The power of effective performance measurement
Measuring the performance of your sales team can be a difficult task. Customers and business conditions vary, as do the sales representatives themselves. One of the keys to your success is assembling a strong sales team; another is measuring sales force performance in a way that will help you identify opportunities to grow your business.
To get the best sales employees for your organization, you need to look for qualified people. An effective sales team is made up of individuals who are:
- Willing to learn
- Able to handle rejection
People who know how to represent your business and who can connect with customers serve your business well. Proper training that focuses on the rigors of the job, the market, the product or service being sold, and the competition will give them the knowledge and practice they need to do their job and close the deal.
Once you have a team in place, you will want to set targets and determine the approach you will take for measuring performance.
A reliable way to measure performance is by analyzing the variables that most target your sales goals and objectives. You’ll want to work with your sales representatives to review their performance. You can discuss problems or accomplishments, address ways to correct past performance with which you are not satisfied, and plan for better performance in the future.
Although performance is often measured in terms of productivity (total sales volume or calls made), it is helpful to measure cumulative progress (quarterly, semi-annual, or annual) against established goals. Simply comparing a sales representative's current performance with past performance might be misleading if you aren't able to compare longer time periods.
For example, you might use revenue as a performance indicator for the sales department, when changes in revenue may have nothing to do with the sales department at all. Revenue fluctuations could be the result of various events: an effective marketing campaign, a competitor who just went out of business, or a significant change in the size of your target audience - retiring baby-boomers, for instance.
The best way to improve sales performance and strengthen your business is to measure performance effectively. For more information on how to accomplish this, including a detailed account of some quantitative variables, read Measuring sales force performance.