Updated April 27 at 5:27pm

Are you making sales or measuring activity?

The amount of time management spends measuring sales activity and salespeople (or dumber, the ROI of some investment they made in CRM), is generally wasted effort. More

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Are you making sales or measuring activity?

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The amount of time management spends measuring sales activity and salespeople (or dumber, the ROI of some investment they made in CRM), is generally wasted effort.

The same amount of time could be invested in making millions of dollars worth of sales if the salesperson was just pointed in the right direction, and trained what “to produce” rather than what “to do.”

How do you measure sales success?

What’s on your sales dashboard?

What’s on your manager’s sales dashboard?

Most dashboards (big picture numbers) are full of useless information that only lead to depression and posting your resume online under an assumed name. RESULT: You can get another sales job using some other useless dashboard. It’s not only frustrating; it’s also career stifling.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I measure sales in 3.5 ways:

1. How many sales did you make?

2. What was the dollar amount?

3. What was the profit?

3.5 What was the source of the sale?

There are many sales managers who measure “activity.” Complete waste of time. If you’re comparing a salesperson who makes 100 cold calls a day but zero sales to a salesperson who makes one appointed sales call from a referral and makes one sale, what’s the measurement?

Will the manager yell at the guy who made the sale? Will the manager congratulate the salesperson that made 100 cold calls but no sale? The 100 cold calls completed the activity requirement, but had a zero return, yet his dashboard will show he made 100 cold calls.

The manager will say, “Great job, Bob! Keep up the good work. It’s all in the numbers, and eventually your numbers will catch up to your activity.” This is not just absurd, it’s also pathetic.

I may be old-fashioned, but I’m pragmatic, especially about the sales process. Measure sales, not activity. Measure dollars, not activity. Measure profit, not activity. Document sources, not activity.

I don’t care about activity, even though activity may eventually lead to results. The real question is: what kind of results? If you have to measure a salesperson’s daily activity, you have hired the wrong salesperson or (worse) the wrong manager.

When you understand the difference between activity, proactivity, productivity, and profit, then and only then will you understand the difference between a useless cold call and the power of an unsolicited referral. The cold call is an activity. An unsolicited referral is productivity and profit.

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