A standard sales process is one of the best things sales managers can provide their teams for success. Standardization provides an objective basis for comparison across prospects, deals, and team members.
Standardizing the process is only one step in better measurement. It’s also crucial to decide what you and your team will measure. To do that, your team will need to get SMART.
Setting SMART Objectives
There’s a difference between setting objectives and setting objectives your team can actually achieve. Compare these two examples:
- “We will improve follow-up times with prospects.”
- “We will follow up with each prospect by telephone or email within 24 hours of the prospect contacting us.”
Both objectives focus on boosting communication with new leads. Yet the second one is more likely to succeed. Why?
The second objective is SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Oriented. While both objectives express the goal (improve follow-up times), only the second one tells staff exactly how to do that (electronically, in 24 hours, after the specific event of contact).
Why Your Team Needs SMART Objectives
Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-oriented objectives are essential to a successful standard sales process. When objectives are SMART:
- They tell your team exactly what needs to be done.
- They indicate exactly how the work should be done.
- They clearly show when the team is or is not on track to fulfilling the objective.
“Improve follow-up times” means different things to different salespeople. To some, it means, improving their own follow-up practices; to others, it means improving the entire team’s approach. Some may feel satisfied if they follow-up within the week; others may challenge themselves to follow-up within the hour, no matter what else is on their plate.
A SMART formulation of this objective eliminates the guesswork. It tells the entire team what success at “improve follow-up times” looks like, while also setting clear boundaries to prevent this objective from overshadowing other essential work. Teams with SMART objectives don’t have to guess – they can get to work.
Looking For the Right Sales People?
While objectives can help your team succeed, having the right sales staff is crucial as well. At SMR Group, our recruiters specialize in connecting clients in the medical device, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries to some of the best sales and marketing talent available. To learn more, contact us today.