Run Great Sales One-on-Ones -- Standardize Your Sales Rep Dashboards
Effective one-on-one meetings are one of the highest value activities for any sales manager. In his book High Output Management, Andy Grove, who founded and ran Intel, wrote, “Ninety minutes of your time can enhance the quality of your subordinate’s work for two weeks, or for some eighty-plus hours.”
Getting your employees on track and helping them break through their problems is really what being a manager is all about. Yet very few companies equip their managers, particularly sales managers, to run effective one-on-ones.
This is a big problem in sales. Many sales managers are promoted from the ranks of the best sales reps. They may have been the top rep, but they are a complete novice when it comes to managing people.
So, lots of sales managers are under-prepared to take on their most important task: running effective one-on-ones.
If you’re running a sales organization, read on to find out how to make every one of your managers more effective at their most important task.
And if you’re the sales manager who made it to your position by being a great salesperson, first of all, congrats! And second of all, read on because we have a helpful framework to make you more effective in your current role.
It's the employee's meeting
As Andy Grove wrote, “A key point about a one-on-one: it should be regarded as the subordinate’s meeting, with its agenda and tone set by him.”
A sales manager usually has several direct reports. Direct reports have just one manager. So, to get the most leverage out of the meeting, allow the reps to control at least a portion of the agenda in order to raise any issues they’re having, or other items they’d like to discuss.
You should have your reps use data to see what’s working and what’s not working. Data shines a bright light on their performance, so that they know where they’re falling behind and when to ask for help. Ultimately, that’s what management is all about --- pointing your resources in the right direction, and helping them to be as effective as they possibly can be. So encourage them to come to you with the problems they are having.
Keep a one-on-one doc
Keep a running doc. A good one-on-one doc should have three elements:
Updates. You don’t want your one-on-one to be a status update meeting, but it’s good to get updates on the big deals. By summarizing info in the doc, you can spend less time on the updates and more time talking about how to move the deals forward.
Discussion. This is where you want to spend most of your time in the meeting. For example, if your sales rep is having trouble overcoming a frequent objection about a particular competitor, this is the time to do a deep dive.
Action Items. Write down action items and assign ownership. You may move your action items to a different list or a tool like Trello, but having them in your one-on-one doc helps you with follow up in future meetings.
Google docs are great for one-on-ones because they are so collaborative.
Having a doc is a great way to set the focus for the following week or two. Plus, it reminds you of the key points the next time you get together in your one-on-one.
Have a standard set of metrics for each role
For each role that your managers are managing, standardize a scorecard for that position. You want to make sure that all of your managers are measuring reps consistently, and according to metrics that make sense for the business.
For example, if you’re managing account executives, you want to make sure to cover:
Activity and results since the last meeting:
How much activity volume went out, and what did it produce in terms of meetings and new pipeline?
Pacing toward your quota:
What’s your quota, what have you closed so far, and how much do you have left?
How much open pipeline do you have?
Do you have enough pipeline coverage to make your number?
How this rep is performing compared other team members (try to choose just a handful of metrics)
How does this rep stack up against the others in terms of activity volume?
How do they stack up in terms of meetings and new pipeline?
How do they stack up in terms of percentage of quota achieved?
How do they stack up in terms of pipeline coverage?
Inspection of what this rep has been working on
For account based sales, focus on account coverage: which accounts has this rep been targeting since you met last, and where are they generating meetings and pipeline?
For inbound sales, focus on lead follow up: is this rep following up with all of their leads, and are they following up with both calls and emails, at least 6 times per lead?
Opps / pipeline - focus on what’s changed and what hasn’t changed in a long time, so that the rep is able to move on from bad opps, and focus on quality opps that they can close.
Get your data together
Most companies have two big challenges when it comes to running good 1-on-1s.
The first challenge is that it can be very difficult to get all of the data about reps into one place. Often, sales managers are running these meetings partially out of spreadsheets, partially out of CRM reports, and then partially from numbers written on some paper or on a whiteboard.
Rekener has an app called Sales Rep Scorecards designed specifically to get all of your rep performance data into one place so that managers can have all the data for each rep on one screen, at their fingertips when running the meeting.
The second challenge is that different managers are following different approaches to running their one-on-ones. This is partially because there’s no consistency to the reporting, and so it’s hard for all of them to align on the same approach.
Our recommendation is to use an app like Sales Rep Scorecards that lets you build standardized scorecards for each team and role. With this approach, every manager who is managing Account Execs will be using the same set of metrics and KPI’s when measuring their performance. And likewise, all the Account Execs will know what their goals are, how they measure up against their goals, and also how they measure up against the rest of their team.
Sales management is all about improving performance. You can increase the productivity of your sales team significantly by helping your managers run better one-on-ones. What it comes down to is a combination of standardized scoreboards and a little bit of training on the process. This is the most impactful thing that you can do as the person that runs the whole sales team.
Using a platform like Rekener Sales Rep Scorecards can enable your team with the data they need to run consistent and productive one-on-ones. Instead of every manager cobbling together their own spreadsheet of rep metrics, Sales Rep Scorecards automates, streamlines and makes the process consistent.
It allows your reps to know where they stand when coming into the meeting, so that the conversation in the one-on-one can be about fixing problems and improving productivity. Small improvements in sales rep performance can have a huge impact on hitting your number.
Check out Sales Rep Scorecards today!
Rekener's Sales Rep Scorecard app is the fastest and most powerful way to get all your sales analytics done. Rekener helps world-class businesses understand opportunity conversion rates and dozens of other sales performance metrics.
- Request a demo of Rekener's Sales Rep Scorecards application.
- Start a free trial by connecting your Salesforce or HubSpot CRM account.
- Read our post on how to Create a Sales Rep Dashboard
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Greg is COO and Co-Founder at Rekener. Greg’s career has been focused on using data to grow recurring revenue businesses. Before joining Rekener, he served as VP of Operations at ZeroTurnaround, where he built its strategy and operations practice, ran its customer success and renewals function, helped to grow and coach its high-velocity sales organization, and optimize its marketing efforts. Prior to that, he ran the BizOps and marketing functions for the AVOKE call center analytics business, a SaaS company within BBN Technologies. He got his start using data to improve sales and marketing efforts while at AppNeta.
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