Our sales kickoffs are always great, and our team leaves motivated to execute on the year’s initiatives. But when they get back to their desks it’s back to business as usual. How do we keep them laser focused all year long?
This challenge inspired our recent client webinar, “Start 2015 with a Proactive Sales Team.” While some of it dealt specifically with leveraging the LevelEleven platform, CEO Bob Marsh also outlined strategies useful for any sales organization to maintain motivation beyond the kickoff honeymoon phase. Here are some of Bob’s key takeaways:
1. Cultivate a KPI-driven sales culture.
“How do you develop specific measures that you can manage people around and help people know exactly what’s expected of them?…make it very tangible, very clear and very personal so [sales reps] can know exactly what’s expected of them.”
Many sales teams use CRMs, like Salesforce, with the goal of being KPI driven in decisions and actions. For sales reps this is great, but to really succeed they need more than just the high-level KPIs around quota — they need more tangible, personal metrics on a day-in, day-out basis that will measure the sales activities needed to guide them toward that quota. Sales leaders who want to drive consistent performance need to develop a culture that places importance on identifying these personal metrics.
2. Make key metrics highly visible.
“You want to get people going on all these different behaviors so it’s almost inescapable. Wherever you go, your goals, initiatives and metrics are front and center.”
It’s not enough to just track the KPIs that drive your sales – you need to make them front and center in your team’s professional universe, whether that’s on phones, leaderboards, whiteboards or emails. That way, when a rep comes into the office or thinks about what they should do next, those metrics will be top of mind and have a much higher probability of getting accomplished.
3. Spike performance with timely leaderboards.
“[Leaders want to know] How do I get my team focused? How do I get them trying something new and how do I make sure they’re prepared to have the conversations they need and are motivated to do it as much as they can?
This is where leaderboards are very helpful, where historically you would see a sales contest, spiffs, etc. — though we’ve actually found that spiffs are not nearly as important as you think. What’s really motivating is the idea of seeing your peers and how your peers are doing. It creates validation…it helps people know that this is actually working, here’s how I stand relative to my peers and here’s how I can get myself better.”
When sales leaders need to spike performance around a key metric, there’s no better place to turn than leaderboards. For example, take a company about to launch a new product. Obviously, getting the team rallied around selling the product is a must. Leaderboards can help. They’re great for getting people focused on the task at hand and fostering the kind of collaboration and creativity that creates success when a new product launches. Team members will see that others are selling the product and grow confidence in their own abilities to do so – they’ll start sharing tips with one another on what works in pitching it, too.
But that’s just one example. Leaderboards offer the same value when the time comes to drive any particular initiative or spike any important sales activity metrics.
In order to develop a consistently proactive sales team, you need to be proactive, too. Identify key metrics, create visibility around them and then spike performance when they dip (or when introducing new sales initiatives) with timely leaderboards. Then watch how your sales kickoff strategy plays out not just for the first few weeks after it’s introduced, but all year long.