Expectations – the Backbone of Consistent Sales Success

Every sales manager knows they need to set expectations for their team. What is often missed is why we need to have expectations for our teams. They are really a multi-purpose tool for both the sales rep and the sales manager and for both to communicate on a better level set of expectations. The body of this post explores how KPIs (key performance indicators) can be used to motive, manage and monitor a sales team or sales people.

1. Set meaningful and obtainable goals to allow better one-on-one meetings – the most important thing is making sure that a KPI is obtainable, but not too easy to attain. That said, it is a tightrope we walk every day as we make goals that motivate while also not making them so easy to obtain that reps hit them without working too hard.

2. Align the interest of the sales rep with leadership and company goals – often the goals of a rep do not mirror those of the company and sales manager as they are just set to drive activity. Don’t just set a goal to drive an activity, set it to drive the RIGHT activities that will result in sales or quota attainment and achieving the growth needed to hit budget needs.

3. Allow the rep to better motivate and manage themselves – While it is clear KPIs can be used to hold reps accountable, do not lose sight of the fact that the right goals are key. Given the right goals a sales rep can create daily, intraday and hourly goals to drive themselves through the tough day-to-day combat of sales.

4. Set clear expectations to communicate company policies – one area we often do not look at is setting goals or expectations that reinforce company policies. For example, if you want all your reps in by 8 a.m. but have a hard time achieving that result consider setting a dial or opportunity goal that you want to hit by 9 a.m. so that your team needs to start early.

5. Let reps know what you expect so they are not surprised when you inspect it – more than anything else, clear KPIs can make sure that your reps know what to expect. If you communicate KPIs to the team and when they will be inspected, you will not be a micro-manager, instead you will manage the “success metrics” for your team.

While most of this is straight forward, the challenge is in how you lay them out to the team. It is important to have buy-in from your team. Once you do, the KPI you measure will become more than just a tool to hold your team accountable. They become a language to work together, a means to focus on improvement and the best self-motivation a rep can have to make sure they deliver on what they and the company need for success.

Happy Selling.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth]