I recently read a fantastic post by Tomasz Tunguz (Venture capitalist at Redpoint Ventures) entitled “Why quotas aren’t the most important number for startup sales teams”. It’s a really insightful post and one of my favorite quotes is:
"Unfortunately, most sales teams only measure Sales/Financial Metrics, so it’s challenging to diagnose why salespeople miss quota."
What the article argues, and what we at Sparta believe, is that in a lot of cases, Sales Activities are the best metric to measure. The reason? Every sales manager knows (or should know) that higher activity levels will more times than not, lead to more cash in the bank at the end of the month.
In addition, as Tomasz says, when you are measuring activities - it becomes much clearer why some reps reach quota and other’s don’t.
It allows you to discover strengths and weaknesses in your reps - allowing to to focus in on improving your teams productivity and effectiveness.
So, with that in my mind - how should sales teams go about setting activity goals?
Well, the solution is actually fairly simple. A good old-fashioned leaderboard. Yes, they’ve been around for a hundred years, and yes - they still work! The best sales people are competitive beasts - so start driving desired behaviours by setting up a competition.
Here’s the difference though. Instead of building the leaderboard around sales and financials, build the leaderboard based on activities. Find the behaviour that you feel will lead to more results - and use a competition to drive it. It can be anything, booked meetings, follow up phone calls booked, invoices sent out or even “25 calls before 9am”.
To keep momentum up, try throwing curveballs. A couple of days into the competition, mix things up - award double points for new client pitches for example. The best sales teams run on momentum and energy - so make sure you keep those up by constantly keeping tabs on the competition!
If you're looking for an easy way to run sales competitions - try out our software (http://new.spartasales.com)