Sales people can make or break an agency. It is our job as agency owners to enable our sale people to have the most success possible by giving them the support we need. It is also our job to make sure that there are clear standards of success and an obtainable goal to be reached.
The nice thing about sales is that it is one of the most quantifiable areas of your business. That means a sales rep can easily identify if they are doing their job well or not. That said, depending on the month they can be feeling really good, or really bad, about their abilities.
That is why having annual or bi-annual performance reviews are so crucial. We want to take our reps out of the day-to-day grind and have conversations about how they are doing in the bigger picture. And if they aren't doing well, identify why.
What a Performance Review is NOT
To make sure you understand what Gray and I mean when we are talking about performance reviews, I first want to explain what they are not.
They are not the only time you should be meeting one-on-one with your sales rep to talk about sales. They are not the time to focus the conversations around the negatives of what they need to improve upon. They are not meetings you walk into without preparing what it is you want to discuss.
Along with performance reviews you should be having weekly or bi-weekly check-ins with your sales reps to see how their deals are progressing and if they need any assistance.
If there are performance issues, those should be addressed throughout the course of the year. But keep in mind, because a rep had a bad month or even quarter does not make them a bad sales rep, everyone has tough months. Addressing the issues and offering encouragement and practical improvement tips during those tough months will help the reps to understand you are there to help.
What a Performance Review is
I am of the opinion that performance reviews should happen annually or bi-annually. Especially consider bi-annually during the first year or two as the rep is learning.
These meetings are meant to look holistically at the progress of the rep and the goals of the company. You should be using data, not feelings to dictate where this conversation goes. At our agency and at DoInbound we use a worksheet that is updated monthly to help us form opinions around these reviews.
An example of this worksheet is shown below:
If you would like a workable copy of this worksheet you can download one for free here.
When conducting performance reviews with your reps it is important to keep in mind that because sales is so quantifiable the rep likely knows how they are doing ahead of time. Your job is to encourage and support your sales rep especially if they are struggling. Address the issue and use data to help identify areas for improvement.
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