Should you exercise control?
Often I’m asked what level of control should exist over a sales team.
There are several theories, some say that one must control everything, others say that one should not control anything or that one should have a balanced control.
Anyway, there are many theories.
The answer is not as simple as we might think.
In our opinion, control should always exist.
The level of control, however, can vary depending on different vectors.
There is a motto we often talk about with our customers that boils down to:
“What is measured happens”.
When exercising control over a sales team, there must be two main vectors that can help you put together a follow-up scheme.
The vector “Short termed Versus Medium and Long Term”
The first has to do with whether your type of sale is short term or medium or long term.
The more short-term your type of sale is, the greater need for control exists in business.
- The number of closures versus the number of proposals.
- The number of meetings versus number of proposals submitted.
- The number of calls versus number of scheduled meetings.
These are just some indicators that can be defined.
All of them are essential to avoid any discomfort in the results.
If we’re talking about a type of medium and long term sale, the indications above, although important, are not the most important conditioning in the commercial control.
Given that the sale extends for long months, sometimes years.
Other factors need to be considered under a broader sales methodology.
For example, you can measure the degree of penetration in the account, by analyzing the number of steps that you have to take with the customer.
All long-term business processes have several steps that need to be taken in order to come up with a proposal and then discuss it.
It’s about measuring each deal in face of the stage in which it is and then producing forecasts based on that information.
The vector “Maturity of the team”
Just as we don’t raise two children in the same way, we can’t manage two salespeople in the same way.
If you have a mature salesman, you’ll probably not have as much need to control them as you do if they have just started and have no experience.
Controlling an experienced salesperson too much can be counterproductive.
Do not, however, confuse maturity with antiquity, not always the two are synonymous.
You may have a salesman that has worked for years in the company and still needs you to direct their work and constantly control them for the results to appear.
On the other hand, you may also have salespeople with maturity, and the need for control with them is very little.
They themselves take the initiative if things are not working, try alternative ways or even ask their boss for help.
When there’s little maturity, there is no other way to work. You really have to get involved with the control of the team and constantly analyze their performance indexes.
Because if you don’t, soon sales targets for the month, quarter or year will be miles away.
This week, stop and think for a while:
Are you having the right level of control over your sales team?
Also published on Medium.