I am often asked what level of control should exist over a sales team.
There are several theories that you should control everything, that you should control nothing, or that you should have balanced control.
In short, there are many theories.
The answer is not as simple as we think.
Control should always exist.
The degree of this control may vary according to several analysis vectors.
There is a maxim that we often present to our clients that can be summed up as follows:
“What gets measured happens”.
In controlling a sales team, there should be two main vectors that can help you set up a monitoring scheme.
The “Short-term versus Medium and Long-term” vector
The first is whether YOUR type of sale is short-term or medium to a long time.
The more short-term your type of sale, the greater the need for control points in your commercial activity.
- No. of deals closed versus the number of Proposals presented
- No. of Meetings versus the number of Proposals presented
- No. of phone calls versus the number of scheduled meetings
These are just some of the indicators that can be defined.
All of them are essential to avoid disappointments in the results obtained.
We are talking about medium and long-term types of sales. In that case, the issue of the indicators we presented above, although important, is only some of the essential conditioning in commercial control since the sale extends over long months, sometimes years.
Under a broader commercial methodology, other factors have to be analyzed.
For example, the degree of account penetration can be measured by the number of stages we have to reach the customer.
All long-term commercial processes follow several stages that have to be fulfilled in order to present a proposal and discuss it.
This is about measuring each deal against its sales stage, then producing forecasts based on that information.
The “Team Maturity” vector
Just as we don’t raise two children the same way, we won’t be able to manage two salespeople the same way.
Exaggeratedly controlling a senior salesperson can be counterproductive.
If I have a salesperson who is quite mature, I will not have as much need to control him as if he is starting and has no experience at all.
However, make sure to distinguish maturity from seniority; the two are not always synonymous.
I may have a salesperson who has been with us for many years but still needs us to guide him in his work and constantly control him so that the results show up.
On the other hand, when we have mature salespeople, the need for control is minimal.
If things are not working, they have the initiative to try alternative ways or even ask their manager for help.
When the maturity is less, there is no other way to work. We have to get involved with controlling the team and constantly analyzing its performance rates.
Because if we don’t, before we know it, the goals for the month, quarter, or year will be miles away.
This week, stop for a moment to think.
Do I have the right level of control over my sales team?
Also published on Medium.