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How Many Minutes Were Your Salespeople On The Phone? Meaningless or Meaningful?

There is plenty of sales data, but which ones are meaningful? In this episode of the Sales Management Minute, learn how to develop a sales performance model to give context to your sales numbers.

Imagine you have two salespeople on your team. The first one makes 25 outbound calls in an hour. The other makes 35 calls in an hour? Who did a better job?

Ahh… you say there isn’t enough information to decide. Ok, they both made 8 contacts. So, who is tops?

Still need more information? The first salesperson averaged 3 minutes per call. The other averaged 6 minutes per call. Now, who is the best?

I can spend the rest of this episode drilling into the data, but we won’t ever know if these numbers are meaningful unless we have developed a sales performance model to which we would contrast the results.

The first step in that development exercise is identifying the criteria of an effective sales call. In other words, what must be accomplished for that prospect call to be considered a success? Outcome-Based Selling™ tells us that you first identify the objective and then develop the plan to achieve it.

The second step is identifying the expected call duration to achieve the aforementioned call objectives. This is a key part of the model and often not one sales teams have in place. If we determined that it should take 4.5 minutes to reach success, then we can contrast the model with actual results…and identify performance improvement opportunities with our sales team.

The salesperson, who averaged 3 minutes per call may need coaching on rapport building, needs analysis questioning or concern handling to reach the desired outcomes.

The salesperson, who averaged 6 minutes per call, may be unnecessarily extending the discussion which limits her ability to reach more prospects and sell more.

Minutes on the phone and number of dials may be commonplace discussions in your company, but they don’t tell you anything without a sales performance model in place.

See you next time on the Sales Management Minute.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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