How to Hold Your Sales Reps Accountable

It’s important for sales leaders to have a good grasp of their talent. They need to be able to accurately predict the success of their team, and they need metrics to hold their reps accountable.

In baseball, teams established metrics like batting averages, and on base percentage to gauge a player’s level of production and to properly set expectations for how a players should perform.

How can sales leaders measure their talent in a similar way? Is there a good way to figure out who your all star hitters are?

3 Tactics for Holding Your Sales Reps Accountable

1.  Defining your metrics.

To get started evaluating your team you need to define your metrics. If baseball teams are using batting averages, what measures will predict the success of your team?

The metrics you choose will depend on the structure and goals within your sales organization. Some general examples to get you started are:

  • Outbound requests
  • Meetings booked
  • Pipeline creation
  • # meetings held weekly
  • # opportunities created weekly
  • Deals closed
  • Accounts created
  • Average deal size
  • Internal win-rate

Defining metrics is an important building block to seeing where your team stands, and making sure your reps are hitting their marks.

After you’ve identified what you’re going to measure, you can start evaluating your team.

2.  Assessing baseline skills with training.

Just like in sports, your players need to go through training camp. You need to get a good idea of how they can perform in order to make accurate future predictions. The easiest way to achieve this is through an online learning technology like LearnCore.

LearnCore software gives you the opportunity to incorporate technology into your training assessments with features like:

  • Modular training. Let your reps train at their own pace with short, modular sessions online. Get better completion rates, and a more accurate idea of your team’s skills.
  • Customer course creation. Create courses based on what you need your reps to know. Customize your content to specific services and products to make sure your reps are ready for the field.
  • Easy assessments. Get an accurate idea of how prepared your sales reps are by adding assessments at the end of each online course. Then, see how reps improve over time.
  • Team challenges. Add some gamification to your training to see how your team stacks up. Get some friendly competition going, and use to performers as examples for your greener talent.
  • Pitch training. Incorporate video training for sales pitch feedback to give you and your reps a new type of insight into their skills.

The following features can give you a good talent baseline for your reps. A combination of each type of assessment will help you get to know your reps, and their batting average.

As a bonus, these examples will also provide some red flags for reps who need more training or help in particular areas.

Not only are you getting a baseline for talent, you’re getting insights into how you can best design their training and development plan moving forward.

3.  Start mining your own data.

Once your organization collects enough data they should be able to predict what levels of training performance translate into the actual job.

For example, if your employee hits certain training performance numbers, then they should have a certain sales goal as their quota.

If you start using your own data to create a predictive analytics system, you’ll be able to more accurately forecast how your sales reps will perform. And with more accurate forecasts, you’ll be able to hold reps accountable to the numbers they should be hitting.

If they aren’t stacking up, they can easily be compared to the averages that came before them.

A big part of making sure your predictions are on point is making sure your data is accurate. If you’re using a CRM like Salesforce you need to reinforce strict data entry guidelines and processes to check accuracy.

SiriusDecisions reported that a piece of bad data left ignored in your CRM could cost your company up to $100. Now imagine that multiplied across your entire sales force.

Data Quality and Holding Sales Reps Accountable

So don’t forget, even if you have an accurate talent baseline for your reps, with inaccurate data entries your forecasts could still be totally off.

Your own data is an amazing opportunity to hone in on your metrics so you can hold your sales reps to a higher level of accountability.

Defining metrics, assessing your team, and using data to your advantage are all important aspects of strengthening your sales organization through more accountability.  And as a bonus, your culture may improve too.

Too many sales organizations suffer from the negative team mentality that seeps in when they let their reps coast for too long. If reps aren’t hitting their metrics and there aren’t any consequences, all efforts to gain accountability are diminished.

Even worse, the reps who are working hard to hit their quotas end up pretty angry. Don’t risk losing your hard working reps because you don’t have the guts to reprimand the lazy ones.

Following these three steps will strengthen your organization and help your hold your sales reps more accountable than you ever have before.
Have other ways you’ve successfully handled sales rep accountability? We’d love to hear about them.

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