When we go to a restaurant, we expect the service and food to meet a certain standard. When we watch our favorite college sporting team, we expect a certain level of play; and, perhaps a certain win/loss record. When we live we do so at a certain standard of living. And, when we put on a belt or a piece of clothing, we have certain standards that affect what we think about ourselves.
Do you know of a coach at a major university that was fired or forced to resign? Why did that happen? It probably happened because of a win/loss record, or not winning championships, or causing NCAA recruiting violations, or because of players breaking laws. Standards were either lowered or shattered in the minds of key stakeholders.
Continuing to think of sports, it’s easy to see the many standards present. Batting averages in baseball – turnovers in basketball – passing percentages in football. Standards make sports meaningful and memorable. They also tell us what’s bad, good, and great. In professional baseball, many people can tell you that a .300 batting average is good and as the number approaches .400 greatness occurs.
In politics, we see evidence of standards being lowered in the news. Everyone wants to read about politicians who do not follow standard and ethical norms. And, yes, we all know that standards can be lowered or forgotten in any venue.
What about your sales team. What are your standards? Do you have any? Remember, standards are not goals. They are accepted levels – the minimum acceptable, what’s good, and what’s great.
They are also accepted standards of conduct, dress, or service. For example, we don’t go to a business meeting without a tie on.
Some standards are clear. Others are hazy or simply not present.
Important standards (minimum acceptable, good, great) for a sales team include:
– Income levels for the salespeople
– Daily, monthly, quarterly, or yearly sales level per salesperson
– Quotes per (period) …
– Appointments per (period) …
– Average revenue per sale
– Average gross margin per sale
– Networking standards
– Meeting standards
– Reporting standards
– Dress standards
(Important note: Great sales teams first establish recruiting standards to maintain or achieve greatness.)
When standards exist , it’s because, for a period of time, a sales manager leads or establishes effort at excellent performance. Also the process for its pursuit has been designed. When a sales team follows a sales process, measurements occur for what’s acceptable as a standard. And, activity management (prospects, appointments, quotes, sales), with its standards, is just one important sales process in a sales system.
Great salespeople will reach great levels of income and revenue performance. They will do this by achieving specific levels of prospecting, first appointments, and quotes – standard areas for activity management. Other important standards that also contribute to income performance exist within the face-to-face sales process. For major accounts’ teams, planning and research standards exist that support strategy making. (Great football coaches study game film the night after each win.)
When standards become important, they are fought for and protected. And, when this happens for a period of time, traditions form. And, finally the result of this struggle to meet standards and maintain traditions brings a legacy for future generations. Lowering standards or standing for nothing establishes a negative impact on society and any kind of family or team.
Establish and fight for standards and you will see sales improvement. You can do this. You can be better. Lance