In business and in life, we have to handle the day to day, while minding our bigger goals. Managing short term goals at the same time as your long-term goals is a balancing act that we all have to walk. In sales, salespeople need to be successful on a daily basis while keeping a watchful eye on their monthly and yearly quotas.
It can be very easy for salespeople to get caught up in the quantity of their daily tasks and lose sight of their big picture goal. Key performance indicators are a set of metrics that are supposed to indicate how successful a salesperson will be. The spirit of this is that often the best people in sales are the hardest working. However, KPI’s don’t account for the strategic element that all successful salespeople have.
This essentially means that you can be busy while not getting anything done. This means that quantity is not the end all be all here. Quality needs to go hand in hand with quantity here to make a winning formula. When carrying out these tasks it is important to remember that the goal remains to close bigger and better deals. This starts with high-quality leads.
I once worked a sales job, not that you asked, and I’ll be honest it wasn’t my forte. I lacked the courage to be great, but that’s a story for another day. The long and the short here is that Monday’s was our lead generation day. Finding good leads is not easy work.
Quality leads are good size customers, with a real need, and the right contacts. This combo takes craftmanship to uncover. In my case, we needed to create twenty leads every Monday that we could sell too. Getting quality leads was a competitive task and it was hard work. Our business was to sell supplies, and while we could sell them to restaurants, they didn’t make for great customers. I knew this, but when I needed leads to hit my daily quota, in they went to my pipeline, in droves.
This is just a little personal anecdote to illustrate that lead generation can be easy. Quality lead generation is a much harder task but it’s one that will actually help you reach your end goal.
The point here is simple, quantity doesn’t matter if there is no quality. Leads that aren’t likely to close, or are virtually worthless even if they do, distract you from the work that you should be doing. Generating leads is a task that takes time. Furthermore, these leads are in your pipeline so you will make calls to them, send emails to them, and even meet and or present to them. These tasks start to stack on top of each other and the time they take up does as well. All of this takes away from time you could be spending on quality leads that could lead to bigger and better sales.
This is a hard concept for many people in this industry to grasp. Stepping back and allowing your pipeline to shrink in terms of size but increase in quality is the way to a better performance. Deal size will be different in different situations. If you see commissions on reoccurring purchases, then you want to build quality lasting client relationships. If you get paid out on a one-off sale, then you want to make it the biggest and most equitable sale that you can.
It is your job to maintain and understand what your long-term goals are. Remind yourself that to do your best you need to do more than stay busy. You need to carry out valuable actions that will allow you to hit your potential and these goals. In my experience, as long as you are hitting your quota, sales managers care less about your KPI’s. Shifting to a strategy that is focused on quality can be tough at first. But, if you want to be a top performer and close the biggest and best deals, it is a necessary move for you.