Forums » The Round Table: Brainstorming & Problem-solving

Sales Accountability

    • 7 posts
    February 8, 2020 6:48 PM PST

     Can someone help me? I am looking for a form a sales person could use to complete detailing their sales calls each day. I am curious how other sales managers stay on top of what their sales people do on a daily basis.? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks   Mark Layne

    • 1120 posts
    February 11, 2020 10:20 AM PST

    Mark, answering your question, as asked, here's a picture of the form I used many, many years ago. The lines were for planning sales activity, the box was for noting anything that didn't go as planned, and the reverse side of the sheet (laid out identically to the front) was for follow-ups that would be made the following week. This provided a headstart to planning the following week's activities. It was simple, flexible, and assuming people were using it as intended, accurate.

    I would also suggest that you contact Rick Murphy or Ryan Murphy and ask them about their Influence FM CRM software.

    But I'm also curious as to what is your purpose in wanting this form. Are salespeople not doing their jobs? Do they need close monitoring and supervision to be sure they're completing assigned tasks. And if they aren't successful, is it due to a lack of effort, a lack of training, a deficiency in their understanding of how advertising works, a character defect, or something else? Is the form primarily for your benefit, to monitor how your salespeople are spending their time. It's an inference one might draw from " other sales managers stay on top of what their sales people do on a daily basis." Are you wanting to make sure that each salesperson is calling on 10 clients a day or whatever?

    Such a report could also be for the purpose of coaching, obviously, working with your people to help you both recognize patterns that may be limiting their effectiveness. This is more of a partnership effort than a top-down inspection.

    The measurement that ultimately matters, of course, is the billing figure at the end of the month. Is it stable? Growing? Declining? The numbers tell us a lot, if not everything.

    How an individual achieves success varies from one salesperson to another. One may rely more heavily on promotions; another might focus on creating exceptional commercials and campaigns for their clients. One may lean toward transactional price-and-item boilerplate, while another focuses on long-range customer bonding and relationship-building. One may be spending a disproportionate amount of time researching facts and trends related to his advertiser so that their eventual meeting is more productive.

    It used to be that salespeople would drive to the office, maybe attend a brief sales meeting, go out and make calls in person or from their desk on a phone, do the paperwork at the office, prepare a plan for the next day, and leave. Cell phones, personal computers, laptops and tablets, smartphones, MP3 players, etc. have effectively cut the tether from the office.

    Anyhow, I look forward to hearing from other members on this.

    This post was edited by Rod Schwartz at February 11, 2020 10:24 AM PST
    • 49 posts
    February 21, 2020 4:16 AM PST

    Sellers are not big on reporting and often feel threatened being ask to  qualify their work schedule but ....!  The sheet above from Rod is wonderful .. basically you need to know who they called on .. was it a drop in or confirmed appointment .. what the meeting produced .. the next step and a time table for the next step .. might also put a percentage on closing .. basically you need detail .. in short form .. of what the seller is doing daily .. all calls need to be logged .. phone .. email .. text .. personal .. etc.  Seller can turn in the report at the end of each day or weekly.  Sellers will not like it but you are entitled to know what a seller does with their time each day and how they intend to reach their goals.  Sellers should go into the month with no less than 70% of their monthly goal .. spend the first 2 weeks filling in the next 20% and then move on to the following month .. the remaining 10% will kinda fall in during the last two weeks of the month.  Do remember that 80% of a stations revenue is produced by 20% of your sales force! 

    Have a great day .. Tom Collins

    • 1410 posts
    February 21, 2020 10:35 AM PST

    From Mary Lanoue-Gers: I've been selling for the same group for 28 years - if I had to turn in a daily call report I would have quit years ago, We turn in a weekly pending report with info on progress on our target accounts, digital sales, spot and event pending and prospects - it's an online form that has our billing automatically updated by management (comptroller). Micro management is the worst thing you can do to a sales team. Weekly reports and a weekly meeting with direct supervisor (in my case my GSM) are OK - I have billed around $2.5 million for the past several years and never had to turn in a daily call log - use that for rookies if you need to micro manage - but leave the veterans alone. We know what we need to do to hit our goals and if we need help I can assure you that we will ask for it. Daily call reports are archaic!!

