A Gem from Noah Fleming – You Need To Be Measuring Activity

You need to be measuring the activity happening every day.

My gym has a great tradition. On your Birthday, they give you a little extra punishment. You can try and skip on your Birthday, but they’ll wait, and eventually, they’ll get you.

Yesterday, it was my turn, and it was tough. I’m still struggling to catch my breath.

This past weekend we celebrated my daughter’s Birthday, my Birthday, and those ritualized holidays treats have started magically appearing in the kitchen. While the extra workout was tough, I felt I had started to pay down some of my dieting debts from the weekend. One of the things I’ve done well over the past few months is measure and track everything I eat. That’s not to say there isn’t a weekend here or there where things go awry (this past weekend comes to mind) but working with my coach at the gym, I’ve done a great job of measuring what I eat, and she’s done a fabulous job holding me accountable.

Last week I conducted a 1-Day Sales Process™ in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a large $500M+ company, and in many ways, I’m working to help them bring the same kind of accountability to their sales teams. We spent a lot of time working together to build their sales process and, more importantly, how it would be measured and monitored. I can’t help but continue to harp on this from a business point of view. I continue to work with clients – very successful companies – where a lot of things that should be measured aren’t being measured. These companies have no way of knowing if they’re being done.

Let’s use the sales department as an example. Sales are the beating heart of a great company. Not only are we expected to keep our customers healthy and lively, but most companies are dependent on sales to keep the blood of new customers flowing. You need to be measuring the activity happening every day. Otherwise, you’ll end up bloated, overweight, and out of shape. You need to hold yourself and your people accountable. We need to be measuring the activity and NOT just the result after a slow, lazy season of holiday cookies.

How many calls were made?
How many new contacts?
Follow-ups on quotes and proposals?
Handwritten letters sent?
New appointments set?
Deals closed?
Deals lost?
New opportunities found?
Referral requests?
Testimonials gathered?

If you’re relying on individual reporting and overall stats from your sales team to determine their performance, then you’re robbing both the company and your people of the ability to identify what is working and what is not at a company-wide level. This also leaves you without the evidence to better train, coach, and mentor your people (either as a group or individually) in areas where they may need help. To make any change, it’s not enough to know what needs to be done. The gap between “knowing” and “doing” could easily swallow the Grand Canyon, None of the clients I work with are suffering from not knowing what to do – instead, what’s missing is the ability to pick the right projects and to be relentless in their execution, day in and day out. In other words – don’t tell yourself you should eat better – actually track everything that goes into your mouth for two weeks.

Don’t say, “I need to be better at reaching out to my clients.” Track every outbound contact that you make and look at that number every day. More importantly, make sure your sales managers are working with their salespeople to be tracking this, and providing the help and coaching they need to identify the areas that will have the most significant impact on sales.

Speaking of coaching – I’m working with my partner and co-author Shawn Veltman to develop both a comprehensive Sales Coaching training course, as well as a sales coaching tool that will help to turn any sales manager into a fantastic coach. We’re distilling all the lessons we’ve learned about how to create successful coaching processes into an easy to follow and easy to use tool for any sales manager, regardless of the size of their team or the challenges they’re facing. If this is something you’re interested in learning more about, feel free to drop me a line, and I’ll give you more details soon.

Your challenge for this week:
Where could you do a better job measuring?
Are you only tracking and rewarding on outputs, when you could be rewarding your people for the right inputs/activity?
Pick one area that you’re going to measure more fully, and be consistent with it for at least one week. Send me an email at [email protected] and let me know what you’re working on.
P.S. Last week’s 1-Day Sales Process was a smashing success. I’m only doing one of these per month per company. I’m now booking into February and March. If you’re interested in learning more or want to hear more about last week’s event, visit this page here and book a call.

Best,
Noah
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