Tips for enhancing your sales staff reviews and focusing on the big picture
The mid-year and end-of-year sales staff reviews are important checkpoints. These reviews are instructive and provide a roadmap to success for your employees. They also are a direct reflection of the degree of communication between managers and sales teams.
The key to conducting effective sales staff reviews is focusing on the days, weeks and months leading up to it. Your salespeople should know what to expect and be ready to receive constructive criticism. If a culture of good communication exists, the sales review will be efficient and focus on the talking points that matter.
How do you prepare for sales staff reviews? Create checkpoints leading up to the big day.
Preparing for sales staff reviews: the value of daily communication
To run effective reviews, you need an established a culture of accountability and good work ethic. Focus your management strategy on open communication. Salespeople should know their daily, weekly and monthly expectations. But keep tabs on your team without over-pressuring or micro-managing them.
With a solid strategy and clearly defined goals in place, sales staff reviews will be more focused, organized, and have a better chance of influencing greater results.
Here is a basic strategy template that makes your mid-year and end-of-year reviews more effective:
- Set a time for daily “micro meetings”: For five-to-ten minutes a day, meet with your sales team (in person or over the phone) to discuss tasks. Remember: these meetings are not to pressure, but provide a sense of teamwork and accountability.
- Schedule monthly meetings for individuals: During the first week of every month, meet with staff members to quickly review goals set for the prior month. Create new goals for the current month.
- Ask for self-assessments before the review: Two weeks before the review, ask staff to fill out self-assessments. Include questions on improvements, goals, and expectations moving forward.
With these management strategies in place, you will be prepared to conduct productive sales staff reviews every six months.
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How to conduct organized and productive sales staff reviews
Every business calls for a different set of review criteria. Depending on the products and services you offer, and what industry you’re in, there will be different ways to rate performances.
We recommend picking five main criteria points (with questions to consider):
1. Sales analytics and performance
Take the cumulative sales data for the past six months and display it in an easily digestible graph. A good way to analyze how a salesperson’s performance is trending is to show three separate lines: planned goals, realistic expectations, and actual numbers.
- Do her “actual numbers” meet minimum expectations on a monthly basis?
- What are her patterns? Does she fail or succeed with certain products?
- How often does she meet or exceed agreed upon sales goals?
2. Timeliness and organization
A salesperson’s organizational habits influence her performance on a daily basis. To keep track of appointments, follow-up emails, and outbound calls, she needs to be skilled at time blocking and scheduling. Although she may claim to have a “method to her madness,” it may be unsustainable and lead to missed opportunities.
- Are important tasks consistently left undone or pushed back into consecutive days?
- Does she have a tendency to complete sales calls at the last minute?
- How often does she follow up with leads? What’s her average response time to messages?
3. Attitude and peer reports
How does your salesperson interact with staff members? The ability to work together is important for sales teams. One bad egg can have a negative influence on other members, causing anxiety and stress levels to rise. This is also a good time to review self-assessments and address any discrepancies.
- Have any team members filed complaints against the salesperson?
- Have customers or business clients made complaints?
- What is her attitude towards sales goals in the future?
- Did her self-assessment review match your own notes?
4. Adjustments and improvements
During monthly meetings, you have addressed specific areas for salespeople to work on and improve. Have they made the proper adjustments? Repeated mistakes can become serious issues. This criteria is meant to point out patterns and make improvements.
- Has she taken steps to improve issues you discussed in prior meetings?
- Have her monthly sales numbers improved steadily over time?
- What areas can be improved on?
5. Goals and expectations moving forward
Finally, it’s time to set new goals for next month. You shouldn’t feel the need to plan further than usual; be consistent and stick to a month-t0-month plan strategy. Adjust the goals and expectations based on performance.
- Given the prior month’s performance, can she aim to make more sales calls?
- Does she perform well under pressure? How can you utilize those abilities?
- If she hasn’t met sales goals regularly, would it be helpful to lessen expectations?
Organized sales staff reviews stem from effective daily management
Before you consider implementing the criteria we’ve included, you need to focus on developing open communication with salespeople. If you work with them to set goals and agree on expectations every month, the mid- or end-of-year review will run more efficiently. You can focus on the bigger issues because the smaller ones have already been addressed.
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Do you have a secret to conducting great sales reviews? What did you think about our suggested strategies? Share your thoughts!