No matter what business you’re in, a general tenet applies: if you want to improve something, you need to measure it. Benchmarking a measure, setting a target, periodically reviewing performance, creating improvement plans and resetting goals are at the heart of process improvement and quality methodologies.
Sales force effectiveness can be broken down into quantitative and qualitative metrics. Some examples of quantitative metrics are days on territory and calls per day. Any improvement in these measurements will improve the quantitative output of the field force.
Qualitative measurements might include calling on the right customer segments with the right offers at the right time in the right location. Others might consist of the effectiveness of the sales call and the depth of relationship built with the customer.
So, how do we improve these measures? One approach is to drive best practice. Measure the sales force and contrast them to best performance benchmarks. Target those areas that are below their benchmark and put programs in place to achieve better outcomes. In the case of customers, segment the base by categories and tailor the delivery of resources and messages to achieve maximum return.
Sales effectiveness process improvement can create opportunities to sell more and manage better. Whether starting large or small, they require analysis, the creation of a plan, execution of that plan and a commitment to tracking its progress.