“Ever since I started having my team re-key data before sales meetings, sales performance has improved” … said no Sales Manager ever.

Or at least not until a few weeks ago when I was on a ride-along on sales meetings for a client.

One of the cardinal sins of a CRM project is requiring your sales team to re-key data. In fact, many organizations make big investments into data integration to save their teams from the hassle of re-keying data.

CRM Sales Performance Improvement

So when this Sales Manager told me about the improvement his team had seen since starting to re-key data, I was more than a little bit skeptical.

Then he showed me the numbers. And the numbers were good! He pointed to a specific point in time where the number of won opportunities and completed activities began a sudden and steady incline.

Here is his counter-intuitive secret to improving results.

First of all, his company did focus a lot of time and energy on eliminating re-keying. Their CRM solution has a great view of extensive customer and prospect data without requiring re-entry of data.

But after years of sales meetings to review call reports, track completed activities, and discuss open opportunities, he made one simple change.  He created an Excel report of weekly metrics and he required each member of the sales team to find their metrics in a CRM dashboard, and re-key them into the spreadsheet.  It took about an extra 2 minutes each week.

CRM Sales Dashboard

The rules he followed:

The metrics were few and simple. In his case, they were 5 key metrics having to do with opportunity and activity management.

The metrics were in CRM. The only way his team could capture their metrics was if they were keying the right things into CRM already.

The metrics were in dashboards. The team didn’t have to hunt around to find the metrics – they went to a single place each week to find their metrics.

So how did this change behavior? Why not just open the dashboard where they were getting the numbers and use that for the sales meeting each week?

Well, as a matter-of-fact, that’s exactly how the Sales Manager had been running his meeting for nearly two years. But when he started to require that each member of the team find and re-key their own number, it created a psychological impact. Suddenly they started paying closer attention to their number. When activities or opportunities slipped through the cracks, they began to proactively fix the problem on their own.

Now the Manager spends less time holding people accountable in meetings – they hold themselves accountable. More activities are completed, fewer opportunities slip through the cracks.  And reps are spending more time thinking proactively about the week ahead. The Manager spends time more helping to advance opportunities, and meetings are shorter.

Apply it: This is far from a proven approach. Give it a try on your own or with your team and let me know how it works for you.
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