How Sales Managers Can Improve Performance Evaluations in 2019

Performance evaluations are often dreaded by members of your sales team, and as a sales manager, it’s very likely that you also dread them. They can often seem like one of those things that are necessary, but lacking in value.

However, performance evaluations are one of the best ways to improve your communication with your team members, set goals going forward, and make changes that can improve revenue. With that being said, performance evaluations can only achieve these goals when they’re done thoughtfully and with careful consideration as to how to identify the correct metrics and provide relevant and pertinent feedback.

When you take the time to engage in performance evaluations, it can not only improve performance, but it’s a time to highlight areas for improvement that can prevent issues from becoming much bigger problems in the future.

If you’re a sales manager, the following are some things to consider in terms of improving how you handle performance evaluations in 2019.

Utilize Technology

When you’re doing performance reviews, you want to be as specific as possible. You want to have data and numbers to back up what you’re saying.

Of course, you want the human element as well, but you want to be able to show the facts as they are. To do this, make sure you have efficient, streamlined sales management software that gathers the relevant data and information for you.

Look for a software platform that features in-depth reporting and manages all KPIs in one location. You can rank your team based on performance, and try to find a platform that analyzes your full pipelines.

Managing your sales team becomes overall more effective when you have metrics, and you can also make comparisons based not only on individual performance but teams and roles.

Goal Setting

Performance evaluations are one of the best times to set and outline goals for your sales professionals for the coming months and the year. It’s a good time to not only set the objectives that you hope your professionals will be able to meet but also to discuss how they’re going to get there and any potential apprehension they feel or hurdles they might face.

A lot of times sales managers will set goals, but they don’t take the time to clearly articulate them in a meaningful way to the members of their team. Building that into performance reviews makes it all-in-all a much more relevant and meaningful part of work.

Hold Performance Reviews Often

Some companies will have performance reviews with their sales team only once a year. Make it a goal in 2019 to increase the frequency with which you hold these meetings. This will promote a culture of accountability and also transparency.

You’ll have to figure out what works for you. Some teams may find that quick weekly performance meeting work well for them, but this may not be realistic for you. Maybe you do monthly or quarterly reviews.

If you do move toward something that’s weekly or monthly, you don’t necessarily have to do full in-depth performance reviews each time. You could do more brief reviews, and then each quarter have more comprehensive reviews.

Look Beyond the Metrics

Yes, we pointed out the importance of using data and metrics during performance reviews, but it’s important to integrate the soft human element as well. While the numbers are the most important indicators of performance when it comes to sales, there are other things you can keep in mind as well.

For example, maybe certain members of your sales team show significant leadership abilities or they might remain motivated and positive. Include these things in performance reviews as well.

Sales is more than numbers—a lot of soft skills are involved for successful sales professionals, and these shouldn’t be overlooked in performance reviews.

Finally, think about performance reviews as the basis for coaching employees. Coaching sales employees can lead to significant revenue gains. Use performance reviews as the basis for how you coach each employee.

For example, there are those employees that do have the necessary skills to be a good sales person, but they do need a lot of coaching from management. You can use performance reviews as a way to guide yourself regarding how you work with each employee, the amount of time you dedicate to coaching, and how you approach your coaching. Even the best salespeople can benefit from quality coaching, and performance reviews will show you the areas to focus on.