Keep the Heart in Sales Performance: How to Measure Sales Performance in a Human Way
Sales performance measurement is a critical part of sales operations, but it can be tricky to get right. Too often, sales teams focus exclusively on metrics that measure productivity rather than effectiveness.
Defining effective sales performance
Sales performance can be defined in many ways, but most experts agree that it is the measure of how well salespeople achieve their objectives. This includes both quantitative and qualitative factors such as sales volume, revenue, customer satisfaction, and more.
While some companies focus exclusively on productivity measures such as sales volume or number of calls made, this can often lead to negative consequences such as decreased morale and reduced sales.
It’s important to measure both productivity and effectiveness when assessing sales performance.
To do this, most companies use a mix of leading and lagging indicators. Leading indicators are those that predict future success while lagging indicators measure past performance.
Some common leading indicators of sales performance include:
- Sales pipeline health
- Win rate
- Number of new opportunities created
- Average deal size
Common lagging indicators include:
- Sales volume
- Customer satisfaction scores
Companies should track both types of indicators to get a complete picture of sales performance.
Now that we’ve defined effective sales performance, let’s discuss how to measure it in a way that takes into account the human element of your sales team.
Measuring sales performance in a human way
The first step to measuring sales performance in a human way is to create metrics that focus on both productivity and effectiveness.
As we discussed earlier, most companies use a mix of leading and lagging indicators to measure sales performance.
However, it’s also important to create metrics that focus on the human element of selling.
Some examples of human-centric sales performance metrics include:
- Number of customer relationships built
- Communication skills rating
- Emotional intelligence score
- Connection to the company’s mission and vision
These are just a few examples of how you can measure the human element of sales performance.
How to measure the number of customer relationships built
One way to measure the number of customer relationships built is through customer surveys. You can include a question in your customer satisfaction survey that asks customers how likely they are to recommend your company to a friend or colleague.
This will give you a good idea of how strong the relationships are that your sales team is building with customers.
You can also measure the number of customer relationships built by tracking the number of repeat customers. This is a good way to measure not only the number of relationships your sales team is building but also the quality of those
If your sales team has a high rate of repeat customers, it’s likely that they are doing a good job of building relationships with customers.
How to measure communication skills rating
Another way to measure the human element of sales performance is through communication skills ratings.
You can use a tool like Accent Technologies to measure things like email response time, number of emails sent, and more.
This data can then be used to create a communication skills rating for each salesperson.
How to measure Emotional intelligence score
Emotional intelligence is another important aspect of sales performance.
You can measure emotional intelligence in several ways, but one of the most common is through self-report surveys.
There are a number of different emotional intelligence surveys available online, such as the Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ-i) or the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT).
Other helpful tests that can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses in your sales team are the Enneagram and Strengthfinders personality tests.
Once you’ve identified the areas where your sales team needs improvement, you can create training programs or coaching opportunities to help them improve their emotional intelligence.
Or, place them in sales roles that are better suited to their particular personality types. For example, if you discover that one of your reps is highly extroverted and high-energy, consider making them the de facto rep for all trade shows and events.
If another rep is more analytically-minded, perhaps put them in charge of creating business intelligence forecasts and dashboards.
Understanding your reps’ personalities and emotional intelligence levels will not only help you coach them in areas of opportunity, but can also help you place them in roles that offer them more overall job satisfaction.
How to measure reps’ connection to your company’s mission and vision
A salesperson’s connection to the company’s mission and vision is another important aspect of sales performance.
One way to measure this is through surveys. You can include questions in your employee engagement survey that ask employees how connected they feel to the company’s mission and vision.
You can also measure connection to mission and vision by tracking things like volunteerism and participation in company-sponsored philanthropy events.
If you see that your sales team is highly engaged in these activities, it’s likely that they feel a strong connection to the company’s mission and vision.
Another way to measure connection to mission and vision is through tenure. If you have sales reps who have been with the company for a long time, it’s likely that they feel strongly connected to the company’s mission and vision.
