How do you get your salespeople to follow your sales process? The only way to know for sure is to track their key performance indicators (KPIs). Are they making enough phone calls? How long does it take them to respond to a lead? How many emails do they send out? How many appointments do they set every week?
The importance of following the process needs to be ingrained into every salesperson’s head.
You train your team to do these things. Your CRM prompts them to do these things. Yet the average dealership is 60-70% behind on their CRM tasks. When you ask, they always have great excuses for why they have fallen behind. But the real reason is this: KPIs are boring.
When a salesperson sits down at their desk every morning and the list of tasks is a mile long, it can be overwhelming. First, they take care of the urgent things: meetings, deals in progress, and manager requests. They don’t get around to the list of dreaded tasks until after lunch, and by then it’s easy to procrastinate until the end of the day.
Another common problem is when salespeople analyze their tasks and judge whether or not the effort is worth it. “Nah,” they think, “I’ve already called that person three times.” When in fact, if they tried one more time, that might just be the time the prospect picks up the phone or responds to the email.
Not only are KPIs boring for salespeople, they’re also boring for managers. How many managers love to pull this list every day and review metrics with their salespeople? Somehow, you must make completing the dreaded tasks seem like fun, or at least not boring.
How do you accomplish this? Here are a few tips.
Turn Tasks Into a Game
I use the word game here instead of competition. People who aren’t naturally competitive don’t really enjoy competing and may eventually feel resentful if everything is a competition. That doesn’t mean they can’t be successful. Think creatively about how to turn tasks into a game.
Instead of making team members compete against each another, how about setting a group goal for accomplishing tasks? Most people will feel motivated if they feel like they are helping their teammates, rather than competing against them. Plus, nobody likes to be the slacker in a group.
Bring KPIs to Life
Relate the metrics on your reports to real-life examples with your sales team, on a daily basis if possible. For example, two weeks ago, Dan made 30 calls and last week he sold two cars, while last week Dan made 50 calls and this week he sold three cars. Illustrating the correlation between accomplishing tasks and sales success will help to keep individuals motivated.
Lead by Example
If you suspect team members are skirting the process, set apart a few hours every week to be with them in the trenches. Do the tasks yourself. Make the difficult calls, send the emails, and show them how you do it. It’s easy for salespeople to grumble when they feel like you’re always telling them what to do, without seeing firsthand that you’re willing and able to do it yourself.
Tasks and KPIs are an important part of every sales process, but let’s face it, they can be boring. As a manager it’s your job to make them more interesting. Involve your sales team and challenge them to come up with creative ways to accomplish tasks without making it seem like a chore. And remember, always explain your reasoning. It’s not because you’re a meanie, making them complete tasks for no reason; it’s because the process works. The importance of following the process needs to be ingrained into every salesperson’s head. If they aren’t getting it, try these tips to show them the way and lead them to success.
Philip Spagnoli is Elead’s regional West Coast VP.