Enforcing Metrics Doesn’t Equal Micromanaging

Devon-McDonald by

Micromanager — the evil buzzword that sales managers never want to be labeled, and sales reps never want to be working for. What I’ve found is that sometimes managers are so overly cautious of being put into the “micromanager category” that they don’t stress the importance of  daily, weekly and quarterly metrics, and using those metrics to stay in check with the bigger goals.
Enforcing the importance of metrics is critical, but it’s going to be a LOT more challenging if you’ve been letting your lead generation reps run willy-nilly around your office, doing “their own thing.” In order to manage an effective inside sales organization, goals and metrics need to be a major aspect of training — everyone needs to know from day one what is expected of them and what it will take to hit their opportunity goals.

In training, let your lead generators know that the metrics that you have established are a framework that will make them successful.  Stress your expectations right from the start and let them know how their roles and contributions fit into the big picture. Also, very clearly articulate how their bonuses tie into their achievement of the designated metrics. The better they understand YOUR logic for establishing these benchmarks, the less they will feel micromanaged, and they’ll see that you are actually trying to set them up for success.

When and how to examine metrics

In the first couple weeks, it’s important to reflect back on the daily metrics — every day. After the new hire(s) is ramped up, the end-of-week retrospective is the perfect time to reflect back on each individual’s achievements, as well as their impediments (i.e., what is keeping your rep from doing his her job and hitting their goals). When reviewing metrics, its important to start from the top down, and your reports dashboard should reflect this:

  1. Opportunities
  2. Conversations
  3. Calls/Emails

If you are starting from the bottom up, then unfortunately, you are leaning towards the micromanagement world.

Here’s an idea: if your rep is hitting his/her opportunity goal (and they are legitimate opportunities according to the criteria that you’ve established), then that’s most important. You really don’t need to spend a lot of time going over the less significant metrics, as he or she has done their job. And if you think the opportunity goal is too low (they are exceeding their opportunity goal with fewer activities), then perhaps you should reassess your metrics at the end of the quarter.

If your reps are not hitting their opportunity goals, then it’s time to take a step back. Is he/she hitting the conversations goal? If the  conversations goal is being achieved, then the opportunities will likely be around the corner. Or maybe you don’t have the right messaging or are talking to the wrong audience. If the conversation to opportunity ratio is low, look into the conversation notes with your rep and ask them about the dynamics of the call — what are they saying, what are they asking, what are they not saying/asking?

If opportunities aren’t where they need to be, AND conversations aren’t where they need to be, THEN it’s time to look at how many calls your rep is making. Are calls high but conversations aren’t there? Well then, maybe it’s time to look at the voicemail script, or to reevaluate the lead quality in your current campaign.

What metric might make you seem like a micromanager?

Call time. Some people are talkers, some are not. Some people can get their message across, ask the right questions, get off the phone, and move onto their next lead/account more efficiently than others. Should they be punished for this? I think not! Rather than reviewing call time, instead dig into the conversation notes that the reps should be logging.  Did they gather enough information about the prospect (their goals/pains/organizational structure, etc.)? What were the dynamics of the call? What are the next steps scheduled?

Next week, I will look at how to set up your dashboards in your CRM to best reflect your metrics.