Improving Sales Engagement: 5 Metrics To Track Soft Skills

For years, research has shown that workers with quality “soft skills” have more career success and contribute more to their companies than people who only have highly technical skills. We’d suggest they’re also better when it comes to sales engagement, too.

However, many organizations don’t invest enough in training and monitoring these kinds of skills. It’s hard to blame them, really. Tracking average response time, cold calls logged, efficiency per rep and quotas reached is much easier than tracking the ability to influence others, build relationships or manage a team. 

Collecting data on these “metrics” — if it’s even possible to truly call them that — is difficult, at best. Sometimes the only way to round up this kind of information is to follow people out in the field, which is much more time-consuming than hitting the “run report” key in your CRM system. 

Regardless of these challenges, sales organizations must try. Thriving in an information-based economy (where 70 percent of the sales process is finished before prospects even contact a rep) requires finding and promoting sellers who succeed in every way. 

To this end, Monarch Media, a California-based e-learning company, published an article suggesting several ways to track soft sales. Here are a few of those suggestions, as well as some of our own, which sales leaders should use to encourage and measure sales engagement.

  1. Follow the number of sick days: Some indicators, such as the number of sick days taken, allow sales organizations to find out if reps’ motivation levels have gone up or down. 

  2. Collect feedback: “Use peer reviews, self-evaluations, or attitude measures that can demonstrate positive results from the training,” the article suggests.

  3. Observe reps directly: Literally go out and watch your team perform tasks that impact sales engagement. While there’s no substitute for being there, this does take time, and the supervising manager needs to avoid participating. 

  4. Use software to track background of interactions: If your call plans are embedded in your sales force automation tool, then track your reps’ call plan usage. 

  5. Use client input: At Tellwise, we’re developing new ways for prospects to provide sellers data on the health of their relationship. They’ll be able to offer feedback ranging from “you’re doing great” to “needs improvement.” While this is subjective, it does provide a way for clients to indicate if their needs are being met.

The Tellwise Nutshell (TTN): When it comes down to it, you need data to help with human resources tasks. But managers often lack data to accurately measure soft skills. Use these kinds of metrics to discover your superstars, to understand who is most effective at using content, to better respond to clients and to engage with prospects on social media. 

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