The writers on the site and many enlightened practitioners see the gold in sales activity/outcome data and sales metrics, yet there use isn't widely adopted in the field. I wonder if part of the problem is a lack of overall sales management models to provide a framework? If we contrast the situation with our friends in marketing, they have plenty of frameworks and models: The 4P's, 6P's, SWOT, Product Lifecycle, and PEST to name a few; and these frameworks often act as the basis for the development of performance metrics.
When I became interested in sales management, I started by reading a number of books with Sales Management in their titles, and became aware that they had plenty of content on the softer issues; recruitment, training, sales meetings, but I have not come across any references to sales management models or the quantative side of sales management. The problem goes as far as an agreed standard definition for sales management. If you visit the sites of the various vendors for CRM and SFA, they all claim to offer 'Sales Management' and freely list what they include; yet in my opinion, very few or any of the things listed are part of sales management. We should also consider the use of other widely used words in sales management such as quantity and quality, often used to describe mutual independent events, which in one context they can be but in others they are linked. Why would sales be the only profession where more practice (quantity) would not lead to better outcomes (quality), unless of course you are selling something that addresses only one?
Why are the model/frameworks important? Without the development of such models and frameworks, I believe we will struggle with both technology for sales and metrics. As the old adage says, if you do not know where you are going any road, or should I say any new tool or idea, will get you there!!!
I am not sure what comes first - the model or the data? Do we need to start as with our friends in marketing with models and then collect the data to prove the models and from there a set of meaningful metrics? I suggest that it does not make a difference, rather the important thing is to start.
The Management Curve is a blog dedicated to discussion and debate about the impact sales metrics programs such as CRM, Sales Performance Management and Sales Force Automation Programs are having and will have on how the sales function is managed. Hosted by Paul McCord, the blog also features articles and commentary by other sales trainers, consultants, product developers, and the sales managers and salespeople who actually use the products.