joinedup_conversation“Just find more revenue!” was the instruction. But it was not the right conversation!

Thinking back to a regular monthly review I used to have with an old boss of mine, it is clear now, how ineffective the whole experience was. I spent days preparing spreadsheets and capturing notes ahead of the meeting, so I could try and justify the numbers. Hours were wasted discussing how the number had gone up or down by a few percentage points, and how things might look and change in the coming weeks.

With hindsight, this was the wrong conversation to have to improve performance and results.

When your performance discussions boil down to “outcome” demands, then the person asking doesn’t really appreciate what it takes to improve performance. My guy certainly didn’t, and quite honestly at the time I lacked the awareness myself to push back hard enough. You should.

Think about your reviews. How often do conversations focus on:

  •  find more revenue
  •  grow product X market share
  •  find more pipeline
  •  get more customers
  •  improve customer experience measure
  •  forecast more accurately
  •  increase profitability

Let me be clear for a moment – these are excellent goals, the right ‘end-game’ measures for sales management. You and your company will have detailed reports that track revenue growth, market share or trends in customer acquisition results. These are the right measures to track goals.

But, and it’s a big but, these goals are not under the direct control of a sales manager. Sales managers can’t ‘manage’ a revenue number or ‘profitability’. If you work in a service company for example, the sales function cannot control profitability as this is affected by many factors throughout the delivery and in life support.

Sales managers can't 'manage' a revenue number or 'profitability'. Click To Tweet

In my next Sales :60 post, I will share examples of things you can actually manage, using them to track performance and motivate performance in your team.

In the meantime, good selling.

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