I think we can all agree that when managing an inside sales team it is critical to be constantly evaluating the performance of your team and yourself as a manager. This can be done a number of ways – whether through individual coaching of reps, team strategy meetings, analysis and review of specific metrics, or feedback sessions with your team members.
Today I wanted to discuss some of the specific areas that I think are important to be in touch with as you evaluate your team and the success they are having.
Achievement against goal/quota:
The first area is extremely straightforward and is simply a clean measure of how the individuals on your team are doing against their number. This is obviously very important to the success of your team, you, and your organization because these goals have been set so they role up and feed to the greater revenue goals of the organization.
Outbound Activity Volume and Results of those Activities:
From reading a number of industry postings and drawing on my experience there is a clear correlation between the amount of outbound activity your team is performing and the results of achievement against goal. At one point, I was a firm believer that if my team made a greater number of outbound activities it would lead to a larger number of conversations and in turn a bigger bucket of wins. While I do not want to discount that there needs to be a certain level of outbound activity to drive success, I think that as managers, we need to closely evaluate the results of those activities. For example, we need to be able to measure connect rates and conversion rates of the individual team members and the team as a whole. We need to not only look at these rates but get even more granular in our analysis of these numbers. While the connect rate (conversations/activity output) is a critical measure, we need to analyze this number and understand who we are talking too (role inside the organization) and what they are saying, so we can continue to learn how we are being received and what is driving our success or lack of success. This type of analysis can help play into the third area of measure that is critical; coaching and strategy sessions.
Coaching and Strategy Sessions (Team and Individual):
If I take a look at what has been most impactful on my team member’s performance, there is one answer that I keep landing on, coaching and strategy sessions. While every inside sales manager is busy, there needs to be a very large priority put on sessions with individuals on your team and your team as a whole. This will lead to better team and individual performance. You can accomplish this a number of ways, either through formalized meetings with your team, a quick check in, or a strategy session on one specific interaction they are engaged in to drive better results. We have been conducting peer strategy sessions with our team members this month so that the team can learn from one another. We have also been conducting informal “white boarding” sessions that are focused on specific areas of inside sales performance.
These are just some of my thoughts as I sit at my desk before the Thanksgiving holiday, there are so many pieces that go into managing and evaluating a team that I could continue to write for quite some time. Please let me know what you think and if there are specifics on evaluating and managing your team that you could share.