July 30, 2010

Activity tracking is not a management tool, it’s an exercise in babysitting

How does a manager properly measure the effectiveness of his/her sales people?

Most would point to level of productivity. Fair enough. What, exactly, does being "productive†mean for a sales person?

Does one measure productivity through activity or results?

Most managers measure activity. They equate productivity with demonstrated effort.

The logic here"selling is a numbers gameâ€is that if enough activity is performed, acceptable results will follow.

They then establish effort-based weekly or monthly standards, such as making a minimum number of calls, having a minimum number of appointments, etc., and they monitor the amount of production in these categories.

In theory, this sounds like a good idea, but in practice it does not work very well. You see, selling is a skill, not simply a task.

So, the inherent flaw in measuring activity is that you are measuring work ethic, not ability.

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