    • 1410 posts
    May 31, 2021 8:40 AM PDT

    From Jay Mitchell, in the May 13 & 20, 2021 edition of The Small Market Radio Newsletter:

    My Take

    All three of the people who weighed in to respond to Mark’s question are veterans—professional salespeople in every sense of the word. Like most veterans, they are supremely resistant to record‐ keeping imposed on them by management—but if they are true pros, they are keeping track on their own of the key metrics they need to run their businesses.

    Regular readers may recall that I talk about the relationship between the salesperson and the radio station as roughly analogous to a franchisee and franchisor: the salesperson owns and operates his or her own business, subject to a set of guidelines defined by the radio station.

    Unfortunately, most veteran salespeople fall short of a full understanding of the dynamics of their business—as, frankly, most business operators do. Salespeople, for example, focus on achieving their goals but generally have no idea how efficiently they are going about achieving those goals. Their idea of “key metrics” includes business booked—period. What any good salesperson should be doing is monitoring the activity that leads to the booked business: How many calls? Dollars per call (not dollars per sale)? In other words, you measure what you can control. You can’t necessarily control whether a sale is made, or for what amount, but you can control how many calls you make. By knowing the number of dollars you earn per call—understanding that not every call results in a sale —you can more accurately project how many calls you have to make in order to achieve your goal.

    By measuring the dollars you earn per call, you can also track an improvement in your skills by seeing that number increase over time. If the average number of dollars sold per call goes up, then you can make more money making the same number of calls, or reduce the number of calls you make to book the same money.

    Unfortunately, this is not information that is received very well if it comes from management, and certainly not if it becomes a requirement of management. Ms. Lanoue‐Gers said it best: “I’ve been selling for the same group for 28 years—if I had to turn in a daily call report I would have quit years ago.”

    Any growth‐oriented business person is always looking for ways to improve, which usually means, “How can I make more money with less effort?” Again, the only way you can measure this for certain is by tracking calls and average dollars sold per call. The smart, growth‐oriented business person is going to network with peers in the same business, as well as with recognized experts in the field, through books, audiobooks, YouTube videos, and so forth.

    One of the biggest dilemmas a sales manager faces is determining the value of that veteran salesperson. On the one hand, that veteran probably controls a very high percentage of the station’s business—whether earned or inherited. But how much of that business did the salesperson actually sell in the first place? Has the amount of business generated by any given client gone up or down over the years?

    Sales managers make themselves crazy playing the “what‐if” game: “If somebody else had that account, would we get more money from it?” You have to be careful about asking yourself questions like this, because the answer is uncertain. If you monkey with that veteran’s account list even a little, you run the risk of losing the salesperson, and I can virtually guarantee you will suffer a net loss of revenue to the station.

    It’s difficult to impose anything midstream, but it’s not out of the question to implement an account‐ review process, whereby the salesperson has a hand in deciding which accounts to keep and which accounts might do better in someone else’s hands. (Of course, in the process, the salesperson stands to gain business by taking on some new clients.)

    Rod Schwartz mentions Rick Murphy and the Influence FM tracking system. I interviewed Rick for one of our podcasts, and he is rather inflexible when it comes to requiring all of this salespeople to track their activities through his system. (I won’t speak for Rick, but you can hear his comments for yourself in Episodes 42 and 43 of the Small Market Radio Podcast.)

    As Ms. Lanoue‐Gers notes, there is nothing wrong with according different treatment to different salespeople depending upon their level of expertise, experience, and attitude. You might, for example, make it a requirement of the job when someone is being hired that such record‐keeping take place—but make it voluntary for more experienced (and successful) salespeople.

    For most sales managers and general managers, overseeing salespeople is a constant process of negotiation. No veteran wants to be bossed around or controlled—and the good ones have every right to feel that way. There are lots of veterans whose many years of experience boil down to one year of experience repeated many times; they need help, and they desperately need record‐keeping; they aren’t bringing anything special to the table that cannot be replaced by an eager newbie who is willing to work the system properly.

    I wish I knew the answers. I would be a very rich man.

    This post was edited by Rebecca Hunt at May 31, 2021 8:52 AM PDT