How to Evaluate Sales Performance to Improve Your Team’s Success
Sales is a numbers game but, evaluating your sales reps’ performance involves much more than looking at a final revenue number. Revenue may be the ultimate performance indicator, but as a sales leader you should investigate the “why” behind a result to truly improve the success of your sales team. Follow these 6 tips to evaluate the sales performance of your sales professionals and uncover where you can help them improve their sales productivity.
Determine Your Key Performance Indicators
Key performance indicators are an important part of the sales enablement process because, they allow you to see how your sales reps are performing throughout the entire sales process. This insight will help you determine the tools, training, or coaching that can help them improve.
Remember these two key points when selecting your sales metrics:
– Less is More – It can be tempting to track every data point related to the sales department, but the most important information will be lost if you try to track too much. Keep the total number to 8 or fewer to make your meeting scorecard or sales dashboard easy to understand at a glance.
– Leading Indicators Over Lagging Indicators – Focus on “In-Process” measurements like “Appointments Booked”, which allow you to coach your reps while they are working towards their sales goals. Do away with the black and white “End-Process” measurements that do not foster growth in a sales force and only tell you the end result.
Establish Clear Goals and Expectations
Your salespeople need to know what is expected of them in order for them to perform. Start early by setting expectations and introducing new hires to your company culture during the onboarding process.
For current team members, use your one-to-one meetings to communicate expectations around goals, their sales territory, and the key performance indicators you will be tracking.
Work with your sales reps to establish short and long-terms goals together, using two-way communication. This collaborative goal setting between sales rep and manager will help keep your reps motivated towards reaching their goals.
Just be sure that you are setting realistic expectations with measurable milestones. That way, you can break the sales goals down into specific responsibilities and activities and track their accountability and progress.
Track Leading Indicators, Not Just Outcomes
Evaluating sales professionals on a final number will not help them improve their performance. Make sure that you are tracking the sales activities that will move your team members towards achieving their goals. A few examples of leading indicators are:
– Number of appointments set
– Number of demos given
– Number of leads converted to opportunities
The leading indicators you choose will be unique to your team and the objectives that need to be met. Set up systems to measure and evaluate your sales team’s performance throughout the sales cycle and intervene when necessary with feedback and coaching.
Conduct Joint Sales Calls
One of the most effective ways to evaluate how your reps are performing in the field is to join them on sales calls. Whether this means physically joining your team member as they travel to meet with a prospect, or joining them on a virtual meeting, joint sales calls offer an opportunity to observe a rep during a live selling scenario. Joint calls are critical to skill development because they allow you as the manager to see firsthand where coaching needs to be focused and provide immediate feedback so the reps can connect it directly to their daily reality.
Optimize Your Evaluation and Feedback Process
It is important that you deliver feedback in a way that your sales reps will respond well to. Alleviate anxiety and defensiveness by letting your salespeople know you do not want them to completely change their style, just to make a few tweaks to what they are already doing.
Try to structure your feedback in the following way:
– Keep Doing: Keep the feedback positive by starting out with examples of things they are doing well and should keep doing.
– Stop Doing: Follow with something they should stop doing in order to increase their success.
– Start Doing: End with something you recommend they start incorporating into their sales calls.
It is also helpful to understand the behaviors, motivators, and communication style of your reps so you can tailor your approach to be the most effective. An assessment tool can be a game changer here.
Assess Your Sales Reps to Determine Strength and Gap Areas
Assessing your salespeople with a comprehensive assessment tool will uncover not only their behaviors, motivators, and communication style, but also their knowledge of B2B, customer-focused selling practices used by top sales performers. You can evaluate each sales rep individually or get a “birds eye view” of how your entire team stacks up against your established ideal performer profile (also known as a job benchmark). The Sales Team Analysis Report is a great tool here and will give you an organized and effective way to get the most out of every member of your team.
Ensure you have the right team. Leverage insights and science to build your industry’s strongest team. Developing your sales team for optimal performance is too important to be left to chance. Follow the below steps:
– Determine Your Key Performance Indicators
– Establish Clear Goals and Expectations
– Track Leading Indicators, Not Just Outcomes
– Conduct Joint Sales Calls
– Optimize Your Evaluation and Feedback Process
– Assess Your Sales Reps to Determine Strength and Gap Areas
If you need tools for sales performance evaluation, develop sales staff or increase sales effectiveness, ISMC can help. We will be pleased to learn about your needs or talk through some options. For more information about our sales performance evaluation and sales appraisal questions, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a prompt reply or use the contact form here.
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