Unfortunately, we live in a modern culture that does not emphasize personal responsibility. The result is an epidemic of excuse making. It is not my fault is the prevailing attitude of the masses. The sales manager is charged with the responsibility of setting proper expectations, developing systems to track and record sales activities and results and eliminating any excuse making when results are not achieved. Some of the sales activities that should be tracked and monitored weekly include:
- Dials – How many calls is the sales person required to make daily?
- Conversations – How many dials does it take to reach a key decision maker?
- Appointments Scheduled – How many conversations does it take to schedule an appointment with a decision maker?
- Appointments Kept – How many scheduled appointments are kept?
- Proposals – How many first time appointments result in a proposal?
- Sales – How many proposals result in a sale? What is the revenue per sale?
The goal for the salespeople is to reach a point where they know what each call, conversation, appointment, proposal and sale is worth. When a salesperson knows this they can accurately forecast their current situation and set realistic future goals.
Knowing this information the manager can explain to the potential new hires exactly what is required and expected of them. This can be addressed during the pre-hire period and the sales candidate will know in advance what is required to succeed.
A salesperson cannot perform without knowing what is expected of them. Expectations spell out what is required to succeed, and it’s best to explain this to the new hire during the training process.
For the more seasoned salespeople, other expectations might include:
- Number of new customers
- Dollars of revenue per period
- Gross profit margins
- Retention rate of existing customers