One of the biggest reasons we at Goalplan advocate for the cyclical rather than linear sales process, is because we believe continual growth is the key element to maximizing sales performance. Reviews are a big part of that continual growth, and are actually what promotes companies to be iterating and developing internally. Why do reviews play such a big part in the sales process cycle? Let's take a look:
1. They encourage continuous evaluation
When you implement the steps for successful sales performance management, you'll see that underscoring everything is the need to create an environment of transparency and communication. Reviewing your staff's performance and taking into account their personal feelings about their results and ability to achieve goals ensures that leadership and employees can more easily be on the same page.
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With more frequent evaluation through reviewing performance metrics, management can then ensure staff are given the right support and resources to correct errors, or make changes that can be implemented immediately. The sales process can then naturally stray from having a typical "start" and "finish" and instead employees can take into practice what is learned during these continual evaluations.
2. They emphasize continuous actionable data usage
It's becoming more important than ever for sales organisations to use data to dictate how they are approaching sales. Without measuring conversion rates for efforts, or keeping an eye on return on investment, your sales results may not be as reliable for increasing revenue as you may think.
You can think of reviews as the quantitative side of the sales process, with the performance statements being the qualitative evaluation. Together, these data points work to show more accurate measurements of performance. Those measurements can then be utilised to spur action, and change the course of sales results before the end of the budget period.
3. They improve continuous employee engagement and accountability
We know that employee engagement can be a deciding factor for the success of a sales organisation. By engaging employees regularly in reviewing their performance, you can underscore how they are being held accountable in their role, but also that they have the support of their management. Being able to check in with management during the entire sales process, (rather than what would typically be at the start or end of a linear process), ensures that employees are always being engaged - not just when they close a deal, or lose a sale.
4. They encourage continuous connection with distributed teams
One major problem for sales organisations with distributed teams or several retail locations, can be that each team is different when it comes to results and even just how the sales process is conducted. To have the most efficient sales, and the most consistent performance, it can be a challenge for regional managers or sales leaders who can't be in all places at once.
Reviews can help conquer this challenge, as managers can be continuously aware of what is going on at each level of the organisation - for every sales team, and every individual. This continuous connection can also ensure that all sales teams are running through the sales process at a consistent pace, and that performance standards are kept throughout. By utilizing reviews as a catalyst for a cyclical process, sales managers can always be moving along the teams to reach their goals each month, and assist in seamlessly implementing coachings and learnings towards the next budgeting period.
Reviews are one of the key elements in ensuring that sales staff are continually improving as they go through the sales process - making it a cyclical approach rather than the traditional linear chain of events. When you are continually evaluating performance, using actionable data in real time make improvements, engaging your employees and fostering connection amongst distributed teams, you will easily be able to facilitate a more efficient and effective sales process.