Do you ever wonder if your reps are on track to hit their quota? How many times a week do you ask your reps:
“Where are we?”
“How’s your call number?”
“What’s entered the pipe?”
“Are you on track to hit your quota?”
Holding your team accountable is one of the toughest jobs in frontline sales management. Staying on top of each individual sales rep to make sure they’re hitting their numbers can be taxing, and doing it day in and day out gives us grey hairs, anxiety, and sleepless nights.
I feel your pain.
That’s why I’ve put together 4 hacks that will help you create a culture of team accountability.
1. Identify Key Metrics That Drive Rep’s Daily Behavior
Many sales managers focus only on end-goal sales metrics — pipeline, revenue, ops created, etc. These are great for keeping track of the health and effectiveness of your team overall, but not as good at identifying the daily success and progress of an individual rep.
When focusing on team accountability you need to identify the metrics that identify DAILY success. Revenue, pipeline, and similar larger KPIs are too broad to know if your rep is on-track today.
The key here is daily behavior. Put yourself in the sales rep’s shoes when evaluating each end-goal metric, and ask yourself: “How do I do that?”
How do I generate revenue? → Create opportunities.
How do I generate opportunities? → Schedule meetings.
How do I schedule meetings? → Find the right people, and send the right message.
Break down your end-goal metrics into the daily tasks that go into them.
This exercise focuses the manager on what they can actually manage.
Basketball coaches can’t manage the number of points scored. A baseball coach can’t coach more runs onto the board. They instead manage and coach the tasks and skills that go into scoring points and runs. Then it’s up to the player to follow through and leave it all on the field.
Sometimes they win, sometimes not, but as long as they leave it all on the field, that’s all any coach can ask for..
Related: Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions: 3 Times To Step In (& How)
It’s the same with sales. You can’t control how much money an individual rep brings in, or if they close a certain deal. Even the best salespeople in the world don’t close every deal. Focus on what you CAN control — their daily tasks and numbers.
Here’s what we use at Rivalry:
We use a picklist dropdown in SFDC:
Our overall goal is new ops created. We then break that down into the daily metrics that will lead to new ops.
- Demos Scheduled
- Discovery Calls
- Discovery Calls Scheduled
With this method it’s much easier to make sure reps are staying on task and if they’re on-target to hit quota.
2. Make Your Key Metrics Crystal Clear
For daily behavior metrics to increase team accountability you need transparency. Transparency means that your reps and you need to be clear on what the daily metrics are, what the overall goal is, and how they stack up to their teammates.
Your metrics have to be clear, but they also need to be easy to track. If it’s difficult to enter your key metrics into your CRM, or if your metrics are hard to comp, then creating a culture of transparency and accountability will be tough.
Make sure the daily behaviors are simple to track and enter in your CRM, and then comp accordingly.
There are several mechanisms you can use to create this transparency within your team.
- Live leaderboards
- Daily emails showcasing where each rep stands
- Daily standup where everyone announces their number to the team
- Basic dashboards in the CRM
Choose your method of transparency based on the characteristics and attitude of your sales team.
For instance, a team of remote workers won’t look at or use a physical leaderboard. However, daily emails to everyone’s inbox at 6:00 p.m. would work well.
Here’s a great example of how this public, team-wide accountability looks in email form:
These kinds of public facing scoreboards create a culture of holding people responsible and celebrating wins. It both pushes people to do more, and redirects those who may have gotten off-track.
3. Create a Rhythm For Qualitative Feedback
Everything we’ve shared so far is all about data. Data is great, and many sales managers are becoming “number worshipers,” but data can only tell us so much.
In sales, data answers The What.
What’s in your pipeline?
What leads have you prospected?
What calls have you made?
What demos have you done?
All of this data should be in your CRM. The only problem is that What data can’t tell us the why or the how, and that sort of qualitative feedback is an important part of keeping your team accountability high.
Make time to ask the why and the how questions.
Why are you prioritizing these deals?
Why are you prospecting these leads?
Why are you following up with these prospects?
Why are you crushing quota or struggling?
How can we create better results?
How can we generate stronger leads?
How can we have better conversations?
How can we close more deals?
How can we crush quota?
This is information you can only get by facilitating conversations with the sales reps themselves.
You can do this in a variety of ways. The most popular method is weekly 1-on-1’s, but weekly emails with questions for each rep is also a good solution. You can create Google forms, use sales coaching and team accountability software, or simply catch up by the water cooler.
However you do it, make sure you take the time to dig deeper, and find out the story behind the data points.
4. Follow-Up Like a Boss
How many times have you entered a 1-on-1 and not remembered one thing from the week or month before?
It happens all the time.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a one-on-one, a team meeting, or a weekly email, most meetings will have a set of takeaways and deliverables for next meeting. This is the most forgotten part of team accountability: the follow-up.
There are 2 simple hacks you can use to make sure you never miss a follow-up.
- Automate it with your sales development software. Schedule an email for the sales rep reminding them about the agreed upon deliverable immediately after the 1-on-1, and maybe send them another reminder shortly before your next meeting.
- Schedule follow-up reminders on your calendar. You have a calendar for a reason, put it to use. Get into a weekly scheduled rhythm of follow-up and you’ll be in the top percentile of sales managers.
Holding your sales team accountable is difficult, filled with anxiety, and more than a few awkward conversations.
That being said, accepting personal responsibility and improving accountability is the secret that separates an average team from a high performing one.
High performing teams take the time to develop a system of team accountability, and make sure every sales rep is executing the right behaviors to keep everyone moving towards the overall goal.
If you follow suit and implement these 4 hacks, you’ll quickly find yourself exceeding plan and performance quarter after quarter.