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 final 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.
Tip #1: 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 don’t foster growth in a sales force and only tell you the end result.
Tip #2: Establish Clear Goals and Expectations
Your salespeople need to know what’s 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’ll 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’re 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.
Tip #3: Track Leading Indicators, Not Just Outcomes
Evaluating sales professionals on a final number won’t help them improve their performance.
Make sure that you’re 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.
Tip #4: Conduct Joint Sales Calls (AKA Ride-Alongs)
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.
Learn more about how to conduct joint sales calls in this post.
Tip #5: Optimize Your Evaluation and Feedback Process
It’s 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 don’t want them to completely change their style, just to make a few tweaks to what they’re 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’s 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.
Learn more about how to optimize the evaluation and feedback process in this post.
Tip #6: 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.
Learn more about the report by watching the video below: