Your sales reps are often your company’s most valuable asset. This is especially true when they are working at their peak performance. Much of their performance comes down to accountability and sales efficiency — and tracking and measuring your outside sales rep activity is essential to increase both. As a sales manager, ensure your reps are working at their best by always having your finger on the pulse of sales activity.
In this article, we’ll break down why activity tracking is important, exactly how to measure sales rep activity, and how to utilize the information you’ll find in sales rep daily activity reports.
Source: Capsule CRM
Why Measuring Your Sales Reps’ Activities is so Important
You can’t improve what you aren’t tracking or measuring, so it's a massively important operation for any successful sales team. If you are wondering what you need to know about your independent reps on a daily basis, this is it.
Daily rep activity is a type of sales metric, or data point, that can be used to proactively identify any issues with your sales process, track progress toward sales goals and commissions, prepare for future growth, and more. The great thing about sales rep activity metrics is they are completely manageable compared to many other types of sales metrics you can’t directly affect. As a sales manager, if something seems off, you can completely evaluate and manage sales activities.
For example, if a rep isn’t hitting their quota, you can evaluate the outside sales rep's daily activity report and pinpoint why that might be. You may discover that particular rep isn’t making enough email or phone contacts to schedule the number of in-person meetings required to succeed. As we know - in general - the more meetings scheduled the more opportunities an outside sales rep has to close a deal. You may not be able to control how much a sales rep sells, but you can control how many opportunities they have to do so.
Another great reason to measure your field sales reps’ activities is that it allows you to quickly determine which customers or prospects may be out of cadence. When you have a lot of prospects and customers being handled by a large sales team, this is a common problem. Through activity tracking, you can catch this problem early and ensure no account falls through the cracks unnecessarily.
Accountability is also a vital factor in tracking and measuring sales rep activity. If your reps know you are regularly monitoring and measuring activity, the mere knowledge that you're holding them accountable will encourage reps to work harder and more efficiently. Especially if they know that the overall goal is for everyone to have the opportunity to be as successful as possible. When you allow your reps to be successful and help them do that, your company will be successful.
Activity tracking gives you a detailed insight into exactly what your sales reps are doing on a day to day basis and where. A detailed sales rep daily activity report will break down things like:
- Number of calls made
- Number of check-ins at client or prospect locations
- Number of emails sent
- Number of meetings scheduled
- Number of new leads added
- Number of new sales presentations or demos
- Number of referral requests
- Number of proposals sent
- Number of deals closed
Many of the tools used to measure sales rep activity will also allow you to dive deeper, allowing you to see exactly with whom and where these activities are taking place. This also allows for increased accountability and productivity within the reps territories.
Source: Map My Customers
How To Measure Sales Rep Activity
So, now you know that you should be measuring your outside sales rep’s daily activities. But you may be wondering exactly how to measure sales rep activity. As is the case with much of the sales data made available to you each day, it's easier for you and your reps to understand the activity data and its significance with visualization tools. There are several ways to achieve this.
Sales Rep Activity Measuring Through CRMs
Most CRMs available these days can turn the majority of your sales data into visual depictions, including your sales reps activity. The best thing to do is to use your CRM to view a dashboard specifically for activities. Some CRMs, like Map My Customers, which is built specifically with outside sales reps in mind, already have a built-in activities dashboard. This is where you can generate daily activity reports that summarize your reps’ activities.
If your CRM doesn’t have a built-in activities dashboard, don’t worry. With nearly every CRM you can create new dashboards. Many of them let you completely customize a new dashboard showing the specific sales metrics and activities you want to track. Like for example, Hubspot with the Reporting Add-On.
In your activities dashboard of your CRM, you’ll be able to measure your sales rep activity and make data-based decisions to pivot and improve the sales process where needed. You can quickly and easily see how many customer contacts each rep made per week, how many outside sales meetings they went to, how many follow-up emails were sent and more.
While you are viewing the activities in your CRM, utilize any built-in filters so you can focus on what is most important at any time. Filter the data by activities that may be overdue, what has been completed, or what is still on tap. You should also be able to filter by individual rep.
By using your activities dashboard to see what is scheduled for the upcoming week or month you can help your sales team proactively plan ahead. Going back to the example before of the rep who isn’t meeting quota, if you see that only a small number of sales demo meetings are on their calendar for the following week, you can jump in and have the rep schedule more follow up emails or calls for this week.
One of the best parts of using a visual sales activity dashboard within your CRM is you can establish weekly or monthly sales activity goals and quantify progress towards those goals. You can view the progress in an easy to digest graphic depiction. This is another way to view any opportunities for improvements in your reps’ current sales processes.
To take efficiency to the next level you should be utilizing automation tools. This is true not only for your sales process but also for your tracking of sales activity. With these tools, much of your sales reps’ activities and tracking is automated. This not only ensures the activities data you view is up to date, but also gives your reps more time to actually sell.
With sales tools that have built-in automation, your sales reps can automatically check-in when they arrive at a customer meeting, send pre-scheduled follow-up emails, and more. All of the information on your activities dashboard, which is tied into your CRM data, will be updated in real-time. As the sales manager, you can automatically track your reps’ visits and ensure they stay on the proper cadence with their activities. This is done via solutions like auto visits and activity-based reminders.
By automating much of your sales activity tracking, you can reverse engineer your sales process with precision based on real-time data.
Mobile-Friendly Sales Activities
Make sure the CRM or automation tools you use are mobile-friendly software and allow your sales reps to access their activities and customer information on the go. Up-to-date activities information is key to being able to effectively make decisions based off of sales activity reports.
If your field sales reps can easily add to and update their activities while on the go in the field, you can ensure your information is updated in real-time. Your reps need to be able to quickly add a follow-up email activity to their calendar for the customer they just visited. Or, schedule a product demo for the prospect they were referred to while out in the field.
If they can’t access the information on the go, there is a much less chance of your reps always remembering to update their daily activities that day once they get back to the office. So, if it’s not able to be updated in real-time, you may be looking at incomplete sales activity reporting.
Wrapping It All Up
By tracking and measuring your field sales reps’ activities, you can be sure you stay abreast of where opportunities may lie to improve processes. You can also ensure your sales reps are operating at peak efficiency and performance.
Staying on the pulse of your reps’ activities can easily be done through graphically-depicted dashboards. You can find or create these within many of the industry-leading CRMs available today. Combine the use of an activities dashboard and daily sales activity reports with sales automation tools. Then you ensure you are always looking at complete, real-time activities data. You can manage your team proactively, visualize opportunities, and make informed decisions on necessary changes when needed.
Making sales rep activity reports a regular part of your day as a sales manager will not only increase the accountability of your reps but also improve your company’s bottom line.