Good article David. One of the comments I’d make as an addition to all of this great article is the concept of “time to close” a deal. I developed a model in the past where I could easily forecast the signed revenue at the end of the next two quarters. This by simply looking at the current pipeline.
Sales management is made of steps too. Contact, meeting, 2nd meeting etc…Larger merchants take longer to close than smaller ones for example. Who are you talking to, to the decision maker or the approver or somebody that does not sit in the decision making circle (i.e. a user of the product). Where the lead came from? Was it a cold one or warm intro? Also at what point can you safely estimate that an account will sign? There is always that step during that sales process when you know you have nailed it.
Sales management can become as you say a quite scientific as a discipline. In the end it is not only about the quality of the sales rep (critical) and their productivity in my opinion. It’s about their understanding of the process and steps and the best target to approach. Once the process is clear then even modest sales reps can deliver.
A great sales manager should learn the science behind selling his product to create repeatable success and then pass it over to his team. In many cases a founder might not really be able to do help him with it. That’s how the sales target is met will constantly be met in the end.
As for recruiting, we are building something that hopefully will change for good how people are hired and how companies hire. So that sourcing great talent might not be that complicated in the future.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Great tips.
P.S: when referring to a sales manager I generally referred to it as “he”. Over the years 50% or even more of the best sales people I worked with were female. So no distinction for me there. Smartness has no sex.