A measure of relationship management is a crucial element of sales performance. Once the customer relationship has been established, the sales guys job should be about driving more value from it. This isn't just the age old difference between hunters and farmers. Sales reps charged with farming an account should also be hunting out new opportunities in that account.
But how can we tell which reps are doing a great job and which ones need to do better. Straight sales value isn't a sophisticated measure when orders come out, because of the relationship. Which metrics can we use to figure out what works and learn lessons from the people who do it well?
On Business.comAnswers there's a really smart question asked by an even smarter business owner. He's figured customers are the best source of additional business and wants to target his sales team on building customer relationships. But how can he measure performance by his sales guys in this new dimension. He wants to find out what works and train the entire team to use his best practice.
It's hard to apply the usual metrics to relationships. They're necessarily a factor of two or more personalities inter-acting. The sales manager can influence the sales rep but influencing customers is a different matter. Two plus two sometimes equals five. At other times it can equal one and that's not always because our guy's getting it wrong.
We suggested maybe trying to measure the B2B relationship, since that's what really counts, bringing us low cost of sale business, referrals and testimonials.
Maybe if we can identify which B2B combinations work we could then dig a little deeper to find out why they work. That way we can see which combinations work in our favour and distil that information down to who is doing what, right.
The B2B relationship measures we suggested were:
- Share of customer spend
- Joint process improvements
- Joint strategy for new opportunities
- Reliability of customer comittments
- Engagement in social events
But that was just us Blue Skyeing a strategy.
What do you think?
Is there a way of learning from one client/account team combination lessons we can apply to others?
In today's social media world we have connections and communication possibilities we never had before but do the measures of social influence bear any relation to how and why people do business with us.