How to Measure Productivity in Sales

A lot of people mistake being busy for being productive. Crossing to-dos off a list may, in fact, mean you’re productive, but as it pertains to sales, it may mean that you are incredibly unproductive.

There are only two activities that prove that you are productive when it comes to selling. The first measurement of productivity is the opportunities created. The second measurement of your productivity is how many of those opportunities you win (caution here, winning one big deal may mean you are not productive, and winning many small deals may also mean that you are not doing well).

The time you spend at work is no indication of productivity. Neither is the number of dials you make per hour or day. The number of face-to-face sales calls or ear-to-ear sales calls or video face to video face sales calls are also no measurement of productivity. They are activity, and not all activity produces the right outcomes. You can have meetings in which nothing is accomplished. They may even be necessary, but that does not mean that any initiative was advanced. The last thing on earth you can measure that might be mistaken for productivity is email, something that is necessary and that almost invariably reduces your productivity.

All of the above activities are only proof that you are productive if and when you obtain the primary outcome that those activities are designed to generate. While it’s necessary that you dial the phone and schedule appointments the outcome is a new opportunity being created. And while it’s important to have sales meetings, it is possible to have meetings that do not result in the next step for you or a prospective client. It’s also possible to have meetings in which an opportunity is not advanced from one stage to the next.

Productivity is the measurement of the outcomes you create divided by the time and energy you invest in those outcomes. Time and energy invested in activities that do not produce an outcome do not mean that you were productive. This is true even when the non-productive activities are necessary.

Think of it this way, if you could generate the outcomes of creating and winning opportunities without doing any of the other activities that are necessary but not sufficient to produc those outcomes, would that be enough for you to reach your goal? If the answer is yes, then you should focus your time and energy on producing those outcomes.

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