Managing your team is a whole lot tougher when your startup's still in its early stages. I read an article recently that emphasized the point that as we grow we need to look at more than just the sheer volume of emails sent and calls made.
How have you all managed to measure your sales people's efforts and make sure they're getting real results?
far from all the theories, measurements must be made according to the fixed goals. Effectiveness is simply completing tasks before deadlines. my advice: Plan plan and plan
Danny - I have been a VP Sales for 8 startups - several were from scratch where I was the first salesperson. Two went public, 3 were sold and 3 failed while I was there or shortly thereafter. There is little that I have not seen. I believe that activity is far less important than effectiveness in any situation. I have found that your first salespeople should be a hybrid of sales, marketing and business development/demand generation. You need to learn first. It is super important to make sure that you have nailed the problem and the solution BEFORE you begin to scale - i.e., hire sales people, spend money on marketing programs, etc. Once you feel like you have nailed both, construct a playbook written with all the best resulting practices across the team (and the industry if possible). Teach it to everyone and keep updating it as you learn more.
Good luck! Bill
In my opinion it is about measuring activity. The sales team may not have a complete skillset. Actual closing quotas don't matter to me. If someone misses a target but has a viable pipeline and the next month exceeds quota is that a 1 of 2 success? The strange part is most sales managers focus entirely on improving weaknesses. If someone is good at interest but cant close why are you wasting time teaching him or her closing techniques? You have closers. Playing to strengths creates better environment and results. While we all want the complete package this has to be done slowly and primarily by internal mentorship. It has to be measured in overall team type results and not individuals.
My boss always put a plan for a month and every 2-3 days asks about the results. Talking to us, helps and motivates. I think it's all about his professional control.