You can’t manage anything unless you measure it.
But what happens when your measuring becomes unmanageable? Core sales metrics are important to the strategic goals of an organization, but the most valuable measurements will become watered down if they are lost in a sea of irrelevant data.
How can you tell it’s time to scale back on your metrics? Here are 5 signs that you’re simply measuring too many sales metrics:
1. When You Don’t Know What to Do with the Data
If you can’t really decide what to do with the data you’ve collected, you probably don’t need to be measuring it. Just because you can measure something, doesn’t mean that you should. Boil the most important information down to 5 or 6 sales metrics—anything beyond that will only confuse the process.
2. When You Can’t Trust the Accuracy of the Data
Do one thing, and do it well (or in this case, do 5 or 6 things, and do them with accuracy). Trying to juggle too much information can lead to inaccurate data and wasted time spent deciphering your own measurements. Inaccurate data related to one metric can create an internal perception that all of the metrics are suspect.
3. When Your Data is Not Related to High-Gain Activities
There’s a difference between being productive and being busy. Unless your metrics are in line with high-gain activities that have the most impact on your sales results, you don’t need to be measuring them. Measure only what is aligned with the Key Leading and Lagging Indicators and on-the-ground coaching.
4. When You Have to Create New Systems of Measurement
Most likely, if something is worth measuring, there is already a system in place for it. If a metric requires implementing a new system, database, or major technology, it’s probably not that critical to driving sales success. As mentioned in #1, just because you can measure something doesn’t always mean you should. Many overzealous Sales Ops folks cannot resist the temptation of measuring anything and everything. More is NOT better when it comes to sales metrics.
5. When the Process Becomes Too Time-Consuming for Salespeople
Realize the difference between “core metrics” and “feel good metrics”. If your tracking mechanisms get in the way of key selling activities during prime selling time, you probably need to trim back your metrics. Keep it as simple and efficient as possible.
When it comes to sales metrics, less is more. Determine which measurements have the most impact on your sales results, and eliminate any that aren’t related to high-gain activity. Focus on “In-Process” measurements, which allow you to coach your reps while they are working towards a goal. Do away with the black and white “End-Process” measurements that don’t foster growth in a sales team and only really tell you what the end result is. If you measure progress rather than end results, salespeople can learn from experience and are more likely to succeed.