I’m a big fan of tracking performance metrics, in-depth and granular. I’m talking about much more than just tracking sales leads, appointments and opportunities however. I monitor actual daily activity that rewarded a salesperson with sales leads in the first place. Where did the lead come from? What activity was performed to get that lead? Are the sales leads quality? I want to know what is working to produce qualified leads. Here’s why.
Sales managers and sales professionals are typically tasked with finding their own leads. Especially in outside sales environments. They need to be sales “hunters”. They need qualified leads yesterday. They also need to spend their time wisely. Without some sort of pre-lead tracking how could I, as their sales manager, make sure they are focused and successful? How could they? How can you?
Sales managers and sales professionals need to understand successful pre sales leads activity.
As markets change so does prospecting trends. The venues have as well. What worked yesterday in finding a lead may not work today. And not all venues work for every salesperson. So how does sales management and sales professionals get their heads around this? The answer is two-fold:
- Understand the new trends and how to use them.
- Track what is working overall and specifically per sales person.
Here’s an all-too-common scenario today. In an effort to cut costs the “big boss” cracked the whip deciding to stop spending money on lists and third party business development groups. He offered some vague direction on obtaining leads with directions of “get it done”. So you take the challenge and start using LinkedIn Inmail as part of your lead-gen campaign. Things proceed with some success. At least you have a gut feeling it has. But was it worth the effort necessarily? How do you know for sure? You have got to track the activity involved and decide if it is a prospecting direction desired going forward.
Here’s an example of how tracking pre-lead activity paid off ultimately.
A salesperson that was really having a difficult time with her pipeline and sales came to me for help. At first glance everything seemed to be alright. She was in a lot of appointments. Most were partnered with other sales people (network) selling a complimentary product. My knee-jerk reaction was to help her close all those “opportunities”. After a few appointments I realized that these were not necessarily quality leads. Maybe for the partner but not for her.
“Every choice you make has an end result.” – Zig Ziglar
I had been tracking her progress for some time and had previously put some pressure on her to expand her lead generation sources. “But look at all my appointments” she would explain in defense. Something had to change. We quickly made some “partner” changes and started tracking new venues of lead generation. Literally, within a couple of months, sales had almost doubled. She was working smarter tracking her personal sales lead generation and what worked and what didn’t. A performance metric that previously she hadn’t believed in. She did now.
What to track.
- Venue – tool for campaign. What product, event, or networking tool worked the best.
- Type of Activity – emails, posts, meetings, calls, etc.
- Amount of Activity – time put in.
- Goal – what do you want to achieve.
- Results – against goal.
The average sales manager will focus on what a salesperson did after they received a sales lead. In other words did it become an appointment, an opportunity and, of course, a sale. While this is obviously great information it does not complete the success metrics picture necessarily. Take some time and start tracking how your sales team is uncovering sales leads. Get them on the right track upfront so you can focus on closing with success and increase overall sales productivity.© 2006-2017 SalesBlog! | Photos courtesy of 123RF