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Time for Salesperson Evaluations

Last week, one of my clients and I were discussing the end of the first quarter, salesperson performance and the next steps in their business strategy.  The conversation led me to suggest the following steps for my client, but it would work just as well for readers.

Step 1: Evaluate your team. Place each of your team members into one of the following categories:

  • Stars: How do we keep them?
  • Learners: Have high potentials, but do we have a plan to train?
  • Solid Performers: How do we maintain?
  • Followers: Good for now, but what about next year?
  • Deadwood: Can we do better?

Step 2: Once you have classified your team, the next step is to develop a plan to review each person and set a learning path for them.  We recommend that this becomes a formal procedure between the sales manager and each salesperson, at least twice a year. We use a salesperson development tool from our Sales Managers Tool Kit, which is a library of 40-plus robust sales management tools we have developed during our consulting practice.

The salesperson development tool includes a revenue-versus-quota section, but just as important is a section for the sales managers' evaluations regarding:

  • Skills/Strengths: What needs work, what items are good
  • Development Plan: What actions are to be taken and their target dates/completion dates
  • Obstacles and plans to reduce obstacles

This session allows both individuals an opportunity to honestly discuss career aspirations, personal goals and skill development. Using this approach along with the Salesperson's Business Plan, the manager can fully coach the salesperson to the next level.

Building a regular practice of "inspecting what you expect," you will increase the professionalism of your team and drive performance. What are your thoughts on improving the performance of your sales teams?

Posted by Ken Thoreson on March 30, 2015 at 11:33 AM