With many things in life, less is more. That is, unless we're talking about employee performance analysis. That's because while we typically leave reviews to a specific time period of the year, only occurring quarterly (or worse, yearly), we can actually lose valuable time to take action, leaving us unable to actually to more.
Many of us in the sales and retail businesses may think of performance analysis as being time consuming, and therefore an activity to only be completed every so often. But if we can change our way of thinking about the performance analysis process and include into our regular routines and processes, we can see how effective they really are. In fact, increasing performance analysis can actually save you time. Here's how:
Having to compile information from the entire year is extremely time consuming
One of the reasons many sales organizations have a specific time of year when they do performance reviews is because they can often be time consuming. Compiling and analyzing data about each salesperson and manager in order to see patterns, trends, gaps in performance, or weak areas takes effort. But here's the thing: Once you finally identify these weak areas or bad patterns, you've likely wasted some time when you could have been addressing and fixing them.
By using a model of frequent or ongoing sales performance analysis, you reduce the amount of time spent in bulk conducting these activities. You can instead spread it out in a way that can cut down on the time an organization leader's attention is away from other important activities.
Leaders can use it as an opportunity to show support and implement coaching
It can often be difficult for humans to ask for help when needed. Many of us feel pride or shame when admitting that we require support from others, or we don't want to feel like a burden to others. With infrequent performance analysis, we can't always rely on our sales staff to be up front when they are struggling, and the lack of oversight into performance can see management missing some indicators that they they need to step in.
By creating a better process for sales performance management that includes constant check-ins, employee self-evaluation, and data analysis, you can ensure that the pressure is off your staff to speak up, and instead an atmosphere of accountability and support is created.
When leadership within a sales organization is actually aware of what is going on within their teams and with the individuals on those teams, it becomes much easier to create interpersonal relationships built on trust and communication. This breeds an environment for support and more readily presents opportunities for leaders to coach their staff when they are having difficulties.
A process that includes real-time check ins makes you more likely to catch issues
The resultant effect is that instead of waiting for review periods in order to properly identify issues, you can more easily address them in real-time. Not only will this create the basis for much more effective sales, it can prevent small issues from growing bigger and becoming much more time consuming problems down the line.
When you conduct more frequent performance analysis on the monthly or weekly basis as part of your sales performance process, you can closely look at details in real time. Sales managers can be constantly identifying important questions like: Does this team member produce what they’re supposed to produce? (aka, are they effective?), does this team member use resources well? (aka, are they efficient?), or does this team member take actions to improve themselves and their environment? (aka, are they learning and improving?).
We know that it's not enough to just identify performance factors, but to create the right systems and environment where enabling better performance is possible. But, when including frequent performance analysis as part of an ongoing process, you can more easily make positive changes, identify needs for resources and support, and encourage learning and development.
Constant performance analysis of sales management and staff may sound daunting and tedious. But in fact, when you frequently take a look at sales performance and incorporate it into your regular processes, you can turn it into a positive experience for everyone and actually save time.
Want to learn more about how digitalization of your sales process can help improve performance analysis? Download our e-book: Sales Enablement and Digitalization: What could you be doing better?