of calls they made. You get to know in real time whether they’re busy or not; or whenever your team lacks the motivation and if the day is not yet over with – you could always get them back on track, re-engage and start selling again. Remember – the time you lose not correcting them or motivating them on the spot is time you can never get back.
One strategy that you can do (this will vary according to your organizational structure), is to formulate a grading system based on profitability and send it through email or text message. What’s good about texting their stats is that you avoid the excuse that they didn’t have enough time to read through their emails or they did not have time to go through the stat board. Another plus is that they can check their progress easily in one text message thread. This way, you’re making your team accountable for doing a self-check and they can be aware without you checking up on them constantly.
That’s the key with sales team accountability – awareness! Some people know if they didn’t look at their stats, they could easily dismiss it as if it didn’t happen at all. And that’s when it becomes a big problem, when you aren’t constantly reviewing your sales data and your sales team don’t understand where they fall into place. So do you want to provide real-time motivation, or do you offer a stale motivation strategy?
No more “Off Days”
In order to make the best use of real-time data, the manager must act on it in real-time. For example, say a manager takes a few minutes at lunch to review his sales reps performance for that morning. From the data, he can tell that one sales rep has made not nearly as many calls as the other sales reps that morning. With that data, he can chat with the sales rep to see if there are any problems and help them turn around an unproductive day if necessary. Traditionally if a sales rep had an off day, there was not much better sales manager could do without micromanaging. But by using real-time data effectively he can turn the situation around in a few minutes.
With real-time analytics, the sales reps can see their current standings as well. They can use these to keep motivated and track their progress over time. Be careful not to fall into the trap of sending statistics through email or text message that never get read by your sales reps. One easy way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to just check in on specific stats with your reps on a regular basis.
Real-Time Sales Management NOT Micro-Management
Managing a team with real-time metrics is not the same as micromanaging your team. It’s important that you and your team know the difference. Always give them the benefit of the doubt when you approach them about a potential problem. That way it won’t feel like you are reprimanding rather than being there to help.
Your real-time metrics can provide a lot of insight but they don’t tell you everything. What might look like low productivity for a sales rep could actually be them taking extra care of a customer over the phone or solving a customer service issue with a high-priority client. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to patterns over time in addition to daily metrics.
Analyzing yesterday’s sales activity is like reading a history book. With real-time insights you don’t have to wait until it’s already happened to fix the problem.