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MANAGEMENT


Measuring (and Increasing) Your Sales Team’s Productivity


KEN BLANCHARD


To improve bottom-line sales results, manag- ers must effectively monitor and measure their salespeople’s performance. But, when it comes to planning and evaluating a sales team’s efforts, some managers may seem more like adversaries than allies.


To improve camaraderie between you and your salespeople – while helping them improve sales performance – in- clude your team in the planning, goal setting and coaching, and evaluation process. The guidelines below will help you establish a performance manage- ment system that not only measures productivity, but increases it.


PERFORMANCE PLANNING Sound performance planning requires managers and salespeople to discuss and agree on specific goals – and a time frame for reaching them. Good planning instills a sense of direction


and purpose in your team. Clear-cut goals let them know exactly what you expect of them. Be sure your plans reflect three essential objectives: com- pany objectives, team objectives, and individual salespeople’s objectives. On a recent visit to a large telecom- munications company, the company president told me that, although 80 percent of his employees received an “excellent” performance rating, the organization wasn’t meeting its goals as a whole. So, before you establish individual goals, find out what your organization wants to accomplish, and plan accordingly.


16 | DECEMBER 2018 SELLING POWER © 2018 SELLING POWER. CALL 1-800-752-7355 FOR REPRINT PERMISSION.


DAY-TO-DAY COACHING Your salespeople stand a much greater chance of meeting your care- fully planned goals if they can count on your encouragement and guid- ance. Instead of practicing “seagull management” (in which managers fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on their salespeople, and then fly out), pro- vide frequent, constructive feedback on your team’s performance. Meet with salespeople individually to discuss their progress and what they must do to maintain it. Department- wide meetings will help your sales- people establish a motivating sense of teamwork and esprit de corps. Encourage your people to help one another and to use one another as a source of leads, new techniques, and inspiration. Managers share the responsibility for meeting goals with their salespeople, so help them help you – and one another.


EVALUATION


Though “evaluation” is a dirty word to some salespeople, the right approach can make evalu- ation the most productive phase of the performance management process. An effective evaluation doesn’t undermine the salesper-


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