Regular, honest feedback is crucial in healthy sales teams
In addition to tracking these metrics, you should also provide regular feedback to your sales team. Feedback is a crucial part of sales performance management, but it’s often overlooked.
Giving feedback can be difficult, but it’s essential to the success of your sales team. Feedback should be given regularly and should be both positive and constructive.
When giving feedback, always aim to be clear, specific, and objective. This will help your team members understand what they need to work on and how they can improve.
I remember hearing a story of a highly successful manager who made a point to say at least one awkward thing in his one-on-one meetings with his employees.
For the introverts reading this, I feel you cringing. Why on earth would he purposefully subject himself to an awkward social situation?
Because he realized that most one-on-one meetings often turn into inconsequential check-ins that don’t result in any substantive change or meaningful feedback.
Perhaps a manager might skirt around a problem or half-heartedly offer a veiled compliment on a job well done. None of these things actually move the needle for the organization or give the employee extra motivation.
It’s important to build a culture of regular, open, and honest feedback. You don’t need to do what this manager did, but you should make a commitment to address problems explicitly and quickly, and praise your employees liberally for jobs well done.
Be open to receiving feedback from your team
It’s not just important to give feedback – it’s important to receive it, too. As a manager, you should be open to hearing feedback from your team members.
This can be difficult, but it’s essential to creating a healthy and productive sales team. After all, how can you improve if you’re not willing to listen to feedback?
When receiving feedback, always aim to be open-minded and receptive. Avoid getting defensive or taking things personally. Remember that the goal is to improve, not to prove that you’re perfect.
If you’re not sure how to receive feedback, here are a few tips:
- Thank the person for their feedback.
- Ask clarifying questions if you’re not sure what they mean.
- Avoid getting defensive or arguing.
- Commit to taking action on the feedback.
Receiving feedback can be difficult, but it’s an essential part of being a good manager. By being open to feedback, you can learn and grow as a leader, and you can help your team to do the same.
Build Relationships with Your Sales Reps
Finally, one of the most important things you can do to measure sales performance is to build genuine relationships with your sales reps.
Get to know them as people, not just employees. This doesn’t mean you need to be their best friends.
At the end of the day, you’re still their boss. So it’s a tricky tightrope to walk.
Find out what motivates them and what their goals are. When you have a good relationship with your sales reps, they’ll be more likely to trust you and confide in you when they’re having work-related problems.
They’ll also be more likely to take your feedback to heart and use it to improve their performance.
Building genuine relationships with your sales reps will take time, but it’s worth it. These relationships will pay dividends in the form of improved sales performance and overall higher morale for everyone (including the boss!)
Tracking sales performance with software frees you up to be a better manager
Sales performance software like Accent Technologies gives you the ability to measure, track, and manage sales performance data with ease.
This means that you can spend less time crunching numbers and more time actually managing your team.
When you have a good sales performance tracking system in place, you can quickly see which reps are meeting their quotas and which ones are falling behind.
You can also see which reps are selling which products, and measure which sales strategies are working and which ones aren’t.
All of this data is essential for managing a sales team, but it’s only useful if you actually use it to improve your team’s performance.
So make sure you take the time to review your sales performance data regularly. Use it to inform your decisions about how to manage your team. And most importantly, use it to help you become a better manager.
Sales performance software is a valuable tool for any manager. By using it wisely, you can free up your time to focus on what’s really important: being a human leader for your team.
This may seem like a lot to take on, but sales performance management doesn’t have to be complicated.
By tracking the right metrics and giving regular, honest feedback, you can create a sales team that is both high-performing and human. And isn’t that what we all want?
Accent Technologies is the first and only SaaS company to bring together Sales AI and Content Management in a true Revenue Enablement Platform. We provide both sales and marketing with better visibility into the performance of their teams.
This drives revenue through intelligent recommendations for complex sales scenarios and provides the data for rich analytics that power better coaching, forecasting, and long-term customer support. Learn more about our solutions or request a live demo to see it in action.
What other ways do you measure sales performance in a human way? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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