Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Quantify Your Sales Reps’ Performance: 5 Questions

September 4, 2013

No one likes employee evaluations, but they’re critical to improving your sales success. Here are five number-based criteria that can help.

Todd Martin 090313 image 1

Human resources issues have never been more difficult. Many companies are more vigilant than ever at vetting key hires because, frankly, they can be so hard to fire if it becomes necessary.

So your periodic evaluations of your sales reps need to be as concrete and quantifiable as possible. There’s still room for the warm and fuzzy stuff (which can be equally as important as hard, cold statistics), assessments of, for example:

  • Their interaction with other staff
  • Their ability to build and maintain client relationships
  • Their ability to function well in a team setting, and
  • Their willingness to pitch in and help – to go the extra mile.

But there are numerous reasons why you also need to be very specific and exacting as you appraise your sales team’s performance. If you base part of their evaluation on unambiguous, indisputable numbers, you’ll help them gauge their own progress. You’ll also have quantifiable feedback on why sales are floundering or flourishing.

And if worse comes to worse, you’ll have concrete evidence pointing to why a particular team member might not be accomplishing everything he or she might in order to stay employed by you.

5 Questions

To be fair, you might let your sales team know upfront that you’ll be using some very specific criteria as part of their performance evaluations. You may or may not want to reveal the precise formula you’ll be using. On one hand, it’s generally good practice to have expectations straight from the start. On the other hand, you may have some salespeople who will play for stats. Your call.

  • How long do opportunities simmer in the pipeline? Knowing this will give you an idea of the rep’s ability to gauge the time needed to close deals. It will also tell you whether there’s a lot of junk sitting there that isn’t going anywhere.
  • How many new opportunities is each sales rep bringing in every month? Who is generating new business, and who is focusing more attention on closing existing deals? It’s important, of course, to do both.
  • What is the average deal size for each rep? Do they upsell customers? Do they discount at the drop of a hat or do they negotiate competently, with lucrative results? This number can tell you whether they’re sacrificing profits for sales.Todd Martin 090313 image 2
  • How long does it take each rep to close deals? Average both the deals they close and the deals they don’t. Do they close more if the sales cycle is longer or shorter?
  • What percentage of opportunities get closed? This can be deceiving. You want to look at the quality of the deals won, too.

You can undoubtedly come up with some quantifiable measuring sticks of your own. You’ll want to blend these with less concrete criteria to come up with evaluations that present a comprehensive portrait of your salespeople, one that helps both you and them.

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