Why Sales Behaviour Is The New Barometer For Sales and Customer Retention KPI's
In every organization, sales performance and customer retention are a crucial part of effective sales management.
By selecting and tracking sales performance metrics, managers will be able to have an idea whether a particular sales strategy is having the desired effect in terms of company sales goals and objectives.
What happens with most companies, is that sales managers and decision makers implement the sales processes and strategies for accomplishing sales targets, let it run for a while and then at the end of the month, look at the revenue closed and then decide what’s been working and what hasn’t. This is called “backward tracking”. It does show the obvious sales strategies that has produced results, but it is only after the fact that it has happened and it’s too late to do any adjustments to bring about the desired outcome. This is why many organizations have opted to focus on new ways to track and manage leading “Sales KPI’s” to be more effective in hitting sales targets. However, the sole reliance on leading KPI’s(backward tracking) to manage customer retention and sales performance may not be a complete and effective solution.
Leading KPI’s are difficult to measure on Salesforce and may not tell the whole story. Using Salesforce on its own to measuring leading KPI stats can be challenging and time consuming
and may not provide an accurate sales performance or customer retention picture of what’s currently happening in the company.
Experienced Salesforce users will readily admit that it takes a lot of time and significant tinkering with the system to be able to get stats that sales and account managers can fully rely on.
Even with very a competent Salesforce expert on hand, it doesn’t make much of a difference and we have to go back to tracking and being forced to rely on the basic activity based reporting on the SF platform.
It might be that we can spot a sudden rise in the number of business ops created. Perhaps the win rate has shown a dramatic improvement and consequently an increase in sales revenue or an increase in customer retention.
These are surface level indicators or the symptoms if you like of a healthy sales body and that’s where the ability to have a deeper level understanding of what actions contributed to an increase in business ops or resulted in a higher customer retention rate becomes important.
Only by having this deeper understanding and drilling down to the specific sales revenue contributing actions, do we have a chance of replicating the success again and again.
Did the sales reps make more calls to close more opportunities?
Was it just that there were more qualified prospects that needed the product or service?
Was the timing of the calls better and it brought in results?
Does the number of calls or the time spent on the call make a bigger impact on customer retention?
This is where it can get a bit more involved. The traditional leading KPI indicators may allow you to gauge quantitatively, the amount of activity taking place on a specific KPI but it will not highlight the defining qualities of the person that performed the actions. For instance, a high performing sales rep or customer retention expert.
What was his/her timing like?
How often do they make a call?
When do they call?
What are the types of actions this person chooses to do at any stage of the cycle?
How often do they follow ups and what are their actions after every follow up?
This is where a whole new dimension comes into play beyond just “leading KPI’s.”
It’s called sales behaviour.
What is meant by the term sales behaviour?
Sales behaviour is the series of actions taken by the rep or account manager that resulted in the desired outcome.
For example, if one of the leading KPI’s is to maintain a solid pipeline of 70 prospects across every stage of the sales cycle, then a contributing sales behaviour might be to convert at least 50% of the prospects available to move to the next stage. The magic ingredients need to be uncovered i.e how did they do this to achieve the result.
In the case of customer retention, it might be to retain 100% of the customers and a call made every week for every customer to last for at least 7 minutes with a 5-star rating from the customer every time. The positive sales behaviours would be the qualities or actions taken by the customer retention expert to achieve the desired outcome.
In the CRM world a “sales activity” is simply the recording of a basic task done by a rep. It doesn’t track the actual customer service or benefit that is delivered as a result of accomplishing the task.
On the other hand, a sales behaviour will take it a step further and take into account meaningful elements like cadence, intent or call objective Sales behaviour therefore provides a clearer measure of the impact on the desired sales outcome.
For instance, focusing on behaviours can let us know, out of those 70 prospect calls made, how many lasted more than 10 minutes. In how many calls the rep managed to speak to the identified buyer and was the call related to the opportunity closed in the present quarter?
Salesforce simply isn’t customised to provide these vital, meaningful and significant call statistics and this is why it may be more of a hit and miss situation instead of being able to rinse and repeat the clearly defined path of success that’s working for a specific company.
If we can identify successful sales behaviours then we can drive these behaviours to achieve the desired company goals. These behaviours will help you identify the strengths and weakness of your team and allow you to replicate the successful behaviours via clear training and development.
There is a science within sales and knowing the formula allow organisations to scale and grow.
By being in a position to track how the reps behaves in different sales scenarios in Salesforce then we can identify valuable data like:
- Top performers who stumbles at converting and what stage
- Successful closers, who are not great at following best practices
- Core performers with skill deficiencies
- HR Training needs
- Bottlenecks in lead generation, opportunity creation and closing
- Pipeline quality
- Data quality
- Customer or employee attrition risk
Salesforce is a great sales and marketing tool with a wealth of information but it does not come custom built to identify, track and drive successful sales behaviours. These help drive the best customer retention and high level sales performance for teams and organisations to achieve the best results.
Written by: Gabe Doraisamy
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