Executive Sales Leader Briefing: Are You Managing to Indicators that are Leading or Lagging?

 

5045483-mediumWelcome to the Executive Sales Leader Briefing, a new blog series I am doing every Friday.

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Recently I was part of a panel with two other sales experts discussing to a room full of sales leaders as to why so many salespeople and sales managers fail.

We all talked about why sales managers are ill-equipped to do their job the way it should be done.

We shared and the audience of sales executives sheepishly agreed that too many sales managers spend all day doing nothing more than looking at reports, managing numbers as if they could somehow change them by merely staring at them long enough.

I raised the issue that it goes way beyond spending way too much time looking at numbers, but worse yet, the only thing the numbers represent are lagging indicators.

Think about this with your own reports and numbers. I will bet you 99% of them are nothing more than results of past performance. If this is the case, then why are we spending so much time on them?

We’re obsessed with data, which on the one hand is great, but like anything, if it’s taken too far it can become a detriment.

After discussing this issue at length among the panel, I shared this comment: “We measure to lagging indicators, but we coach to leading indicators.”

The idea I was saying is sales managers need to spend more time with their people looking out the windshield at things to come and less time looking at the back admiring or lamenting where they’ve been.

Reason I feel we’re focused on lagging indicators is because it’s information that’s easy to garner.   The financial community has trained us all in the world of business to measure the past.

My contention is we need to spend far more time looking at leading indicators. The challenge is these are much harder to come by. Just because they’re harder to come by should not be the excuse to not do it.

Drop me an email or call me and let’s discuss what your leading indicators could be. You’ll be amazed at what will happen when you move from measuring the past to coaching to the future.

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Copyright 2016, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

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