SPM Ch. 4: How to Introduce Sales Performance Standards
If you have read the first three chapters (Ch. 1, Ch. 2, Ch. 3) of the Gryphon Sales Performance Methodology (SPM), you may now understand that our system is built on the goal of driving incremental improvements across all agents in the sales organization.
Our approach is designed to be both systematic and sustainable for long-term management; this methodology is not a quick fix.
If you have not read the other articles, you can start the series here!
Initiation Phase 1: Communicate Performance Expectations
Unless you are building an organization from scratch, there needs to be clear communication of the team’s renewed focus and management expectations. Communication is the cornerstone of the SPM, and it is equally as important to communicate the approach to existing reps as it is to new hires.
Reps must understand that as employees, they should anticipate having their performance examined. In other words, the activity they are being compensated to perform is a company asset. Therefore, it is more than reasonable that their work output is tracked and analyzed. Communication of these principles must be clear and direct.
Below you will find a more in-depth examination of how to introduce Gryphon’s Sales Performance Methodology at your organization for peak performance results.
Initiation Phase 2: Establish Performance Benchmarks
One of the most important, primary objectives of a sales manager is to obtain an understanding of the activities that are being conducted each day by every rep. This way, the manager can see the starting performance level of their team and help establish realistic performance standards from the outset.
Because we must have an accurate understanding of the selling behaviors that are currently being demonstrated, all phone activity must be tracked and captured.
Ideally, this can be done without establishing new processes that are oppressive. New methods and the introduction of new software – even changes that are mutually beneficial – are likely to encounter reluctance, slow adoption and only partial utilization. It is critical, therefore, that Gryphon’s Platform becomes the only system through which calls to/from reps can be conducted.
Gryphon’s platform delivers rock-solid telephone communication via the cloud that can automatically pull activity data from the network itself, so reps do not have to track and report their calling activity manually.
Initiation Phase 3: Prepare for Findings
The other critical aspect of the Platform is that the activity data which is automatically captured in our network is accurate. Self-reported activity is prone to error, omission, and embellishment, and is unlikely to be comprehensive enough for effective decision-making. Automating this collection process is essential to obtaining benchmarks for success.
NOTE: Recommended baseline recording period: 1 month
After implementing the Gryphon Sales Performance Management Platform and seeing the accurate and automated daily activity data of your sales reps, you will be able to identify patterns of behavior that may require immediate attention. In some cases, you may find that reps are producing very little or just not producing at all, but you will also identify patterns of behavior that are directly related to optimal outcomes.
The added benefit of this baseline exercise is that you will begin to get an understanding of the repetitive behaviors of your best reps. And, the practice of reviewing this data will serve as the benchmark for the critical Optimization Phase which drives the sales engine forward.
Initialization Phase 4: Individual Performance Training
Every organization must invest in preparation for their reps. This paper does not prescribe a specific training program over any other, because sales teams are multi-faceted and have different needs. The important thing is to establish an effective training regimen that is supported by your baseline exercises. In other words, incorporate your findings around optimal rep behaviors into the training curriculum so that the training emphasizes best practices. When this is done correctly, your tracking and visibility into rep activity will provide ongoing insights and serve as a direct reinforcement of the training principles themselves.
The typical critique of investment in training is generally that reps eventually revert to their pre-training habits after a few days or weeks – thus rendering the investment wasted. This investment is the reason why training must also be supplemented with tools that reinforce the training, every day. These tools work best when they are invisible and not intrusive to an agent’s daily routine. However, when training and reinforcement technology are aligned and working, there is no better way to build or coach a high-performance team that will continue to pay dividends.
Highlights of the Initiation Phase
- Establish a baseline of activity — no matter how shocking
- Evaluate automated tools – capturing daily phone-based activity is imperative
- Analyze behavior patterns (good and bad) – establish benchmarks by which to measure all reps within a team
- Understand what optimal results are — define them and know what they are worth to you in $$
- Implement or update your training program – be sure to align with your benchmark data
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