When asked about emerging trends in sales, as it relates to the Telecommunications industry, Cristantos Hajibrahim, Chief Product Evangelist and founder of Prodoscore says, “we’re in a data overload period. There’s just too much damn data!” And you know, he’s right.
So with all of this data in our way, how can sales leaders combat the very real possibility of Analysis Paralysis, or the phenomenon that occurs when you have so much data you don’t know where to begin. It’s easy to understand this once you realize how many KPI exist in whatever field you looking at. So how does one avoid analysis paralysis?
Understand the Metrics
First and most importantly is to understand the metrics that you’re looking at. You should initially understand how they’re calculated. And from here you can see the business impact of each one. To Christantos, this means “I know these top 20 percent or 10 percent of my guys are hitting their revenue numbers but then the question becomes what about that 90, or 80 percent. What are they doing all day? And this is what we don’t know, right? We don’t know what they’re doing because they’re obviously the revenue numbers aren’t coming in.”
So you will need to find the metrics that define the behavior you wish to target.
Concentrate on a Single Metric
The next step involves concentrating on a single metric. This can be on an enterprise-level or an agent level, but wherever you’re looking you have to focus on one. In a case like a call center you might look at things such as average handle time, or first call resolution. For agents, it might be these metrics, or even more specialized ones such as transfer rate. At any rate, pick the single metric that best aligns with your goals.
Isolate the Behavior Driving the Metric
Since you know how the metric is calculated, you can explore what is actually driving that KPI to a place where you do not want it to be. Determine what in that formula is under your control. You might not be able to control how many calls come in at peak periods, but you can staff accordingly if the peak times occur on a forecastable basis. You might not be able to control what the callers are asking about, but you can control handle time through education and processes for your agents.
This is the most critical step, because it focuses your attention on what is necessary and what can be controlled. Or as Cristantos says it, “When you put it all together you might have a sales guy who just needs some coaching, so instead of just firing him, maybe he just doesn’t understand, and he’s too afraid to tell you.”
Coach to That Behavior
Now that you have your KPI, and you know the behaviors behind it that can be controlled, coach to those behaviors. Set your SMART goals and achieve the results you want. And in the end, as Cristantos says, “I don’t need more data just to tell me is this guy is working or is he not working.”