Friday, July 11, 2008

Six Steps To Sales Performance Management

Writen by Andrew Rowe

In today's day and age a lot of senior managers and sales managers struggle with maintaining their top line growth performance because they neglect their fundamental duties when it comes to managing the performance of their sales team.

If you want to take your team to the next level, consider developing a sales performance management system that includes the following elements;

First of all, assess your current sales team to understand the performance of your individuals and objectively analyze which of your people are capable of producing their numbers and which aren't, and then prune and tune that existing organization to make sure that you weed out poor performers and take corrective action of those who do have a chance of performing well.

Second, learn how to hire and recruit "A" players for your sales team. This requires a rigorous attention to detail as it relates to specifying your job description, developing a recruiting process, broadcasting your job postings to available candidates and then going through a very rigorous interviewing, screening and reference checking methodology.

The third element in effective sales performance management system is to establish good measurements and to measure and monitor the performance of your sales teams. With today's CRM tools and sales force automation tools it's very easy for you to get clear and concise activity and pipeline metrics that you can evaluate on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Developing those measurements and then integrating them into regular meetings with your sales teams, both collectively and individually will help you to develop a sales performance management expectation with your employees and a culture of accountability.

Fourth, work on developing a standard corrective action plan for under-performers on your sales team. A corrective action plan should be a standard approach to correcting sales performance that is well understood and documented and accepted by everybody on your team. Sales people should know that when they fail to hit their numbers or achieve their sales quotas for a defined period that they will be put on corrective action, which will define a series of steps that are required in order to improve performance within a finite period of time, with a clear understanding of what the consequences are for not improving sales performance.

Fifth, make sure that you have the proper investments going on in sales training both product as well as sales technique. Also, make sure that you have a sales training system that is systematic and ongoing with your sales team.

Sixth, make sure that you understand the importance of coaching your sales team to success. The CEO or sales manager's job is to develop a coaching system to make sure that sales people are well attuned to. It is important that the CEO or sales manager has an engaged active relationship with each team member and that each team member receives regular honest open feedback on their performance, and suggestions on how to improve. Sales people need attention just like anybody else on your company's team, and so part of your sales performance management system should focus on coaching your people and making sure that they understand where they stand in your organization.

Finally, a good sales performance management system includes incentives and rewards; those include commission / bonuses, financial incentives as well as recognition programs. Many companies fail to recognize the power of non-cash incentives when it comes to motivating their sales team. Sales people come to work just like everybody else, for both financial wages as well as psychic wages. It's important to recognize the non-cash component when it comes to recognition. It's easy to recognize the efforts of your sales team through contests, awards, atta-boy's, regular hi-fives with people who've just closed deals, recognition in front of company meetings, all of those things can add a powerful component of recognition and incentives to your overall incentive program. So, if your company is interested in accelerating its sales and taking its sales team's performance to the next level, consider building a formalized sales performance management system that includes all of the elements that I've just mentioned about.

About Cube Management

Cube Management delivers sales acceleration services to emerging growth and mid-market companies. The experts at Cube Management work across the entire spectrum of marketing, sales and business development to provide customized solutions (whether recruiting, interim management or consulting) that drive revenue and profit growth. Cube Management combines Strategy, Process & People to produce winning results. Download the Cube Management Inside Sales Guide and the Cube Management Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guide.

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