Use Success Tracking to encourage sales team micro-behaviours

As a sales manager you have a pretty good idea of the tools and techniques it takes to be a successful seller.

Often you can see the behaviours that your top sellers are doing, mostly out of habit, that you’d love to see in your mid and lower range sellers.

These behaviours could be the big obvious macro-behaviours – like getting out of the office, picking up the phone and making calls, but they might also be micro-behaviours, those smaller tips and tweaks that over 100 calls would make an incremental difference.

Examples of micro-behaviours might be:

  • tweeting on social media once a day,
  • keeping track of customer birthdays,
  • checking the industry movers and shakers news,
  • exchanging news with a colleague or
  • doing extra call preparation.

The micro-behaviours might only result in small improvements for each individual– an extra sale here or there – but as a sales manager, you know that if everyone on the team did them, that would all add up to a sizeable difference.

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But, if micro-behaviours are worth considering you still have the problem of how to incentivise them!

After all, most of your sales staff only get out of bed when there’s money to be earned, it’s the nature of the sales function and decades of conditioning from sales motivation programs based on financial rewards.

What you’ll find is that the big behaviours are already heavily incentivised: finding opportunities, making calls and closing deals are all covered within your formal  sales incentive scheme. It’s formal because this scheme is compulsory – every seller is measured by it and the commissions they earn are the key reason they come to work.

You may have other mandatory sales motivation programs on top of the commission structure too – for example, I’ve seen many managers circulate a sales leaderboard to encourage competition between sellers and win an additional, local, prize.

But micro-behaviours aren’t valuable enough in themselves to be worth incentivising with cash. So how do you do it and sustainably?

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One approach is to run a success tracking program.

In a success tracking program, you help a seller improve professionally by giving good, digital feedback.

To do so, you track, for each seller, the micro-behaviours that you’ve seen work – for example, if you’ve seen digital selling on Twitter make a difference then you can offer to count for each seller how many tweets they did each day.

You can save them the trouble of tracking and reporting the number of tweets themselves.

The exact micro-behaviours you identify will be according to your context and business. Your job as a sales manager is to identify them, make a list and then encourage the rest of the team to apply them.

Don’t forget, you need to offer your team your success tracking service on an optional basis. Don’t position the program as yet another sales incentive scheme or management and monitoring scheme, instead position it as a self-help tool for them to help them get better at selling. By getting better at the micro-behaviours of selling they can be sure that this will improve their results on the macro-behaviours where they are formally rewarded.

instead position it as a self-help tool for them to help them get better at selling.

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Another way to look at this is, to think about “lead” and “lag” indicators.

Typically sales remuneration is focused on “lag” indicators – opportunities closed for example. These indicators track how you sellers did in the past but they are difficult for sellers to improve themselves – they can’t magic up sales opportunities to close.

Lead indicators are the KPIs that track behaviours that lead to successful sales (and closed opportunities) – filling the top of your sales pipeline with prospects for example. That’s a surefire way (if not the only way) to increase the number of closed deals that come out the other end.

A good success tracking program focuses on the lead indicators that bring success.

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So, how do you go about designing your success tracking program?

You can test success tracking very easily today.  These are the steps:

  1. Decide what do you want to track = what metrics matter? How do you weight them or assign points? You might want to ask your team.
  2. Who do you want to track? Are you tracking teams or individuals?
  3. How will you collect the data? Can you automate data collection or will some steps need manual intervention?
  4. How will you distribute the score to opted-in sellers?
  5. How will you track your own success in running the program? Has it contributed to a positive change in behaviour among your sellers?

I recommend heading over to Success Tracking University where I present a couple of courses you can take to learn more about Success Tracking.

 

 

Rise customer ClickMechanic shares their success story

It’s not often that you get a customer story told in a guest post like this. We’re thrilled with the ClickMechanic team’s Rise journey – this guest blog has been written by Simon Tinsley, Click Mechanic’s Digital Marketing Executive:

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Hi! We’re ClickMechanic, not only are we satisfied customers of Rise, but we’ve taken the success tracking philosophy of the effective use of data and targets and applied it throughout our company with great results. We’re so excited about sharing our story so it can help other growing businesses that we asked Rise to let us share our story on their blog and they kindly agreed.

