By Alan Heaton
“Perspectives with Alan”
More and more I am seeing sales leaders distracted from the real work that makes a difference in the performance of their sales teams. In the quest for real time updates and continuous reporting companies are turning sales leadership positions into sales administration headaches. Many of the technology initiatives designed to enhance productivity are actually taking away valuable time that should be spent in front of customers and in front of your sales team coaching and developing. In some cases the reporting pendulum has swung so far that we are seeing companies of reasonable size reverse course away from the latest and greatest “robust CRM” system, which is demanding too much time, and go back to something simplified but effective.
Reporting, planning and forecasting are important to create focus and effective resource utilization. However, when you walk by your sales leaders what do you see them doing more of; sitting behind a computer screen entering data, responding to emails and taking conference calls? Or are they actively engaged with your sales team and customers; learning, developing and teaching?
If you want reporting that impacts your teams success, try measuring the frequency and effectiveness of the coaching interactions your sales leaders have. Determine the critical skills and behaviors that create success in the sales-customer interaction and measure how your sales people are progressing and developing in those areas. Focus on reporting that drives activity that will change behaviors and competencies and you will see those managers get out from behind the keyboard! Encourage your sales leaders to be leaders not administrators.