Sales Management: Activity & Results

Are You Managing Through the Rear-View Mirror?

In a past post we discussed the sales management pitfall of managing through the “rear view mirror,” which occurs when sales leaders address shortcomings in the sales process based on the results summarized in after-the-fact reports.

Instead, it is far more effective for sales leaders to be involved in the sales process so they can address shortcomings before it’s too late!

This concept was nicely summarized in a recent article by Hubspot’s Peter Gracey. “Just like any other sales VP, I’m concerned about results,” Gracey states. “But I’m also concerned with the opposite end — the input metrics.”

The article goes on to list some of the reasons why sales leaders might find it difficult to focus on activities metrics:

  • Activity data is not readily available
  • Too much emphasis from upper management on results, resulting in too little recognition for pipeline-building activities
  • Sales leaders and their teams lose focus on pipeline-building activities when times are “good”
  • Unclear definition of sales process, which must include pipeline-building steps
  • Failure on the part of sales leaders to spend one-on-one time reviewing activity metrics with each team member so they can maintain an awareness of pipeline depth and strength
  • Failure on the part of sales leaders to spend time in the field with sales team members so they can have first-hand knowledge of marketplace demands