As a sales leader, there are a number of strategies you can implement to ensure your team is set up for success, but arguably the most critical is this simple yet effective combo: Reports* + Reports**
* the people you lead on your team
** the actual data and numbers
Part 1: Meet with your direct reports – and meet with them often.
In my 10 years of experience in sales and sales leadership, I’ve found that the most successful strategy to ensure your team is meeting revenue goals and strengthening the fundamentals of closing deals is by meeting with them on a regular cadence – weekly if not bi-weekly.
What does this do? I’m so glad you asked…
- Allows you to collectively establish and define what success looks like for the next 7-14 days
- Identify what’s currently being worked on, what’s of the highest priority and any potential risks that may impact achieving results. Key milestones should also be noted and celebrated
- Review sales metrics (sales, pipeline, customer management, tasks and follow-ups) and identify areas of risk
- Opportunities around employee development – this is often saved for quarterly or annual reviews and is a big mistake many leaders make. Do NOT wait for pre-established organization timelines as there are several negative implications associated with these infrequent conversations
Your time is certainly not limited to these key areas, but by using this framework, you’re able to have collaborative, productive discussions, hold your sales reps accountable to ensure they achieve results and also, provide support and conversations around growth as sales leaders.
Part 2: Leverage the data and review the reports in your CRM regularly.
To assist with your regular discussions on KPIs for your team, it’s important and necessary to use the data you have available to you in your CRM! A Sales Manager Dashboard will allow you to dive into key performance metrics further. For your dashboard, you should have a view that you can filter for each Sales team member. Team members should also each individually have the same view for themselves. The key here is that they should know and expect what you are going to want to dig in on each week – no gotchas or surprises.
Here are some sample reports you may want to include in your Sales Status dashboard. (Note: not all are necessary. This is a starting point – you can create and add the appropriate reports to your dashboard that best suits the needs of your business.)
Activities with Open Opportunities – List view highlighting the last 7 days and the next 7 days. Review any roadblocks/barriers that are impacting the sale from moving forward.
Closed/Won vs Quota – Current month and current quarter. A straightforward way to see exactly where you stand.
Key Deal Review
- All opportunities that have had their close date pushed out and why.
- Recently Closed Lost Deals (and reasons in case there is coaching needed).
- All opportunities set to close in the next 14 days that are in an early stage or are missing key qualifying criteria (those filters will change organization to organization – but you want to know when team members are being overly optimistic in where a deal is at vs when it will close).
- All opportunities set to close in the next 60 days that are worth over $xxx (again, this will change by organization, but you as a sales leader want to know where the deals that are key for the organization sit and get an update on the joint action plan for each in your weeklies).
- Next 90 Days New Business by Stage – Active sales pipeline by stage. This provides you a lens of new business that has been secured and where they are along the sales cycle.
Top Won Deals – Top closed won deals by revenue – current month and current quarter.
- You want to have the opportunity to celebrate the wins and be reminded who is consistently putting them on the board (not just who had the most recent few).
- Last 7 days – What are the newly created opportunities (often assigned from an SDR) that may need an action plan.
- Top closed won deals by sales rep.
The focus of these reports is to educate you on where each team member is winning and where there may be roadblocks or even just big deals that you can help them with. It isn’t about finger-wagging, it is about spotting those great times when you can perhaps assign an executive sponsor to a deal, add some coaching on a specific at-risk sale and overall help your team members close more deals, faster, at a higher rate for more dollars.
By making sure you have time for the people AND the numbers, you are taking the steps to setting your team up for success. Stay tuned for more tips and strategies for Sales Leadership success!