Leading Indicators: Measuring Sales Rep Behavior

Leading Indicators: Measuring Sales Rep Behavior
June 11, 2015

Leading indicators are essential for improving rep performance and getting ahead of the curve. In a previous post, I laid out the difference between leading and lagging indicators, and talked about the importance of using sales rep knowledge and behavior for the former. I’ve already addressed the knowledge piece; in this post, I’m going to focus on measuring sales rep behavior.

Measuring behavior is not just about monitoring activities. It’s also about the quality of those activities used to engage the buyer and move them through the sales process.

Most companies measure tasks such as emails sent and meetings held. And that information lives in the CRM. The challenge is that the CRM tracks activities and tasks, but not how effective they are. When reps send out content, you can tell if an email was opened, but did the buyer care? You know that a sales rep had a meeting with a buyer, but how do you know what was presented or where the conversation went?

Because it’s difficult to get information about the quality of those buyer/seller interactions, and ultimately forecast sales, companies rely on the sales rep to provide that information. That’s why sales forecast meetings are often called “story time.” There’s nothing quantitative about it. It’s purely based on a qualitative interpretation of the sales process.

For sales managers, the blind spot isn’t knowing whether things happen. It’s knowing what has happened and whether or not it worked.

That’s where content comes in. You can use content to help bridge the gap between activity and the quality or level of interaction.

Detailed content analytics can provide you with insight into how well your buyers engage with your seller. In live presentations, you can track what slides are used and how much time is spent on each slide to have a better understanding of what’s going on in the meeting. When your sales reps are sending information to your buyers, you can use video content to increase the level of engagement and analytics to measure it. If you do this all in your CRM, you can see what’s going on at different stages of the sale, and which resources and content are helping drive sales forward.

You’ll get a view into what’s working, but—just as importantly—what isn’t working as well as it should.

When you can start measuring behavior within your CRM, your sales reps are going to be able to prioritize their follow-ups based on level of interest and move buyers through the cycle faster; and front-line managers are going to be able to use data-driven coaching techniques instead of “atta boy” or “step up your game.” They’ll be able to see what their A reps are doing and ultimately, coach B and C reps to perform better.

For more sales enablement tips and ideas, visit our Sales topic page. For details on how Brainshark helps companies increase sales productivity, click here and view of demo of the Brainshark Sales Accelerator.