Firstly, a little background, we’re an online marketplace for car repair, servicing and inspections with a nationwide network of mechanics. We’ve used Rise’s leader board to promote engagement on social channels amongst our mechanics and found that it provided a 23% uplift in sharing from our mechanics.

More striking has been the impact that applying targets carefully has had throughout our company. We noticed recently that a quarter of bookings placed never get assigned to a mechanic – meaning more unsatisfied customers and less revenue for us. Recently we introduced a number of initiatives that reduced the number of customers without a mechanic by 60%. So, how did we do it?

Firstly, we gave people responsibility for a particular area of customer service each day. This focus allowed our team to reduce the amount of time they spent switching tasks, and therefore reduced wasted time. Alongside this, it gave a sense of ownership and responsibility over that area for the day. Secondly, we made the key metrics visible to the whole team. Such that the team can see the results of their efforts. The immediate feedback has seen our net promoter score increase from 80 to 85.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we introduced targets for assigning bookings to the team. Here, we followed the key principle of ‘Count Fruit Not Leaves. Initially these were individual targets, though we found this provided faulty incentives. Team members on other tasks for the day would try to squeeze in assigning bookings to inflate their numbers and ‘win’ and neglect other tasks. With this in mind, we switched to a team target to encourage co-operation between the team. Not only have we seen the KPIs increase, but also we’ve had feedback that the team like having something to aim for and find it motivating.

We’ve also applied personal metrics to our development team. We work on a fortnightly sprint and plan our engineer’s time using ‘points’ to represent blocks of time. By doing so, we are better able to plan our development work and coordinate the rollout of new product features. Alongside this, it creates accountability within the development team – if tasks aren’t completed then the reasons why can be discussed transparently. Tracking this data allows for improving our estimation of how long projects take and can help us to identify if there are certain aspects of our process that consistently cause projects to run over.

Zoopla’s Customer Success Tracking program

What value do you offer your customers? More customers? More money? Social success? More time with the family?

Whatever it is that you are promising, you can bet that most of them aren’t tracking it effectively.

But as customers, we like knowing that we are definitely getting benefits from a service we are paying for, we just don’t always have time to measure it ourselves.

So, as providers, why don’t we track success for our customers?

What if we could keep reminding our customers that by using our services they are continuing to be successful? Wouldn’t that drive greater customer loyalty, longer retention and increased sales? Of course it would!

But, how do we do this?

Zoopla, the online real estate portal, promises the agents that sign up to its services, business success: “At ZPG we’re all about building the best property brands, marketing services, reporting tools and more, to help make your business a success.

One way for estate agents to track their business success is to measure their digital influence. The higher their digital influence score, the more effective has been their online marketing, something that Zoopla already helps them with.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if Zoopla tracked this influence score for each of its customers?

With the Zoopla Property Power 100, a tracker of social media influence, Zoopla is doing exactly that – each week they report back to any agents signed up to the program their quantified change in digital influence. This is then compared to other similar agents, giving agents a meaningful comparison.

Zoopla doesn’t just keep the stats private – it goes further and leverages the “meta effect”, heroing the weekly results back to consumers themselves via the Zoopla site and social media channels.

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It’s a very sophisticated customer success tracking service. Zoopla agents are more loyal because Zoopla is publicly tracking their success for them, showing them they are doing well and by charting a metric that matters to them.

There’s an added viral lift for Zoopla too. Successful customers tend to be happy customers and are willing to share that success on their own social channels:

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Zoopla aren’t the only ones catching on to the Customer Success Tracking bandwagon – CV library run a similar service for their customers called “Social Recruiter” – only here they aren’t just comparing customers against each other, they allow their customers (Recruitment agencies) to compare success against the whole market – an even more valuable comparison.

 

Both CV Library and Zoopla run their Customer Success Tracking programs using Rise.global. They define the metrics that make up the score and report the score back to their customers on a weekly basis. This weekly reporting creates its own news cycle that can then drive other content from the companies heroing which customers are doing well, building community and further brand authority.

So what about you?

What are the Customer Success metrics you could be tracking for your customers? Could a Customer Success tracking program work for your business. If you are offering social media training or marketing services of any kind then it’s a no brainer to simply copy what Zoopla are doing. You can start in “stealth mode” and gradually show people what you are up to with a Rise Power 100 leaderboard.