Principle 1: Continuous improvement of the sales process is a fundamental necessity.
Not really possible to argue about this one is it? You sort of have to accept it’s validity immediately, right? It’s even a bit motherhood-and-apple-pie-ish. That said, this principle can only be ignored if the sales performance of your competitors is steadily degrading. If, on the other hand, they’re getting better and you are treading water, you’re falling behind on a relative scale.
(Oh by the way, by buying into core princiapal #1, by default, you’ve also bought into core principles 2 & 3.)
Principle 2: Objective metrics are required to determine the amount and rate of improvement.
Simply stated, one literally cannot know either the amount or the rate of improvement without hard, quantitative measurements. Without empirical data, claiming that you’re better this year than you were last year is exactly equal to …let’s be polite and call it blowing smoke. You don’t know. You’re guessing. You’re making empty, unsubstantiated claims.
(Not to belabor the point, but simply saying something is so, without proof, does not make it so.)
Principle 3: A well defined sales process is a pre-requisite for determining meaningful sales metrics.
Humor me. Grab a paper and pencil and quickly write down the 3 or 4 key metrics you’d use to judge the performance of your wicket-keeper. I’ll wait…
OK, if you’re an American, you’re most likely clueless. Lacking any knowledge whatever regarding the wicket-keeping process, you can’t think of a single, useful wicket-keeping metric. If you are not familiar with music, try naming a few metrics to judge the performance of a bassoon player. Without knowledge regarding the bassoon-playing process, bassoon-playing metrics cannot be defined. Get it?
By definition, a company actually has a sales process only if it is documented, thoroughly understood by the entire sales force and is consistently executed by them. If any of these three components is missing, then for all practical purposes, a sales process does not exist and useful, meaningful metrics cannot be defined.
So “professional” sales rep, or “inspiring” sales manger…
Have you implemented the three core principles in reverse order? Have you defined your sales process? Are you tracking and analyzing a bunch of hard metrics based on that process? Do you have data to prove the amount and pace of your improvement?
Or do you just beat your chest and proclaim that you’re getting better day by day?