I read an interesting article over the weekend that discussed the change of approach in identifying future talent in sport. 

When you hear the word scouting, I tend to think of sport first.  Silent watchers on the touch line or boundary with clip boards, taking notes on potential future stars and feeding back to HQ.  These traditional approaches, have biases, unknown to the scout that may miss a potential future star. 

Cricket in particular is a data rich sport, but analysis of traditional performance metrics is not proving to be an accurate predictor of future success.  The stakes are high in sport, so as an industry leads the way in developing new and more accurate indicators for future performance. 

What's this got to do with sales and sales management? Well, I think a lot. 

Whilst there is still space for some traditional sales metrics it is time for sales leaders to supplement the focus of what is measured in order to gain a better insight to future performance.  

As an entry point, before any of the metrics below are considered. What does each of your salespeople's Linkedin profile say about them?  Does it read like the CV of a salesperson or that of a well informed interesting individual? 

  • 84% of CEOs and VPs use social media to make purchasing decisions (Source: IDC). What are your team doing to influence their decisions on Social Media?

New Metric #1 What is the strength and depth of your sales teams Linkedin network? 

  • 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get information from a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Source: B2B PR Sense Blog)

New Metric #2 How many articles or posts are your sales teams creating that inform decision makers rather than the re-post of the corporate advertisement? 

  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group)

New Metric #3 How is the Social Selling Index (SSI) changing over time for your sales teams.

The above is not an exclusive list, but an easy starting point for sales leaders to understand more about future sales performance through digital prospecting.