How influential is your salesforce in growing the organization?
Salesforce is THE decisive factor in driving business, revenue, and growth. Realizing the impact of their work in enhancing business performance, companies spend over one trillion dollars annually on sales forces.
If such a large sum of money is spent on their growth, progress, and enhancement, surely an evaluation is mandatory.
In this article we will explore sales performance evaluation, trying to understand its importance, and steps to follow while building a sales performance evaluation template.
Scroll down for more.
What is a sales performance evaluation?
Sales performance evaluation refers to the annual meeting between a sales manager and their sales representative where they discuss their work, performance, responsibilities, challenges, progress made, plans for future development, contributions to the organization, and conduct sales performance analysis, among other topics.
Based on this evaluation the manager decides on the promotion, appraisal, and other growth possibilities.
Why is sales performance evaluation important?
Evaluating how well your team has performed and understanding your performance and progress is crucial for the growth of the organization and the employee.
Let's look in detail at the other benefits it offers:
Sales performance evaluation helps track the progress made by the salesforce. The number of sales they closed, the quota they achieved, the revenue generated, and the impact of sales performance incentive programs (SPIFs) help managers understand the effort put in by the employee in bringing growth to the organization.
For progress to happen feedback is important. Managers must evaluate their team’s strengths and weaknesses and suggest areas of improvement. These insights on one’s performance and guidance to the opportunities available will help salesforce understand their current position and motivate them to upskill for better performance.
None is good at everything. While beginning their career, people need guidance and direction to help them improve. Sales managers while evaluating sales performance must show areas that the salesperson can improve and schedule sales coaching sessions to ensure consistent growth.
The greatest motivation that any employee expects from their organization is not money and other rewards. But recognition of one's efforts and appreciation. When they understand that their organization knows and acknowledges their efforts it will drive them to work harder to improve their performance and retain their reputation as a hardworking professional.
Sales performance evaluation is not a one-way transaction where employees are evaluated for their sales performance and productivity. It is also a platform where organizations can receive feedback on where the team feels they can improve, contributing to sales performance optimization. These insights will help companies to better their work culture and performance.
Evaluation is a positive way to grow for both the employees and the organization. However, it will be effective only if companies take a constructive approach to the analysis.
So how should companies go about with sales performance evaluation? Let's scroll down.
What are the steps in the evaluation of sales performance?
For further reading check Innovative Sales Performance Management Solution.
Here is a step-by-step guide for sales performance evaluation
Organizations must be clear on how to evaluate sales performance, what outcome they expect, and what they are going to do about it.
Determine the metrics for evaluation
Clarity on how the salesforce is evaluated is the foundation for a good sales performance evaluation. The number of sales closed, on-target earnings, sales quota achievement, number of leads in the pipeline, their progress, and the insights provided by sales performance reporting are metrics that managers can use to evaluate their salesforce performance.
Follow the sandwich model of feedback
Learning how to give feedback is a skill that managers must imbibe. The ideal way is the sandwich model of giving feedback. Here the manager appreciates the achievements and strengths of the salesperson, then they move to the areas that the salesforce must focus on for improvement and finally wrap it up with a good note that with all these strengths they can easily overcome their weakness. It helps the salesforce feel good about their accomplishments and motivated to improve their performance.
Ensure to provide areas of improvement
Evaluation must not just point at the salesforce weaknesses and drawbacks. While showing them where they lag, managers must also guide them to overcome these challenges by providing areas of improvement and how to go about with them. Taking up coursework for knowledge gain, upskilling to meet the requirements of a sales job etc. are ways managers can ensure their salesforce improves in performance.
Provide feedback backed by data
With sales performance management tools it's easy for managers to keep track of their salesforce performance. Everything is converted to data that shows where the salesperson stands in their performance, their strengths, and weaknesses. Providing these valuable insights while directing salesforce on how to improve will help them have better visibility and understanding of their performance and thereby motivate them to improve.
Set goals to focus
Expecting employees to improve without communicating the company objectives and setting personal goals is futile. Setting goals to focus on must be a crucial part of the sales performance evaluation process. Each time, it must be a step higher than last year's goals. Creating this sales performance template helps salesforce to focus their efforts and strategies towards fulfilling their goals.
Ask for their remarks
Every sales performance evaluation must conclude by asking the salesforce for their feedback and remarks about the organization and its operations. An employee who is a part of the system will have a better understanding of the shortcomings of the operations and suggest ways to enhance your work culture.
Organizations must build a framework and organize methods of evaluating sales performance to ensure consistent growth of their team and the organization.
For further reading, check Unlocking Success: Crafting a Winning Sales Performance Improvement Plan.
Various factors go into consideration while determining the performance and productivity of an employee.
Their efforts as an individual in the team and their initiatives to enhance the team's performance are factors that are decisive in determining their contribution to the growth of the organization and enhancing its work culture.
Salesforce must always have improvement strategies to enhance their product knowledge and sales approach to ensure they are better in their game than the previous year. This consistent growth will help them achieve their personal goals and company objectives as well as make a mark in the organization.
Sales performance evaluation needs a sales performance management tool that will provide valuable insights to the management and the employee on the progress made and needed.