Sales managers would love to have a video cam in the field with their reps to watch how their stars perform on sales calls.
Obviously, we don't have this luxury in media sales like the NFL does on Monday morning when the coaches break down game films from the day before to see how their players performed position by position. A manager recently told me that the most important thing a sales rep can do each week (besides write business) is fill out their weekly planners. I disagree. Certainly the weekly planner is a vital tool to let the manager know where the rep is going, what business they are going to close, and give a glimpse of their upcoming activity levels for the week. However, in my opinion the ability to track how the rep performed at the end of the week (and during the week) is just as important as their plan going into the week. So how do you watch game films from the week before so YOU know how your top performers graded out?
One sales manager I know does a weekly recap for her sales reps that calculates the activity for the week. In Figure 1, Michelle Turner fills out her weekly tracking of the accounts she called on that week and puts an X in the boxes that correlate to her activity. The sales manager then matches this up to her "Scorecard 2013" which gives the reps their activity goals for each week -- which is what you see in the parentheses for Figure 1.
Name of Marketing Executive: Date:
Name Client/Prospect CMP (6) Seeding (15) Specs (5) In Stores (10) CP's (6) Phone Calls (25) Referrals (3) Testimonials (1) Thank you (10)
T-Mo's Tire Center X
Trixie Charm Ford X X X
Going into the week, Michelle turned in a planner that stated that she was going to make six CMP calls, six closing presentations, do 10 in-store surveys, five spec creative campaigns, and turn in $28,000 in business with a 80 percent or better confidence factor. At the end of the week, Figure 1. is compared to her planner and then the sales manager grades out Michelle's performance for the week.
It's one thing for a rep to have a great planner going into the week, but it must come at least 20-25 percent within how she finishes up the week, and preferably over then under on the activity levels and the business they projected must come within 5 percent. Of course, one of the most important tallies is her projected business going into the week. However, her activity levels will tell a great deal about whether her week was a success or not.
Going into the year, the WXXX staff set their goals for the year in much the same way the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL set their goals. For every game, the Ravens have certain goals, such as holding the opponents on kick off coverage to the 30-yard line, holding them under 100 rushing yards/150 passing yards, and so on. The WXXX staff breaks down annual goals (season), monthly goals (game), and weekly goals (quarter).
Here is an example of some of their goals on their "Scorecard 2003" which is what they call their annual goal sheet:
. 50/50 client to prospect ratio/min. Eight hours per week prospecting
. Three new accounts per month/one must be from a referral -- minimum of $2,500
. Seeding letter/confirmation letter must precede CMPs
. All local direct contracts must have buying cycle minimums on agreement length of campaign.
. Six CMPs
. 15 seeding letters
. 10 in-store surveys
. Six closing presentations
. 25 prospecting calls
. Three documented referrals
. One testimonial letter
. 15 asks per week
. 10 thank you notes
Those are just some of the examples that come from their "Scorecard 2103," which is very extensive and very thorough. As you can see, there is very little time for in-office chit chat on that staff. No wonder they were up 20 percent in 2012 from the prior year.
Yes, the weekly planner is vital, but if we don't have a system for matching up what the rep said they were going to do versus what they actually did, there's a chance we are sales managers reviewing the creative writing of our sales staff.
Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.luceperformancegroup.com.