Benchmarking in sales is comparing the operation of your business to those of your competitors and establishing a benchmark of performance that you strive to reach.
Sales teams undertake this practice either independently or with a system integrated with their mobile sales force automation software. The best of these systems come with capabilities to create surveys, execute them, and then measure results.
For benchmarking, sales teams need to identify the business processes that are measurable and also exist in other businesses. After identifying these processes, a survey can help indicate which business performs at par to the expectations set in benchmarking for individual processes.
You can then assess why your results fall short and take measures to improve outcomes.
Why Are Benchmarking Surveys a Necessity for Sales
When you are benchmarking, you are setting baselines to your results. You can then use these benchmarks to improve, set better goals, and measure performance.
Whether you measure employee engagement, sales, marketing results, customer loyalty, website feedback, or customer satisfaction, you first need to send out a survey to gather initial results.
Benchmarking is a critical practice for sales teams as they get an insight into the results they re achieving and how fast they are moving toward their goal.
The How of Benchmarking Using Surveys
Benchmarking can be done in two ways:
Getting a one-off measurement of whether or not your sales reps are functioning productively is not enough. Thus, you need internal benchmarks. This can be done by comparing your current results with previous results.
This gives context to the data you collect and then you can turn abstract data into something insightful.
To set internal benchmarks, you need feedback from your customers. Your mobile sales force automation software can help you do that. Send a particular survey to your customers, twice a year.
See how they respond to questions about the experience and service you offer and assess the overall feedback they have about your business. Compare each survey result to the previous one to see how far you’ve come toward expected results.
Readjust your expectations and goals to keep on achieving better results and striving for improvement.
Internal benchmarking gives you only a part of the picture. The real job is to find how you’re doing in comparison to others in your industry.
External benchmarks can help gain perspective about your current standing in your industry. Target your efforts accordingly and plan budgets as per what you need to improve.
The process of setting achievable goals through external benchmarking is three-fold.
1. Determine the processes that are key to your sales success. These might be production, revenue, customer service, etc. then, define the key quantities within these processes that you can compare and measure. For product quality, you can measure the number of defective items per 1000. Sales productivity can be measured by the sales volume per salesperson. And, a critical customer service metric can be the percent of issues resolved in the first call.
2. Survey your industry for the best performers. Search public records and find relevant details about competitors such as annual reports, government records, and company filings. Using this data, decide your benchmarks. If there is little to no publicly available data about your competitors, don’t hesitate in reaching out to them with an offer of data swapping. They can use your data for their own benchmarking and vice versa. Continue to collect this data until you have a pool of companies for each key quantity.
3. Establish achievable but challenging benchmarks from each quantity by looking at the performance of the top companies. For key quantities where your company’s metrics are a lot lower, reflect on your strategies and make sure the data you are comparing are the same. Make adjustments to your business process to reach the various benchmarks.
A mobile sales force automation software integrated with surveying capabilities can be your rescue for this process.
Extra Tips to Drive Sales with Surveys
Empower Field Sales Teams with Digital Surveys
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