You’ve hired some great sales people. They know what they’re doing and they do it well.
Because there’s one problem—they aren’t reporting their results.
Your team could be full of top performers, but that doesn’t matter if they aren’t reporting their performance.
Reports give you insight into what’s working and what isn’t. Metrics are bigger than any one team member, so they all have to contribute or the data won’t be accurate.
What keeps sales reps from reporting?
“What gets measured, gets improved”
But what if your team hates reporting? Try addressing the issues that might be holding them back.
A team with report anxiety is either unmotivated or unsure. Some of the reasons teams might fail to report are lack of clarity, motivation, or the right resources —we’ll discuss those reasons below, as well as ways you can address these issues.
1. Lack of clarity
Clarity should be a constant goal for any organization.
Give your team some clarity by keeping the reporting process simple. Too many disconnected processes leads to frustration.
Your team should have a clear process to follow, broken down step-by-step. “After you meet with a client, log a note with a time stamp” is more actionable advice than “Report your sales!”
Everyone should know what to do, how to do it, and who they should talk to if problems crop up.
2. Lack of motivation
Motivation is a key step to getting your team to be open to reporting.
There are a few reasons why your sales team might not be motivated to report to you. A lull in the season or a huge sales slump gets anyone down. Or, maybe your team is just frustrated. They’re confused as to how things are done, so they don’t have the motivation to tell you their side of things.
Getting everyone on the same page isn’t easy, and some might not see the point of reporting their activity (even if you’ve mentioned it a hundred times).
Let your team know why you need reports. This could be anything from predicting future success based on past behavior; identifying areas where salespeople are preforming well, and where they could do with some help; and how you are measuring up according to business goals. People are more likely to do something if they understand why it’s being done.
3. Lack of resources
Does your team have access to the tools they need to report to you accurately? Do they know how to use them?
Every department in the company needs their own tool belt. For some, Google Suite is enough. Other teams, especially ones with members working remotely, need more advanced technology to stay connected.
Your team may not be reporting because it’s too much of a manual process. Listen to feedback and provide solutions whenever possible.
Introduce some new weapons to combat this—updated CRM software, mobile technology, and training sessions to keep them up to date on how to use this technology. We’ll discuss this in more detail later on.
How can you improve the reporting process for your salespeople?
Great management transforms complaints into solutions. Here are some areas you can address to start improving the reporting process today.
1. Better communication
This is the simplest solution, but it’s the hardest to get right. You can be in constant communication with your team, but if you’re not giving constructive feedback – such as areas where they are doing well, ways they can improve, opportunities for development, etc – they won’t listen.
You should check in with your team regularly. Following up on their work is a hassle, but so is asking them to report to you regularly. Make it a habit to speak to each team member one-on-one until it becomes habitual.
2. The right CRM software
Salespeople have a love/hate relationship with CRMs. They can be time intensive, complex, and require too much administrative work to update.
Look for a CRM that solves the core problem your team is facing, and odds are that they’ll love it and use it.
Double down on your research to make sure your CRM is the right fit and includes the features that your team needs. Ask yourself questions such as:
- Is it easy to create reports?
- Does it integrate with apps we already use?
- Does it gamify sales to motivate my team?
CRM adoption is tough for most companies, but it’s essential for tracking progress. If your team uses the CRM it becomes the main way they report wins, removing the hassle of you having to ask.
3. Training guides
Start ’em early! When you hire someone, set them up for success. Blindly assigning tasks isn’t doing anyone any favors. A great team takes time. Training time.
Flowcharts are great resources for your onboarding process. They show everything the new hire has to do, in order, until it becomes muscle memory. Apps such as Creately make it easy to visualize what a day in the life should look like. Use templates created by other users to make the process quicker.
Improving the onboarding process for every role you manage will reduce headaches down the line. If your team has a clear idea of what they need to do, they’ll have an easier time reporting it to you.
Balance it out
Every company has its own unique processes. For management, the puzzle is how to improve them while maintaining morale.
Avoid micromanaging. Trust your employees to use their training and listen to your clear instruction.
Create a culture of productivity and communication by hiring the best people. Take the time to understand how your team works together. This will highlight the gaps in productivity and allow you to fix them. A good leader works with the team.
What are your tips to help employees track and report sales performance?
Lets us know your best strategies on how to report sales performance in the comments below. Which methods did you use? How did your workplace change after that?