I posted a blog on LinkedIn on September 27, 2015 entitled The 5 Keys to Sales Leadership.  That post had almost 15,000 views, close to 500 likes and 49 comments.  Since the topic of sales leadership seems of great interest to the audience (given the analytics) I decided to add to the content.

As a reminder, my 5 keys to sales leadership were:

  1. Recruit, hire, train and retain the best talent available
    • Don’t settle for the best of the worst
    • Always have an active “hiring pipeline” in place
  2. Be clear and consistent in your communication
    • 90% of management problems are “people” problems
    • 90% of “people” problems are communication problems
  3. Set clear goals/expectations
    • Inspect what you expect
  1. Know your numbers
    • Sales metrics, sales management KPIs, success formulas, etc.
  2. Assess the readiness level of team members
    • Dehire people who aren’t performing

In my original post I focused on the first key…recruiting, hiring and training.  In this post I’d like to focus keys three and four…setting clear goals/expectations and knowing your numbers.

Most salespeople focus on the art of selling…building rapport/relationships with their prospects and customers.  And while the art of selling is important the best sales leaders I know make their salespeople aware of the science of selling…sales metrics, KPIs, required activity levels to be successful.  Here are some sales metrics/KPIs that I think are important to track and actively coach:

  • Size/Quality of individual pipelines
  • Close rates
  • Length of sales cycles
  • Average order size by salesperson
  • Product mix
  • Forecast accuracy

As it relates to tasks and activity levels for salespeople I recommend:

  • Active prospecting on a weekly basis
  • Following-up with prospects and customers in a timely fashion
  • Closing business/Forecast accuracy
  • Planning their day/Managing time
  • Completing administrative requirements of the job accurately and on time

Don’t forget to let your salespeople know what meets minimum, target performance and overachievement looks like for each of the tasks above.

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