Most companies experience a slow-down in sales and revenue at some point. During challenging times realities can change week-by-week if not even more frequently. So, how does this affect your critical metrics in sales? What should you be measuring? How often?
Good sales leaders will tell you that you need to be looking at leading indicators to get a good grip on your business. If you look at results only, you won't have a pulse of what is happening right now. It is merely an indication of the things that happened weeks or months ago that have come to fruition. Looking at results is like looking at a scoreboard at the end of a game. You’ve either won or lost, and there are no adjustments you can make to correct it. This article from Bernard Marr & Co talks about which leading indicators are best to examine.
When your world turns upside down in challenging times, what should you be measuring? Is it any different than before? With things like demand increasing or decreasing, companies cutting expenses, and focus shifting, the strategies you established before may need to be thrown out the window. You’ll need to try new things, measure effectiveness, adjust, and keep rinsing and repeating until you find something that works. This kind of strategic planning is essential during a slow-down.
Activity is vital to measure always. But now, it may be a good idea to get more granular. Start by determining your two to three key activity metrics. Is it calls? Emails? Demos? Webinar attendees? Discovery meetings? Determine what are the right metrics for your company and set goals for your people around them. These metrics will be new to your team. Work with them to set their goals.
If close rates are down, you may need to increase activity to make up for them. Set new goals each week for your team based on what is happening and monitor trends.
If close rates are way up, you may be tempted to take anything and everything coming at you. Instead, focus on your priority customers to make sure you are taking care of them as the situation develops.
Look at all of your metrics in a more segmented manner:
As the sales leader, you'll want to make sure you're inspecting your team's work to ensure they are doing the right things, making adjustments as follows:
Your coaching focus and methods depend on reviewing these metrics. Without them, you are flying blind, and it's hard to figure out what is needed to succeed during hard times. You should be looking at this data daily to stay on top. Get feedback from the team. Share ideas. You and your team are in unchartered waters, and they are looking for direction. Metrics and data can be your best friend in determining what direction to give them.