Sales Accountability vs. Organizational Responsibility
By Peter Rathmann
Customers are disappearing, buying habits have changed, profit margins are shrinking, marketing budgets have been stripped, and the competition is entrenched. To compound the problem, your sales team is only selling 20% of the time, call reports are fictional, sales are unpredictable, and the training you purchased has had no impact on results whatsoever. In this day and age, more production is needed from the sales team and they need to be held accountable for results.
To truly hold sales people accountable, organizations have a responsibility to have certain things in place. These responsibilities include:
- Having a lofty goal in place
- Aligning the company on the lofty goal
- Knowing their “ideal” client
- Having current marketing materials
- Knowing opportunities exist in the market
- Being market-oriented and customer-centric
- Being able to measure success
Once these responsibilities are taken care of, the next step is to design a sales system and create a roadmap that is reverse engineered on the lofty goal. This road map should include clearly defined expectations such as:
- Specific activity metrics
- Weekly sales plans
- Public activity calendars
- Expected funnel size and velocities
- Structured reporting mechanisms
- Time bound results
Once an organization has taken care of their responsibilities, developed a sales system to follow and fully communicated what is expected, only then can the sales people be held accountable.
Oak Hill Business Partners is a professional services firm serving small and mid-sized businesses. Oak Hill provides Growth Management Services, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Bank Management Solutions.
Peter Rathmann is a Partner in Oak Hill Business Partners, specializing in sales force engineering, integration, and optimization. He has more than 20 years of experience in sales leadership in many industries.