The lack of consistent and sustainable high sales performance can be credited, in most instances, to poor Governance. The question for Sales Leaders is “where are you going to set the performance bar?” and “What are your expectations for your sales organization?”
To create consistent success, you must outline the key metrics for each of your people and the expectations for the tasks they are required to perform to achieve it. These 5 areas are outcomes that are directly affected by Governance and are key areas of concern:
- Accurate Sales Forecasting within /- 5%
- CRM Updates and current status on a monthly basis
- Proper Account Planning with Quarterly Reviews
- 100% Individual Plan Attainment each month or quarter
- Proactive Innovation and Demand Creation activities within the prospect or account on a monthly or quarterly basis
Governance revolves around setting both the targets and the pace with a desire for excellence. Once you determine your key metrics such as the 5 above, you need to answer the questions, “Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.” It is highly recommended that you involve your team in adopting the “rules” of your Governance to create greater buy-in. At the very least, make sure that you have the agreement and support of your top-performing people, to ensure they can help you leverage their influence.
As an example, let’s use forecasting. You may choose to create three numbers that are submitted each month. The first number is the best case, this is where the salesperson provides you with an optimistic expectation if everything were to close. The second number is the forecast number, this is a reasonable expectation for closure. The last is commit which is critical. Commit is the number that you can trust the most which MUST be as close to 100% as possible. Accuracy is an opportunity for reward while inaccurate assessments provides room for negative consequence. You can further define this with your team to ensure accuracy is attained.
The major issue revolving around proper Governance is establishing consequences for failure to comply. A Governance rule that is not followed or does not have consequences is meaningless. In many high performing organizations, the Governance metrics are written into the Performance Evaluation or incorporated into the progressive discipline process. A test of your commitment to consequences is how you will handle top performers that fail or refuse to follow your Governance procedures?
Governance is not difficult to establish. You must set the bar. Enlist your team members to help you so you gain their support. Inspect and provide consequences, both positive and negative, based on compliance. If you are truly interested in creating consistent and sustainable high levels of performance, this is the first area you should address.
Personal Challenge: Create a list of the 5 most important metrics that you would like to improve. Examples could be win-rate, new targeted client ideas per month, Reps to plan attainment, or forecast accuracy. Once you’ve established the metrics, determine how much you would like to improve and when you would like to accomplish the improvement. A suggestion would be to discuss individually with your team “opinion leaders” to gain buy-in and support. You should answer the questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How to ensure that you have a complete plan for each metric.