- John Pomeroy
Sales Systems: Sales IQ (episode 2)
Sales IQ is a fundamental measurement of your team's awareness of the company's intent to trade something in exchange for compensation. It is part of your overall strategic alignment within your team.
How you measure Sales IQ varies depending on the nature of your Sales System and business plan. It is an important metric representing your current state of being. Good news, there is no right or wrong result.
We care specifically about this metric for several reasons. The first and most obvious is that without some sort of benchmark, it is very difficult to measure progress, to identify areas for improvement, and to set goals. The second is more subtle yet really more important which is that the level of Sales IQ indirectly illustrates how effective you are being as a company at extracting the value of your work while maintaining your strategic initiatives. Your Sales IQ illuminates how effective you are being as an executive team, in communicating the core objectives to the team. Smaller leaner companies naturally score relatively high, while larger, less lean companies, tend to score lower; that means by extension your Sales IQ score will also indirectly give you a measurement of leanness.
A great opportunity presents itself when measuring Sales IQ. Simply by gathering the data to measure Sales IQ you alter the result almost always in a positive direction. Of course you've assembled a crack team chock-a-block full of bright, engaged, gung-ho people; not surprising then that simply by asking some of the questions needed to establish your team's Sales IQ, you trigger them to start thinking about things that may not have previously occurred to them. By asking the questions you also inform them that their input matters, that their thoughts and ideas beyond the everyday are valuable to you, and that their participation is important . Simply going through the exercise of identifying your Sales IQ will positively influence your team and make you stronger.
Each member of your team no matter how lowley or lofty has something to contribute toward the company's intent to trade in exchange for compensation. Knowing how many of them understand that, grasp what that specifically means to them, and how that serves the primary objectives of the company, leads you to know your team's sales IQ.
When your lead software developer writes a line of code, does she understand how that reflects the company's primary objectives? When Your IT team builds a machine for the new product marketing director, do they understand how it will be used and why it's important to make sure that person is smoothly enabled in the context of the primary objectives? Alignment throughout your team keeps you lean and guarantees you deliver that unique and valuable customer experience that you set out to deliver.
More than once I've heard this statement "My team is great and everyone on it knows what they need to do. Why do I care about Sales IQ?" The simple answer is, "Are you sure?" A more complicated answer is, "Congratulations, that's awesome. Will you still be able to say that in a year? How will you know if it's changed and by how much?" At the end of the day, Sales IQ is a moderately formalized way to establish a current state which can be used to complete gap analysis, measure forward progress, and importantly, test against backwards momentum in this regard as you grow.