If sales metrics are good, but closings are slow, it's time for a little quality control.

In many ways sales growth is all about numbers – ensuring that your sales team has the right number of leads in their pipeline, and is meeting the outreach goals necessary to ensure continued growth. But if your sales team is meeting their outreach goals, yet still experiencing slow sales, Metal Mafia owner and Board of Experts member, Vanessa Nornberg, advises that the best way to diagnose your problem is to get in the trenches with a little quality control.

Vanessa points out that while looking at the overall picture (call volume, number of appointments set, etc) helps as a check that your sales team is meeting their outreach goals, it’s not detailed enough to get to the bottom of sagging sales.

“The reality is, I can get far better insight into my sales by monitoring the sale at the micro-level.”

Often what you’ll find is that the problem isn’t in the metrics. It’s in the individual interactions between your salesperson and their prospect. Vanessa points to three target areas where a sale is easily lost. Metrics won’t reveal the deficiency. They can only be detected when you dig into call logs and customer interactions with an eye towards quality control.

The Right Reception – “Every sale comes down to an interaction rather than a transaction.”

  • Sales is about more than just a trade of payment for goods or service. The experience your customer has makes a huge difference in whether or not they’ll purchase from you and give your their loyalty for future business. That experience begins the moment they answer the phone or walk into your establishment.

Meeting the Customer’s Needs – “The last checkpoint before the sale is made is the customer feeling like she has been heard and her needs have been addressed.”

  • Absent-minded service, inattention to what the customer is looking for, or just plain bad service are all quality control problems that don’t show themselves well on a chart. Any one of those three could be an invisible contributor to slowed sales.

Listening For Opportunities – “While it’s certainly good to be moving toward the close, it’s the details where the additional opportunities can be found.”

  • Vanessa uses the example of an employee who listened attentively to the customer before closing the deal, but failed to spot the opportunity to upsell them a product line that her company had which could have solved a problem for the client. Not only was the miss a potential money loss for Vanessa’s company, but her customer didn’t hear about a product that could have benefited their company – a double loss.

Good quality control for your sales team takes time, but is worth it to find and close the gaps in sales training that could be costing you money. As Vanessa points out:

“When your pipeline is full but your revenues aren’t what they should be, metrics won’t save you, but a quality check will. Make monitoring a ritual, and you’ll see your sales lag turn to luster.”

You can read Vanessa’s article in its original form at Inc. Magazine’s website.