4 Steps to Align Sales Teams with Activity-Based Selling

This is the second in a four-part series about activity-based selling. Click here to read part one. Check back in a week to read part three.

Metrics themselves don’t automatically drive revenue.

align sales teams around activity based sellingWhen establishing your activity-based selling strategy, bring the metrics to life. Reps and sales managers need to understand that these metrics are a recipe to drive revenue, and that following these instructions will lead them to success. Otherwise, metrics will simply be numbers on a wall.

That’s why sales team alignment around metrics is critical. Here are four steps to create it.

Use Activity-Based Selling to Align Your Sales Team

1. Get metric-buy-in from sales managers.

Frontline managers are your platoon sergeants. They lead your troops, so start by getting buy-in from them. Explain how you developed the metrics, and why managing sales reps around activities generates more ROI.

Demonstrate how the metrics are tracked in your CRM system, and how to use them in weekly one-on-one sessions. Teach your sales managers how to coach around each of the activity metrics. Run role-playing exercises.

The key is to help your leaders understand how and why the metrics work. If they don’t buy in, then neither will your reps.

2. Review metrics with salespeople.

Pull your team together. Ask them why they think metrics are important for a sales organization. If this is your team’s first experience with leading indicators, they may only look at metrics as a way to arbitrate from the top down.

Explain the direct cause-and-effect relationship between sales activities and revenue generated (i.e., to achieve specific results, reps must perform specific activities). This takes the mystery out of the sales process, and shows that you are providing a clear path to success.

Present your metrics to the sales team. Ask for feedback. Even if they don’t agree that these are the best ones to measure, they’ll understand that you value their point of view.

3. Develop personalized scorecards for team members.

Provide each team member with a sales performance scorecard. Explain that their individual sales quota is the result you expect, these metrics are the way they will get there, and now you’re trusting them to go execute.

The scorecard should measure how much of each key selling activity the rep has performed against their assigned goal. Consider a sales activity management system, which automates logging, tracking and pacing in real time, so reps know exactly how they’re performing at any given moment. Reinforce the idea that real-time activity metrics let you proactively manage reps so they can reach their maximum potential.

4. Display metrics, and review progress daily.

Broadcast each team’s performance everywhere. Talk about your metrics in daily standups, weekly sales meetings and monthly win/loss analyses of closed deals. Display staff rankings or leaderboards to inspire motivation, friendly competition or sharing of best practices.

Remember that these metrics create a common language everyone can recognize. Your reps and managers understand the ultimate goal, the path to get there and how to communicate about it. That’s how you create sales team alignment.

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