Working or Shirking - How Do Your Salespeople Use Their Time? - Elva Pearson

Are you ever worried about how your salespeople spend their time when they are not in the office?

In this age of mobility, how do we know if they are out working or lying on the beach? It is a perennial challenge for sales leaders to ensure that their salesforce is fully engaged and out there driving business. Paperwork can be a pain, so asking them to record their day is likely to fail; they could also cheat the system.

Because using their time productively is what really matters, a better way to ensure that they are using time productively is to look at some key metrics for success and measure those. What are the three most important activities in your business that drive results and success?

I work with my clients to help them consider some best practise criteria applicable to their business and industry. These may be questions such as:

1. What activities yield the best return?
2. How often in a month should these activities be expedited?
3. Do salespeople have the competency and skills to perform to expectation?
4. Do you have the right people in the roles that best suit their skill sets?
5. Finally, how do we measure their productivity?

Firstly (and in my view most importantly), match people to the roles that play to their strengths, whether that is direct sales, business development, inside sales, telesales, or channel sales – all require different criteria. Matching people to roles that play to their strengths heightens productivity, motivation, engagement, and job satisfaction. It gets results! Try it!

Measuring productive activity without adding to the salesperson’s burden can be very simple. Just produce a simple dashboard with your critical path activities displayed and each month just ask for the data from each individual, most of which should be in your CRM system anyway. Sales Ops could own this. Display this publicly and prominently: in the office, on a screensaver, in sales meetings, discuss during one-to-ones. Keep it in everyone’s eye line. Showing people how they measure up to their colleagues with the same job role creates healthy competition. Peer pressure can be a powerful motivator.

A smart sales leader can use this in a constructive way on so many levels. This also has the added benefit of ensuring that everyone is constantly reminded of what activities really matter.

Result? Motivated and engaged salespeople in fulfilling roles that best utilise their skills who are constantly focussed on critical path activities. Better, smarter, together.