Utilizing Sales Activity Tracking to adopt Agile Sales Management
Coaching and Motivating reps without creating a culture of micromanagement.
For modern sales orgs utilizing data is critical.
An agile sales leader today can be armed with incredible data insights from:
- Intelligence on prospects (DiscoverOrg, EverString, ZoomInfo)
- Current target engagement (EverString, DemandBase, Marketo, Datafox, Datanyze)
- Opportunities in the pipeline (InsightSquared, Pipedrive, Salesforce)
- Call analytics (Gong, Execvision, Chorus)
- And of course: The sales activity metrics that reps perform and the conversion or outcomes of those sales activities (Ambition).
At Ambition, we believe maximizing your sales team’s performance is the most actionable way to win.
Great coaches measure what matters - because they just have to know where they can improve.
For example: Steve Kerr’s Golden State Warriors still watch film to improve. They scout their opponents. They keep extremely advanced stats. And when they are in the locker room or a timeout, they use that knowledge to their advantage.
In sales, the game is all year long.
The agile sales leader needs to drive effective sales coaching, maximize sales rep productivity, and accelerate new sales rep ramp time.
Those three initiatives ensure sales goal attainment. We all know, the number matters.
How can sales activity tracking amplify revenue and contribute to your agile sales management adoption?
1. Sales Rep Productivity
a. Transparent Scorecards:
Sales activity scorecards combine the key sales activity metrics on a daily or weekly basis and provide weights to the most important activities.
Scorecards are not a new concept - performance scorecards have helped management teams provide constructive and objective feedback to their people for decades.
What’s new and important for modern sales orgs, is that with Ambition’s Scorecards, reps have direct line of sight (we like to call it a sales “fitbit”) for their overall performance right inside of Salesforce. Holistic performance across their core metrics that rolls up into Activity Score (top of funnel metrics) and Objective Score (outcomes and conversions driven by the quality of the reps activity).
Managers gain usable insight on a level-playing field as single “scores” are distilled from both sales scorecards tracking sales activity on both short term productivity and longer term performance.
b. Visualizing Key Sales Metrics:
Visualizing these scorecards is critical to achieving any change in performance.
Dashboards or reports in Salesforce are typically a stop-gap for orgs who are hoping to drive behavior change, but without real-time real-time insight to performance across all of the key sales activity metrics that matter - they simply fail to move the needle.
By empowering reps and managers with live updates on KPIs and public facing recognition from their achievements, visibility acts as not only an accountability tool but more importantly as a tool for celebrating hard work and the wins that go into success.
Ambition supports sales metric visibility right inside Salesforce in Scorecards as well as on live sales TVs and with alerts direct to managers and sales leaders.
2. Sales Coaching
a. Objective KPI Conversations
Effective Sales Coaching starts with conversations.
Today, most reps and managers have sales coaching conversations on a quarterly basis, and often times the conversations are built around a subjective format and have an informal tone.
Our research shows that regular feedback, consistent formats, and objective data is critical to set the foundation for positive sales coaching programs.
For an agile sales manager, aligning a coaching conversation with a rep on their sales activity metrics is the starting point for the conversation. By checking the box on the right activity level and consistent level of conversion, managers can move forward to more in depth coaching re areas of improvement.
b. Accountability to the Process
As a continuation from above, successful sales coaching requires a clear sales process and playbook.
Sales scorecards that take into account sales activity tracking and clear sales metric benchmarks is critical.
Reinforcing accountability to that sales process and the benchmarks in the playbook is how agile sales leaders ensure they have good data to adjust based on areas where conversion is breaking down or where the market is shifting.
Sales managers have to be scientific here - and as most of us learned in grammar school, a good experiment requires consistency.
3. Sales Rep Ramp Time
a. Clarity on the Keys to Success
For new reps (and of course for your existing team), clear alignment and clear understanding on the key sales metrics and the key sales activities required to be successful is paramount.
New reps stepping into a role often are so focused on the content and the dearth of new market information, that it can be easy to breeze past “what actions are required to set up a meeting”.
More importantly, the conversion funnel to create just one opportunity or close one deal can be cumbersome.
Providing extreme visibility into all the actions that need to be executed on to hit the number is crucial.
An example I like to come back to: if your reps are required to close $500,000 in business per year. And the average deal size is $10,000. Then they need to close 50 deals. (easy right?)
Well, if the average opportunity close rate is 25%, then they need to create (>) 200 deals a year (ohh..)
Let’s say for every meeting they book with a prospect, only 30% become real opportunities. Ok, then they need to set at least 600 meetings. (yikes)
Ok, so lastly - let’s say on average their calls are answered 10% of the time. And it they get a meeting for 50% of their “real” conversations. Woah.
Stay with me on the really simple math here, but that means they need to make 50 calls per day, to have 5 conversations, so that half of those 5 conversations can convert to a meeting (2.5/ day).
If you are not communicating that visually and consistently to new reps. Many will be lost.
b. Guided Approach to “Fully Ramped”
Final quick note: The above mathematical scenario doesn’t kick into effect for most of our teams week 1.
It is just too hard to know everything, be a product expert, understand our buyer, and so on.
So we have our sales reps ramp over time.
The sales activity tracking we’re doing for reps needs to scale as their skill set develops.
This is viable a number of ways, but with Ambition’s Scorecards it can be done natively inside of Salesforce, by creating custom Roles for new and ramping reps.
Also, managers can create SMART benchmarks and set clear sales goals that scale with the expected level of production for your new reps.
This practice provides a clear guide to the first few months for new sales people that not only allows them to growth their performance output but also consistently hit achievement milestones.
Drive Sales Activity Tracking with Ambition
Contact Ambition to enhance sales performance insights, create Fantasy Football for Sales, run supercharged sales reports, scorecards, contests, and TVs, and improve Salesforce KPI visibility at companies like Wayfair, FiveStars and Filemaker.