The Latest in Sales Buzzwords

09 Dec '11

Every year, it seems, a new set of buzzwords and acronyms associated with those buzzwords gets added to our lexicon. Lol is not “love you lots”, but “laughing out loud”. Add an ROF in front and you are now “rolling on the floor” too.

Add in business terms and buzz phrases and it sometimes it feels like you are in the commercial where the business consultants are spinning these phrases and platitudes around the client so fast that they say a lot and nothing at the same time.

It seems that one of the hottest new phrases is “Key Performance Indicators” or in acronym language “KPIs”. Business leaders and consultants and speakers continue to use this “new” term for a word we don’t seem to want to say for fear offending someone – EXPECTATIONS.

Why is it so hard for employers and sales managers to use the word “expectations”?
I don’t know, but let’s run with that new terminology and look at KPIs. These are your organization’s statistics used to measure performance.

When looking at your favorite sports team, the coach and GM and the players themselves do more than just watch and play the game. Each season, every game, all moments of the playing time, all the people who want to win track all components that make up the game to assist in determining who is hot and who is not. Which player is doing the scoring, who is doing the little steps to move a team to victory.

Anyone who has played a sport at a competitive level understands this. They understand that, though the fan may look at goals scored, homeruns hit, and touchdowns scored, to measure success, the athletes know it is plus/minus rating, on base percentage and third down completions that need to be measured too. In other words, all the components that make up success.

Why should a sales team be any different? Each part of the process – prospecting, initial calls, appointments, and proposals all need to be measured. All of these are parts of the KPIs that make up success.

It is as important for the individual sales reps to measure KPI’s as it is for the manager to track. If you want success for your team, you should have an expectation (there’s that awful word again) that they too want to win at their game; to win the championship. The reps should be just as keen to track their own KPI’s so they can continue to win. If they don’t, are they really serious about succeeding in this sales game? I think not.

Sales professional – do you want to come out on top? Then do the work you said you would do when you were hired. Do your own tracking and go to your coach, your sales manager, to help tweak the areas you need to improve upon just like any professional athlete would.

There are reasons few athletes make it to the pro ranks. Hard work, dedication and a strong desire to win. Most aren’t willing to do what it takes to win. How about you, in your sales career? Are you willing to track your own KPIs? Are you willing to go beyond the minimum expectations your company is asking of you?

Written by: Bill Leesman

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