We’ve all heard this story before: a sales rep suffers from poor performance and the manager doesn’t diagnose the issues until it’s too late. The deals have been lost and the rep is at risk of losing his job.
This situation, and many like it can be avoided if sales managers are enabled to use the ROAM method. ROAM, which stands for results, objectives, activity and methodology, is a guideline that managers can use to pinpoint the areas where reps need coaching the most.
Mike Kunkle, Brainshark’s senior director of sales readiness consulting, discussed this topic at length on the Razor’s Edge podcast with host Barbara Giamanco, founder and CEO of Social Centered Selling. Kunkle provided key takeaways for using the ROAM method to create better alignment between managers and reps, get more out of coaching and ultimately achieve better sales performance.
What is ROAM?
Kunkle describes the ROAM (results, objectives, activity, methodology) method as a way for managers to figure out where and what to coach, to get the greatest possible lift in results. To do that, managers should review reps’ results and compare them with objectives in order to identify shortfalls. He suggests targeting the biggest shortfalls first.
“When there is a performance gap, then the manager can start to investigate the activities the rep did to get those results, by looking at which ones they did, how much or how often they did them,” he explains. Very often, the performance shortfall can be fixed by refocusing the rep on the right activities and the right quantities of them.
From there, he says managers can diagnose even further and complete the cycle through ROAM by examining the methodology being used; in other words, the quality of the rep’s execution of the activities. Even if the rep is doing enough of the right things, their results can suffer if they’re not doing them well enough.
How do I set up ROAM?
Organizations need a historic dashboard of sales stages, showing things such as the number of deals per stage, conversion ratios between stages and more, as well as analytics for each key area.
For example, he says, “[The dashboard] is pretty telling because it gives the managers the ability to compare metrics between their company’s top producers and their specific team. It’s a really quick way to start to pinpoint shortfalls or places where top producers are following many more leads or they have a much better conversion ratio between stage two and three. And then the manager can hone in on that to help the rep close that gap and get a significant lift in results.”
Along with the dashboard, sales organizations should also have benchmarks along with documented competencies or best practices in order to figure out the quality and quantity of the sales activities that will lead to positive results.
What’s your advice for sales managers using ROAM?
“ROAM is simple and effective if used well,” says Kunkle. “If you want to transform sales results, you have to get managers to stop coaching randomly or even just opportunistically.”
ROAM is a strategic way to diagnose what matters when it comes to rep performance. However, it needs to work in step with all the other components of the sales process; it’s not a silver bullet on its own.
“If reps improve skill levels but they’re focused on wrong accounts, that’s not going to help as much as you want,” he says. “As much as ROAM is strong, put it in context of the other things managers and reps need to do...If you figure out the puzzle and then put ROAM in its place and plug it in in context, I think [you’ll] be really happy with the results.”
Ready to learn more? Check out Mike Kunkle's webinar, available to watch now: Training + Coaching Equals Greater Sales Productivity.