If you’re a sales manager, at some point you’ve probably run into challenges assessing the performance of your employees. That’s because it’s not an exact science. Without a system in place, how do you really know how well your employees are performing?
For example, let’s say you give each of your sales reps a lead to follow-up on. Rep 1 ends up making the sale while Rep 2 does not. Does this mean Rep 2’s performance is suffering? Maybe, maybe not.
Sure, it is possible Rep 2 dropped the ball, forgot to follow-up with the lead or didn’t do a good job explaining the benefits of your product. But it’s also possible he was diligent in his follow-ups, cultivated the relationship and did a stellar job answering questions and explaining the product. He just didn’t land the sale because it wasn’t a good lead. In this instance, without a set of metrics in place, how will you analyze employee performance?
Better Evaluation Tools
CRM solutions present managers with the tools they need to evaluate employee performance. They enable managers to measure the effectiveness of internal processes, examine the activities of their sales force and explore customer service transactions. It’s like giving you X-Ray vision into all of the activities in your department.
With a CRM software solution in place, you can easily determine:
- how many calls your sales reps are making
- how often they’re following-up with customers
- how they are contacting them
- what stage of the sales cycle they are in, and so forth.
You can run reports to study CRM performance metrics such as close rates, conversion rates, sales by contact method, average purchase value, and so forth. These CRM performance metrics can also be evaluated by individual, group or region, giving you a lot of flexibility in your analysis.
Once you have a solid system in place for evaluating employee performance, you can begin addressing how to improve it. Most salespeople know what their strengths and weaknesses are, so begin by asking them to assess their own performance. This process ensures critical buy-in and allows you to build on your self-appraisal.
Once your employees have given you their own assessments, relate their feedback with your CRM performance metrics. Don’t pile on too many areas for improvement. Rather, pick the needs with the greatest potential for payoff and leave the smaller challenges for a later time. End session with an action plan, including provisions for follow-up in CRM. If you’re serious about helping your team develop their skills and use CRM, coaching needs to be a continuous loop, not a series of random, unconnected events.
Put these practices into action and watch the performance of your sales team take off.