3 Ways to Measure Sales Productivity
Any expectation of succeeding in your craft must start with education, and also include a strategy for future improvement. Education can come in many ways, from reading books to attending courses to having a mentor. It doesn’t really matter how you learn – you just need to gain the knowledge that will lead you on a path for success.
The world we now live in is fast moving, multi-faceted and diverse. Regardless your field, succeeding requires substantial knowledge and expertise, and a strategy for continuous improvement. Fortunately, there is no shortage of information that is readily available to most. The amount of information that can be learned online is staggering. The challenge is finding it and being disciplined enough to have a viable strategy on how to best learn the right information that can lead to your own specific requirements for success.
Critical to any education process is measurement. This is why most learning institutions have a grading scale tied to performance. Establishing a goal and then achieving it adds reinforcement we have learned what we sought to understand, which impacts our overall performance ability and well-being.
For sales professionals, there are many resources on how to better learn sales skills. One example is the Sales Education Foundation (SEF). They offer a series of courses, a monthly magazine, educational videos and much more. Investing the time to learn current best practices can be a good strategy to improving effectiveness and performance.
Measuring your overall sales performance can be readily accomplished, through the many resources that currently exist online. Here are three ways you can measure your own sales performance, to then use as knowledge to improve your craft.
- Output – simply stated, how much did you actually sell? This might be by currency, units or as a percent of quota. Regardless, if you are in a sales or sales management career, this will always be an important measurement, one that must be closely managed every month. Of course, not every month can be perfect; having your quota attainment figures current and top of mind will be helpful for any unscheduled quota review calls or meeting that occur.
- Throughput – this is a bit more difficult to quantify, but is important to ensure the highest possible Output. Throughput relates to the processes you use, how you spend your time, and what is part of your sales “routine.” One way to measure this is to have accurate visibility to see how much time you spend doing each of the activities that are part of your sales cycle. Examples include time spent on the phone, type spent responding to emails and setting appointments, actual meetings held, be it onside or over the phone. Applications such as Prodoscore can help with this measurement process, seamlessly and easily.
- Value Effectiveness – this concept is more of a bigger picture metric, one that can be calculated by comparing the total dollars of Output, divided by how much it cost your organization to achieve – your compensation. This could also be measured based on how many hours of “Input” you invested over a year divided by your annual compensation. Prodoscore can help to determine this metric, which should increase over time. It should be within the parameters of what competitors are paying. A steadily increasing metric means you continue to provide more value to your employer, translating into a higher paycheck.
Strategy is one thing; putting something into practice can be a different story. I am a believer of creating a standard process or routine for yourself that is easily replicated. For measuring Output (Item #1 above), you likely have a measurement system already in place, so no real new work is required.
Measuring Throughput (Item #2 above) may require a change to your routine. Solutions such as Prodoscore exist that are easy to implement, fast to learn and effortless to manage. Here is where new IT service capabilities enabled by the Internet and the cloud have made this measurement goal easy to attain.
Value Effectiveness (Item #3 above) can be a simple calculation, either by reviewing your annual compensation and your total orders sold. I suspect each of these figures might even be known off the top of your head. Of course, over time, inflation will have an impact such that this metric should naturally increase. If your figure isn’t, then here is an indicator you might have a problem in your future. Having the discipline to do this measurement once a year could be the best time spent every year!