Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ingenious Sales Management:
Grow Performance Using METRIC Training

In the last column we evaluated your company’s sales process.  We segmented the activities performed by your sales reps into a chain of interlinking activities and labeled each step.  Then we calculated the ratio correlating to the skill level for each sub-task.  Evaluating the process chain as a series of interconnected links you can zero in and improve the skill level for each task.

Isolate, Measure, Train, and Improve

You can measure the effectiveness of making an outgoing phone call as one skill or you can break it into several different ones.  For instance you could measure the following links: 1) bypassing the gatekeeper; 2) reaching the decision maker; and 3) securing the appointment.  Grouping the activities together allows you to measure and improve only one skill.  However, breaking out the sub-tasks gives you three different micro-skills to track and improve. 

You could group these skills together and train ‘phone calls.’  Or even worse, you could lump them all together into ‘salesmanship.’  But hopefully you can see how doing this misses the opportunity to measure and bolster individual areas of weakness.

The result of each link in the chain is fed into the next successive one.  Improving any task increases the result which is then fed into the next task.  A 20% improvement in sub-task 1 will result in 20% more being fed into sub-task 2.  This will flow through the entire chain achieving a 20% improvement of the overall result from just this one improvement.  Improving the skill of any one task a certain percentage improves the overall productivity by that percentage.

Because your overall close rate is a product of each micro-skill, this effect increases geometrically when you improve multiple sub-tasks.  Let’s say, for example, that you help one rep achieve improvement of sub-task 1 by 10%, the skill of sub-tasks 2 and 3 increase by 15%, and ability at performing sub-tasks 4-7 grow by 5%.  These seem like puny improvements, don’t they?  10% plus 15% twice and 5% four times.

However, remember the overall ratio is a product of multiplying the component sub-tasks together.  So the resulting improvement is (1.15)2 x 1.10 x (1.05)4.  This results in an overall productivity increase of 77%!  This improvement would result in your rep closing 2/3rds more business and
taking home 2/3 more in pay from now on.  So if before she was making 50K, she’ll now be at 88K.  Not bad for a few skills improved just a tiny bit, huh?

The more pieces into which you subdivide your chain, the more areas you can evaluate and improve.  And the result is synergistic.  So take time to assess your chain and subdivide it into as many individual sub-tasks as you can.

Next week we'll discuss how to implement these metrics to train your reps individually and supercharge their performance. You don't want to miss this! And later this week I’ll talk about how to handle a subpar employee.  The following week we’ll change direction and talk about financial management.  Specifically, we’ll learn how to create a budget for a new project and ramp up with the least risk.  And later I'll share another Ingenious Sales Technique called ‘Follow the Leader.’  It’s a great way to close sales and get appointments by using membership.  That’s all starting next week.  Until then,

profitable business All!

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